Meet Benjamin Weaver
Benjamin Weaver moved to Austin in 2008 for graduate school. He spent his time in school focused on physics and engineering, but in 2015 he decided to leave academia with the idea of starting a cidery. Benjamin grew up in Washington state, which happens to be the nation’s top apple-producing and hop-producing state. In 2015, he was starting to see the craft alcohol scene take off in Austin and was familiar with the cider scene back in Washington. He thought the idea of a cidery in Austin would be a good right fit because he felt like it was the craft alcohol that was underserved at the time, especially in Texas.
Benjamin launched Moontown Cider Company in 2017. He initially launched Moontower by himself, with no employees, until he was able to bring on his first employee 3 months later. Benjamin has always been the main maker and oversees everything at the cidery. The original location of Moontown Cider was a tiny production space. They moved to their current location at 1916 Tillery St in 2019. This space was previously a mortuary and they had to completely gut the whole space before they were able to turn the front area into a tasting room and the back into their production space.
Before he opened Moontower Cider, Benjamin was a home fermentor and made both beer and cider. He has always had a passion for cider and the process of making it. Traditional cider-making regions, which are found mostly in Europe, treat cider-making as they do wine-making. This process uses techniques such as fermenting out the fruit juices as well as using wine yeast. Moontower makes traditional cider the same way. Using apples that come mostly from Washington, they focus on the apple itself, allowing flavors to develop over time to bring out its complexity.
So, where did the name Moontower Cider come from? Benjamin was looking for a specific name, something that meant something but also sounded cool and Austiny. Moontowers were a lighting technology developed in the 1890s. They burned a super bright pale blue, but the bulbs burnt out quickly and they were very time-consuming to maintain. Austin bought 31 used moon towers from Detroit in 1895. Today, there are 17 existing towers in Austin, the only known surviving towers in the world.
How to Support Moontower Cider
Moontower Cider is tucked into a residential area, off E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. They host events and encourage everyone in the neighborhood to stop by. Some of their big events include art markets and Cider Week which ends with Cider Fest where all seven Austin-area cideries gather together at Moontower Cider, where you can meet the makers, enjoy product tastings, and meet other local vendors. Cider Week started in 2019 and they hope to continue it on a biannual basis. Keep your eyes open for their next event! You can also book a private event and find more information on their website, or stop by and visit their Tasting Room Wednesday – Saturday from 1 – 9 pm or on Sunday from 1 – 7 pm! And, be sure to check out the full interview on youtube!
… a cat lover and local aficionado, she goes out of her way to discover the best that Austin, Texas has to offer: from local businesses and schools, to local events and entertainment.
Kathy knows Austin.
Kathy knows community.
Kathy knows home.
You want to know what Austin has to offer, and when homes are hitting the market, you want to be the first to know.
Having lived in Austin since 2004, Kathy is your key to unlocking the city.
Interested in moving to the area? Book a chat with Kathy!