Bruce Nissen, co-founder of LDB Beverage Company, and a board member of the United States Association of Cider Makers, is one of the most critically decorated cider makers in the U.S. His experience and knowledge of the industry spans from boutique to industrial, and his pragmatic, occasion-based cider development philosophy reveals a strong understanding of the economics of the hard cider and adjacent industries.
In 2004, Bruce co-founded Fox Barrel Cider Company. Over the next five years, Nissen was responsible for all elements of the fastest growing company in the hard cider industry. The growth continued after merger with Crispin Cider Company, which Nissen helped to found in 2008. Crispin enjoyed three consecutive years of 300% sales growth while bringing unprecedented innovation to the Hard Cider Market. Its product & packaging innovation and highly successful barrel aged program all fueled the company’s growth, bringing new consumption occasions for cider to consumers. Nearly all cider category innovation over the past several years can be traced back to product concepts developed under the Crispin and Fox Barrel brands.
In 2012, The Crispin and Fox Barrel brands were acquired by MillerCoors. Shortly after, Nissen worked with a team to finalize and actualize MillerCoors’ Smith and Forge hard cider brand. Wholly produced outside the MillerCoors production network, this product required an extensive educational and capacities effort between several different groups of stakeholders to meet its launch date. Concurrently he developed into an educator, focusing on cider category development and sales focus to both MillerCoors employees and its distributor network.
Nissen is also Co-Founder of the newly established Jester & Judge.