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Hard cidery opening in Norton

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Sugar Hill Cidery LLC plans to open a hard cidery and restaurant in Norton, according to Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.

The project, which represents almost half a million dollars in new investment, is expected to create around 57 jobs, including a dozen full-time positions. 

The cidery is a sister company of Sugar Hill Brewing Co. LLC, a craft brewery and restaurant in St. Paul. Sugar Hill Cidery will be located in a soon-to-be renovated former auto dealership owned by the Norton Industrial Development Authority. The city has been working with the state for several years to make the site a center of downtown activity.

“The once vacant building will house an expansion of a Virginia-grown small business, a farmers’ market and an entrepreneurial center, in partnership with U.Va.-Wise, for downtown Norton — creating a destination and entrepreneurial hub for Norton residents, businesses and tourists alike,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement.

Northam approved a $50,000 grant for the project from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which will be matched by local funds. As part of the deal, Sugar Hill has agreed to purchase all of its apples from Virginia suppliers over the next three years.

The city of Norton also received a $480,000 grant to rehabilitate the building from the Department of Housing and Community Developm

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