This family cidery all started with a long-forgotten chicken ranch in Ramona, California. Family patriarch Pete acquired a neglected chicken ranch with the intent to quickly fix it up and sell. In retrospect, that probably would have been the easy thing to do. But his family would not let this wonderful place go that easily - they loved the atmosphere, the land, and a large oddly-painted barn. There was an old coat of primer on portions of the largest barn that was a lovely shade of sun bleached pale blue that looked turquoise.
Right around this time, Pete's son-in-law Neil had started brewing cider at home after four years of home brewing beer. By pure skill and cidermaking prowess (or luck) He was able to quickly make cider that had everyone asking for refills. He couldn't make the stuff fast enough for the thirsty friends and family, and after a little experimentation came up with the first two cider varieties - these became Apple Pomegranate and the Apple Maple ciders.
It is lost to the annals of time just who suggested it (or we had just been drinking too much cider), but someone put these two circumstances together and had the grand idea to make cider in the large barn on the ranch in Ramona...and sell it. After some thought and prayer, some paperwork, and a meeting on a Tuesday evening around the kitchen table, Turquoise Barn Cider was born. The barn received a fresh coat of turquoise paint that week.
Now the family lives on the premises of the cidery and spends their time preparing, making, selling, and accounting for hard cider. Look below for a quick introduction to each of us. Even better, come meet us at one of the many events we do all over San Diego County!
Pete Lavelle President & CEO
Our fearless leader, he had the vision to bring together all the details to put everyone's favorite Turquoise Barn to its proper use - making delicious cider! Always the stickler for detail and quality, he has made sure that wells were functioning, the houses were ready to hold the entire cidermaking clan, and that everyone has all the tools they need to do the job right. Of course, he is always available for taste testing, and was happy to lend his closet for the fermentation of the first pre-production batches. You won't be able to find anyone more loaded with stories after a lifetime in Southern California. And make sure you ask the latin names of all the apple trees - he'd be happy to tell you those, their origins, fruiting intervals, plant spacing, fertilization schedule....just grab another cider and let him keep talking about plants. You should get a free pint out of the deal.
Patty Lavelle CFO
Perpetually quick with a smile, our lovely financier is more than happy to keep this operation running smoothly...as long as there is plenty of sweet cider in it for her at the end of the day. She won't be truly happy until we make something flavored like cake icing (which we're working on, but far from perfected). She has been unflinching in her support and efforts to make sure we never lose sight of our goal to make the best hard cider we can. All the while, she asks the sometimes difficult questions so that we don't make any hasty decisions. If you see her around, ask her about her four kids or her grandbabies - they're probably jumping in a dirt pile behind the barn and she would love to show them off.
Neil Kennedy Director of Operations & Head Cidermaker
You can't miss this guy - he's a former defensive lineman who keeps up his form by hauling cider around. Unfortunately for his waistline, he also keeps up his form by eating enough to feed a small army. But we keep him around because he can make some pretty tasty cider. The early days were filled with brewing from online recipes and filling Pete's closet with jug after jug of tasty fermentables. Now he is running our craft cidermaking operation and is always around meticulously checking gravities, mixing, filtering, fermenting, and waiting...for all of us to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Sarah Kennedy Director of Marketing
Our grand marketeer has pretty much purchased every piece of turquoise clothing she could find in order to make sure we were all outfitted to properly advertise our favorite brand of cider. She has her fingerprints on every piece of the cidery, and even picked out the shade of turquoise that went on the Barn. From events and banners, to labeling and logos she does it all while raising three great kids (yes, the ones who play in the dirt and chase chickens). Say hello if you notice her around - hopefully she's pouring you your favorite hard cider.