As we walked into Wild Hare Cider Pub on First Friday, we could tell that this new addition to the bar scene of downtown Fredericksburg has something special on its hands. It has not taken long for residents of Fredericksburg to discover Wild Hare Cider, which is perfectly situated at the intersection of William Street and Caroline Street (it is located in the building that housed Mercantile). According to Patrick Madaj, co-owner and general manager, their opening has been met with resounding success.
Madaj co-owns Wild Hare Cider with his father, Jim. Fredericksburg is actually their fourth location; their other tasting rooms are located in Leesburg, Middleburg, and Warrenton (the ciders themselves are fermented in Berryville). When Madaj contemplated the opening of a fourth tasting room, he was consistently told that Fredericksburg would be the perfect spot. He was immediately drawn to the historical building on William Street, from its original brick and absolutely gorgeous, expansive back courtyard; and, of course, its perfect location downtown.
Now that Wild Hare Cider Pub has opened, Madaj said that business was fantastic from the beginning. He noted that the clientele consists of both new guests, as well as returning regulars (not bad for being open only five weeks). He believes guests enjoy and return to Wild Hare not only because of its delicious ciders, but because of its wonderful, homey atmosphere. The courtyard has already been a hit among locals, where they can sit and enjoy live music on weekends. Madaj said that their atmosphere, as well as being the only cidery in Fredericksburg, has allowed them to thrive from the start.
Of all the flavors and styles of Wild Hare, Madaj said the most popular are probably the Firebelly (mango and habanero) and Willow (berries and lime peel). And while many of their staple flavors will remain on tap for a while, they will have new ciders as well. For instance, Wild Hare recently made the semi-sweet flavor Rocket, which will go on tap this week. Rocket is a bit of a branch-off from the normal flavors of Wild Hare, as they normally focus on dry ciders. According to Madaj, many cideries have placed emphasis on sweet flavors; personally, the Madajs find dry ciders to normally taste much better. And based on the success of Wild Hare Cider Pub so far, the residents of Fredericksburg tend to agree.
There are a number of exciting developments to come at Wild Hare Cider Pub, including the opening of their kitchen, as well as trivia nights. On a personal note, every style of cider that we sampled at Wild Hare were immensely delicious; we personally recommend the Firebelly and Saxby (ginger and lime twist). The positive reception that Wild Hare Cider Pub has received is more than deserved.
Wild Hare Cider Pub is located at 205 William St. Follow them on Facebook.