The Bull Makes A Home In Cary

Photography courtesy of Bull City Ciderworks

Crack open a cold one and get ready to celebrate, because Bull City Ciderworks is now in Cary! 

To commemorate their recent grand opening, we reached out to John Clowney, CEO at Bull City Ciderworks, to give us the lowdown on Cary’s first cider cocktail bar. 


Bull City Ciderworks CEO, John Clowney

I grew up in Winston-Salem, NC, and attended Wake Forest University for a BS in Analytical Finance and a MS in Accountancy. I began my career in New York City, before moving to Philadelphia and ultimately relocating to Raleigh in May 2011. Once in the Triangle, I reconnected with some friends from high school and college, and we started home brewing cider in the backyard. Our first ciders were a failure and tasted more like vinegar than cider, but after some trials we perfected the process and started the business commercially. Our first location was located on S. Elizabeth Street in downtown Durham; it has since been demolished and is now the site of the parking garage for the Durham Police headquarters. We are now located at 305 S. Roxboro St. in Durham, 599 S. Railroad St. in Lexington, 504 State St. in Greensboro, 210 E. Chatham St. in Cary, and we’ll be announcing another location this week that will open this summer!  

What led you to Cary?

Wake County has always been an important piece of our business, whether through visits to the Durham taproom, distribution or home deliveries during the pandemic. We entered 2020 already looking at spaces in Raleigh and Cary with intentions to open that year, but the pandemic shifted our expansion plans. While delivering cider to doorsteps during the pandemic, we noticed a strong demand in the Cary area and decided to fully explore a potential location here. The transformation of Cary to create a real downtown vibe ultimately led us to the spot on Chatham Street. We love the mix of tenants, the vibrancy, and really believe it represents a great business community partnering together to create a stronger downtown. 

How is the Cary location different?  

The Cary location represents our nicest finishes of any location. It’s our first taproom with actual flooring as opposed to just sealed concrete! All three of our other locations are warehouses that were converted, so it’s different being in a building that is mostly new construction. We love adaptive reuse of real estate, like the converted warehouses, but the Cary location is definitely one of the coolest buildings and projects with which we have been involved. The front portion of our building is the historic Williams House, and the rest of the three-story property was developed around that core. As the anchor tenant, we are on the primary floor and have converted part of the historical structure into soft seating lounge space. In terms of offerings, we have our ciders, guest beers and wine like we do at all of our locations, but Cary is our first location offering craft cider-based cocktails! 

What are some customer favorites?

Flights! Customers love the option to try a variety of our core and seasonal ciders. Cherry Tart remains the most popular draft cider at every location including distributed accounts, but don’t sleep on the Off Main, our classic apple that’s about 50% of our total production. The new cocktails at the Cary location are wonderful and customers are loving the spicy strawberry margarita made with El Matador, which is our strawberry habanero cider.

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