Yes, that is not a typo. Yes, this is a Cidery! Yes, We bought the t-shirt! Rancher John Macomson bought the 51 acre property about 10 years ago. Known as Catlow Creek Ranch, John is raising miniature Hereford, Lowline, and Agnus cows. One well-conditioned yet rambunctious heifer was giving John frustrating trouble not wanting to move from one pasture to another, so she was affectionately dubbed “Fat Ass Heifer.”
John owns an IT company which he runs from his office building on the property. He and his lovely wife run the tasting room for the Cidery from the back of this office. Opened for business in 2017, John has aggressive plans for the future growth and development of Fat Ass Heifer Cidery.
Starting as a home brew enthusiast, he has studied and mastered his craft the past few years. Procuring freshly harvested and pressed apples from a local South Carolina orchard, this Campobello (Spartanburg County) Cidery is keeping it local!
Our tasting consisted of six ciders and one muscadine wine.
Lowline Dirty Heifer – A traditional cider, semi-dry and naturally carbonated.
Hops – Pitched with dry hops to emulate a classic IPA.
Mellow Hereford – Semi-sweet traditional cider.
Cranberry Mead – Cranberry apple cider back sweetened with fresh apple cider and a hint of honey blood orange mead (honey wine).
Ginger Blueberry – Semi-Sweet with a delicate aroma and rich flavor notes of ginger, lightly back sweetened with fresh apple cider and blueberry.
Mango Lemon – Semi-Sweet with a tropical nose and flavors of mango and lemon.
Muscadine Wine – Semi-Sweet white muscadine wine.
Our visit wasn’t complete without a tour of the property and orchard. John has planted close to four acres of cider apples. The orchard is a work in progress at about two years young, so just a couple more years before they are harvesting fruit from the estate orchard. Until then, John with continue to supplement with local South Carolina grown fruit. The orchard property offers some panoramic views of the distant mountains, and John is continuing the arduous task of clearing the property.
John has restored and renovated a hundred plus year old farmhouse on the front end of the ranch property. Behind the farmhouse are several original barns and sheds and two old growth crabapple trees elegantly spreading about the back yard. The scenic Blue Ridge mountains are visible in postcard worthy views from the yard of the old farmhouse. Eventually, plans are to host barbecues and other events at this historic picturesque site.
I can not stress enough how incredibly fun was our day of tasting and touring at Fat Ass Heifer Cidery. John and his family are charismatically charming and hospitable, and their passion for cider is delightfully on display.
We give our highest recommendation and strongly encourage you to spend a Saturday visiting the Fat Ass Heifer Cidery. Besides, you know you want the t-shirt!
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