Ellie Costello


Ellie Costello made her way to Montana from Virginia after narrowly escaping the sprawl of the Washington D.C. suburbs.

Her career spans a wide range. She has worked in trail maintenance, agriculture, arts centers, tool libraries, yoga studios, environmental NGOs, and of course distilleries, breweries, and now cideries! Most recently, Ellie joined the Western Cider crew after three years as the Executive Director for the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project. 

Since 2011, Ellie has spent her warm seasons growing produce with small-scale sustainable farms from the Bitterroot northward through the Mission valleys. Exploring how to create resilient food systems, she received her M.S. from the University of Montana in Environmental Studies with a focus on sustainable food systems and solutions to a consolidated seed market. Now growing produce for her own farm business Black Bear Soups & Produce, Ellie can occasionally be spotted slinging a ladle or selling decorated garlic at events around Missoula.

There is nothing that gets Ellie more riled up than thinking about community health and agriculture. These days, her love of the two has her raising a glass to talk about the apples harvested from the Billingsley Orchard that create the complex flavors of Western Cider. Salud!

When you don’t see her in the Tasting Room, you might find her at a yoga studio or with her hands in the dirt growing a really good lunch.