About Us

Hand-crafted cider designed for taste and quality.

At Hawk Knob we hope to provide more than the cider we make; we hope to share a little bit of our culture and Appalachian heritage. Since before, during, and after prohibition, hard cider has been made in our region and throughout much of Appalachia. Many of these ciders were made from heritage apple varieties, wild apples, or a combination of the two. More often than not, these ciders were fermented and aged in used whiskey and bourbon barrels. While barrel aging and barrel influenced ciders are becoming more common these days, and considered by many to be a modern trend, this style of cider making is part of our cultural heritage. Much of what we do at Hawk Knob is an homage to the old-time cider crafters and our Appalachian roots. Hawk Knob ciders might be best enjoyed sitting around a bonfire picking a tune, but we hope you’ll take them with you to new territory. Let us know how it goes.


Enjoy the taste of tradition!

Joshua Bennett

Founding Owner/CEO


Josh grew up on the border of Virginia and West Virginia in a region of Appalachia called the Allegheny Highlands.  He is fond of telling folks that growing up there “if you were old enough to chop wood and make hay, it meant that you were old enough to make and drink hard cider.”  After many travels and ventures he used the GI bill to study Horticulture at WVU, during which time he also went overseas and studied oenology in Europe.  During this time hard cider really started to make a comeback, however, none of what was available resembled those natural barrel aged ciders of his youth.  With a deep desire to get back on the farm, and seeing a hole in the market, Josh put all his effort into what is now Hawk Knob.

William Guðmundsson

Head Cider Maker/Operations Manager


Will Guðmundsson, a proud West Virginia native, studied chemistry at WVU and worked for 5 years in the craft beer industry.  He now combines his knowledge of chemistry, his brewing experience, and passion of his trade in order to craft the fine ciders at Hawk Knob.

Chris Neil

Tasting Room Manager


Chris Neil was born in the coal country of West Virginia and raised on a farm in Nicholas County a couple ridges over from the Gauley River.  Taught from a young age to appreciate Appalachian tradition, the bounty of nature, and how to live off the land and make something out of what was left of the harvest, his father taught him the joy that comes with making a good farm wine out of the things available to them.  In 2016, Chris joined the Hawk Knob crew and started working in production. He found the work he did at Hawk Knob gave him a sense of pride and satisfaction, and allowed him to connect with the heritage of the region by working with cider that’s made in the Appalachian style.  Chris can now be found slinging beverages at the Hawk Knob tasting room where he shares his love for cider, mead, and his West Virginia upbringing, showing a side of this wild and wonderful state to both the people from our mountains and beyond.

Jason Nerenberg

Director of Hospitality & Sales/Account Executive


Jason–raised in Huntington, WV–attended Marshall University before pursuing a career centered around his passion for good food and drinks. After fifteen years in the culinary world, he moved his family to southern West Virginia where Jason dove headfirst into farming and the world of hard cider. He proudly calls himself a reformed city boy, still figuring things out as he goes. Jason enjoys exploring the natural bounty offered up by his home Mountain State as an avid hunter, forager, farmer, and fisher.