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Mt. Defiance creates award-winning, handcrafted, small batch hard cider and spirits. We are proud to serve our products and welcome you to stop by to try them. Tastings of our ciders are always available! Our two stores  — the Cider Barn and the Distillery — are both located in historic Middleburg, Virginia.

Our Philosophy

Cider is finally coming back into its own as America’s table drink, a position it enjoyed during Colonial times and throughout the 19th Century. Today, especially here in Virginia where we obtain our cider and produce it, you see the different schools of thought concerning cider: from the traditional farm cideries where classic cider apples are pressed and the juice fully fermented with only yeast added, to the cutting edge cider makers who are influenced by the craft beer movement and infuse and co-ferment a riotous blend of new and historic natural flavors into their ciders.

Our Ciders

At our Cidery, Mount Defiance is very proud to offer classic and craft ciders. We have traditional farmhouse blends of dry cider and do a single variety cider, but we also love to infuse fresh ginger for a serious ginger flavored cider and we run a full spectrum of infused and co-fermented ciders ranging from honey (cyser) to blueberries to our five pepper cider, designed to stand up to barbecues. Every season brings different flavors to entice our customers.

Our style can best be described as eclectic and accessible, for we believe there should be a cider to suit a wide variety of tastes and food pairings. Come pay us a visit and taste for yourself.

Our Spirits

Mt. Defiance Distillery focuses on the revival of classic spirits. We bring the best of craft distilling to the process with attention to quality ingredients sourced locally whenever possible.

Our distiller explores the world of “lost spirits,” those that had fallen out of favor either due to post-Prohibition mass production methods, out-of-date laws, or both. Our absinthe and cassis liqueur are products of this approach. We also honor Middleburg, our colonial-era town, with one of the most popular spirits of that time, rum. 

For a small distillery, we offer a wide portfolio of spirits, all made with the same attention to detail. Many of our products are available in Virginia ABC stores and restaurants and at select stores in Washington, DC. All are available for tasting at our distillery.

Our Leadership

Marc Chretien

Marc is the managing partner and cider maker for Mt. Defiance.  He spent seven years as a State Department political adviser to the combatant commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan before deciding that growing Cider apples and fermenting the juice was a safer and quieter career choice.  As an original investor/partner in Stowe Cider, a New England regional cider, Marc learned the art of blending different varieties of apples to produce a classic hard cider.  He lives in Arlington,VA, with his wife Betsy and daughter Anna.

Peter Ahlf

Peter worked on the U.S. space program for 22 years (yes, he really is a rocket scientist), including sixteen years of service at NASA headquarters. He switched gears to custom woodworking before joining Mt. Defiance as our lead distiller.  Since 2015, he has applied his knowledge of engineering and craft, and hobbies of home brewing and herb gardening, to personally develop the wide range of spirits that we produce today.  He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Peggy.



Come visit our Cider Barn in Middleburg, Virginia to sample our delicious ciders. You will not be disappointed!


Come visit our Distillery in downtown Middleburg, Virginia to sample our award-winning spirits and delicious ciders. You will not be disappointed!


Mt. Defiance Cider Barn
495 E. Washington Street
Middleburg, VA 20117

Mt. Defiance Distillery
207 W. Washington Street
Middleburg, VA 20118


Mt. Defiance Cider Barn
Tuesday-Sunday:  12:00p-6:00p
Monday:  CLOSED

Mt. Defiance Distillery
Monday-Sunday:  12:00p-6:00p


Mt. Defiance creates handcrafted, small batch hard ciders and spirits. Our two stores are located in historic Middleburg, Virginia.


At our Cider Barn, we offer tastings of our delicious ciders in our beautiful tasting hall. At our Distillery, we offer tastings of our ciders as well as tastings of our fine spirits.

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