A Hard Cider Culture Grows in Washington

From the Puget Sound Food Network / Northwest Ag Business Center

NABC has offered classes in hard cider production since 2009. Recently, though, hard cider is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds (see articles, below).  Domestic cider production has increased from 1.2 million gallons in 2010 to 2.5 million gallons in 2011, and Washington state produced nearly two hundred thousand gallons of cider in 2011.

In 2011 NABC, in partnership with Washington State University and Northwest Cider Association, received a  Specialty Crop Block Grant from the USDA, giving a boost to the emerging hard cider industry in the region.  The grant has been used to support cider research, education and marketing, including the various cider courses NABC offers: Orchard Management: Cider Fruit Production; and Cider Making: Principles and Practice (including two parts — An Understanding of Cider & Perry; and Practical production of Cider & Perry). Through this course, NABC also offers a gateway for amateur cider makers to earn a NACM Certification from the National Association of Cider Makers.

Registration is currently open for the following classes and courses:

Orchard Management classes with Gary Moulton • June 23rd and July 28th.

This course will discuss the basics of tree fruit production, with a focus on cider and dessert varieties. Topics will include rootstock, nutrient management, pest management, irrigation, orchard layout planting, pruning, and harvest techniques.
   

 

Cider Making Principles and Practice PART 1 ONLY – An Understanding of Cider & Perry with Peter Mitchell • June 25 & 26 OR July 23 & 24

This course will provide students with a broad understanding of cider & perry, the cider industry, and the principles & practices of cider production.

   

 

Save the date for Advanced Cider & Perry Production with Peter Mitchell on December 10 – 14, 2012

This course will provide an in-depth understanding of cider microbiology, chemistry, sensory evaluation and technology.  Product development, marketing, and operating a successful cider business will also be addressed.

 

For more information or to register, visit the Northwest Agriculture Business Center website or contact Carolyn Goodrich: carolyn.goodrich@agbizcenter.org or 360-336-3727

Click here to see photos of our June 2010 cider courses

A press release about the cider project was distributed by WSU Communications and enjoyed robust press coverage, including the WSU newsletter On Solid Ground, Capital Press, The Missoulian, Seattle Times and more. NABC’s Executive Director David Bauermeister even coordinated an appearance on KCPQ Q13 local television news on March 13.  Sharing the television spotlight was Jonathan Roozen representing WSU and Sharon Campbell of Tieton Cider Works representing the Northwest Cider Association. Their joint appearance highlighted cider research, production, availability and a growing market for cider in the northwest. Here’s a toast to good cider press!

Here are more recent articles about Washington’s burgeoning hard cider industry:

Cider makers tout fruit ciders at wine event | Seattle Times | April 1, 2012
Federal grants reach specialty crops | Capital Press | January 5, 2012
Tasting Notes: Washington’s Hard Ciders | Seattle Magazine | September 2010