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ANXO Cidery’s Nevertheless Is Unabashedly Bold, Balanced, and Brave



The image on the bright pink can shows a female, shall we say, creature, raising her left arm confidently in the air, hand clenched into a fist. The other arm is by her side, hand gripping a burning torch. The long-haired, woolly figure has two horns protruding from her head, and her face holds the look of a self-assured warrior who is ready for battle.

The image is of Basandere, the female counterpart to Basajaun, which is a character in Basque mythology that means “Lord of the Woods” and is otherwise known as ANXO. The Basque creature so inspired three cidermakers out of Washington, D.C, that they named their business after it. And in the company’s latest release, Nevertheless Dry Cider, it is paying homage to women warriors of the cider world and beyond.

This is the second year ANXO Cidery has released Nevertheless, a limited-edition cider that raises funds for organizations that raise up women during Women’s History Month. The name, of course, comes from the “Nevertheless, she persisted” phrase, and this year’s recipe is a blend of American, Dutch and French heirloom apples sourced from Vermont and Pennsylvania.

For the project, ANXO teamed up with Vermont-based Eden Specialty Ciders and hopes to raise more than $12,000 for Planned Parenthood—a nonprofit that delivers vital reproductive health care nationwide—and other D.C.-area organizations. In fact, on each can, there is a call to action to help support the cause.

Last year, Nevertheless raised more than $6,000 for women’s organizations, half of which went to Planned Parenthood, according to ANXO co-founder and co-owner Rachel Fitz. “We knew we wanted to choose an organization that focused on women’s health and that had a reach beyond Washington, D.C.,” she said about supporting Planned Parenthood. But there was also a larger benefactor of the cause. “Our goal for Women’s Month is to highlight amazing women in a variety of fields who often get left out of the spotlight. Nevertheless is our way of celebrating women cider makers who often get overlooked in a male-dominated industry.”

ANXO’s Rachel Fitz (co-founder and co-owner), her brother Sam Fitz (co-founder and president) and Greg Johnson (cider maker) | Courtesy of ANXO Cidery

ANXO’s partner cidery, Eden Specialty, is also woman-run. Fitz said working with Eleanor Leger of Eden is a highlight for her. “The collaborative energy that comes out of this whole month is so inspiring and gives us fuel for the rest of the year,” Fitz added.

ANXO Cidery prides itself in keeping ingredients local and making delicious, Spanish-style dry cider without additives—ensuring the products are naturally low carb, gluten free and completely sugar free. Nevertheless is a shining example of their craft, with a crisp, bright apple explosion of taste, a natural sweetness you could only get from actually biting into a fresh apple picked right from the tree. At 6.9% ABV, Nevertheless does pack a punch, but it’s so subtle, you might forget you’re sipping fermented juice.

Fitz said the ultimate goal of Nevertheless is to encourage other establishments across the country to set up their own fundraising efforts for Planned Parenthood and highlight incredible women in all industries. “We also hope to shed light on women, girls, transgender and non-binary individuals, whether in the cider industry or not, who are often overlooked,” she added.

ANXO has committed to matching every dollar raised by the end up March up to $6,000. For more information or to help with the initiative, go to their website. Even if you’re social distancing in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, you can also purchase a 12-pack of Nevertheless for $44.99 online.

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