Oregon Cider Week returns January 2024!

Oregon Cider Week is Coming!

January 13-21, 2024

WHAT: Oregon Cider Week is returning January 2024 for a statewide celebration of cider, featuring tastings, tap takeovers, meet the maker events, pairing dinners, limited releases and more. Produced by the non-profit NW Cider Association (NWCA) and sponsored by Columbia Distributing, this nine day event taps into the buzz of excitement around CiderCon®, the world’s largest cider conference, which will be held in Portland that week for the first time in nearly a decade. CiderCon® will bring 1,000+ attendees into the city, including makers and apple growers from around the world.

Oregon is home to nearly 80 cideries, and Portlanders enjoy the honor of drinking more cider per capita than anywhere else in the world. Through Oregon Cider Week and CiderCon®, the city is poised to bring together cider professionals and enthusiasts with one-of-a-kind consumer events that offer a taste of the region’s bounty.

WHEN: Saturday 1/13/24 to Sunday 1/21/24

WHERE: Throughout Oregon! A wide range of events showcasing the Northwest’s vibrant cider culture and award winning ciders are being planned at local dives, high end restaurants, grocery stores, iconic event spaces and cidery tasting rooms throughout the state. Highlights include:

  • Loyal Legion “Kickoff Party” & Loyal 24: 24 taps of cider poured at 2 locations for 7 days, with a kickoff party on 1/15/24.

  • Hinterland Bar & RAW Cider Cocktail Special: Sip cider cocktails paired with food cart offerings.

  • Lawless BBQ x Bauman’s Cider: Indulge in cider-infused smoked meats and more.

  • Westward Whiskey (1/16/24): Tours, tastings and shenanigans celebrating the intersection of cider and spirits.

  • OMSI & Cider Production (1/17/24): A multi-cidery tasting and educational event with live music, lectures and treats hosted at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, hosted by 2 Towns Ciderhouse.

  • Schilling Cider House Comedy Showcase (1/18/24): Laugh out loud with Hear You Loud and Queer.

  • McMenamins “Wassail Cider Fest” (1/20/24): The 7th annual event turned up a notch!

  • Artisans by Cider Summit (1/20/24): 32 ciders crafted by 16 of the world’s leading producers! Tickets include cider, food pairings and souvenir glass.

HOW: Visit  oregonciderweek.com for event details, an interactive map, or to sign up  for the email list. Events will be updated regularly, or follow along on IG at @orciderweek and on Facebook @oregonciderweek

American Cider Association’s Cider Is For Everyone Scholarship Application NOW OPEN!

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce the continuation of their Cider Is For Everyone Scholarship program for CiderCon® 2024. This scholarship is designed to bring historically marginalized groups to CiderCon® to increase the accessibility of cider education and jump-start the careers and ownership-pathways of these cider professionals.

The scholarship package includes: registration to CiderCon® 2024 (including travel and lodging) and the entire suite of ACA’s Certified Cider Professional educational programming leading up to sitting for the Certified Pommelier™ exam  (Level 1 CCP training and certification exam, two Certified Pommelier™sensory webinars; the Certified Pommelier™ study guide, and the registration fee for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam).

Applications are now being accepted and the deadline to apply is December 5. Those interested in applying can fill out the application form here. Recipients will be contacted to schedule a brief interview. CiderCon® 2024 takes place January 16 – January 19, 2024 in Portland, Oregon

This scholarship is part of a broader effort by the ACA to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the cider industry. In 2019 the ACA launched the Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee which recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an important and necessary part of present and future successes of the cider industry. This committee structures its work around a belief that existing structures of power, privilege and discrimination must be actively questioned and evaluated in order to create equitable opportunities in an environment that embraces and values our differences. They strive to create events, opportunities and organizational policies that embody these values, and to continue evaluating these practices for sustained growth and improvement.

“This scholarship is one of our best tools for fostering a more diverse cider industry” says Michelle McGrath, CEO of the ACA. “The scholarship needs to work in lock step with our efforts to create a more inclusive industry so that, as we have more diverse CiderCon® attendees, they are surrounded by a welcoming community and equitable environment.”

Meet The Scholarship Coordinator

Olivia Pener’s passion for food and drink, and the way they bring people together, was ignited as a small child whose large family always gathered over meals in the kitchen. That flame was stoked by her experiences growing up in her family’s restaurant and being surrounded by multicultural foodways in St. Louis, MO. Now, after almost 20 years in the service industry and the nonprofit world, she brings her fervor for people and palates to the American Cider Association as their “Cider is for Everyone” Scholarship Coordinator. A recipient of the scholarship herself, Olivia was welcomed into the world of cider with open arms. She is excited to contribute to the growth and evolution of the cider industry as a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and dynamic environment for all. She lives in Mid-Missouri with her two cats, Felix and Nermal, and her Chihuahua mix, Swiper.

Have questions about the scholarship? Reach out to Olivia with any questions you might have!

CiderCon® 2024 to Be Held in Portland, Oregon

American Cider Association Brings Largest Cider Conference in The World to The “City of Roses”

October 4th, 2023 (Portland, OR) – The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that CiderCon® 2024 will take place in Portland, Oregon from January 16-19, 2024. The largest cider conference in the world, CiderCon® 2024 will bring more than 1000 attendees to the city and surrounding areas for tours, tastings, educational workshops, networking opportunities, a trade show and more.

“It’s been eight years since we held CiderCon® here, and we’re thrilled to be back in the City of Roses,” says ACA CEO, Michelle McGrath. “Portlanders drink more cider per capita than any other city, so visiting attendees will feel right at home,” adds McGrath. This year, visiting attendees include Swedish and Norwegian cidermakers who are at the forefront of their own cider renaissance. “There’s a cider revolution going on in the Nordics, so we’re looking forward to sharing their experiences and ciders with attendees.”

The conference coincides with Oregon Cider Week (January 13-21, 2024), a statewide celebration of cider, featuring events for both aficionados and the cider-curious, hosted by the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA).

The two trade non-profits have been working with teams on the ground in the state of Oregon and beyond to create several tour options for CiderCon® attendees and media, including overnight adventures that explore both Oregon and Washington cidermaking regions. Together, the two states produce about 70% of the country’s apples, and are home to 165 cideries, making the area ripe for sourcing talent for the educational sessions.

A full range of workshop sessions will cover cider production, marketing, sales, branding, sensory evaluation, compliance, business strategy, orcharding and more. The ACA will once again partner with the Cider Institute of North America (CINA) to develop the cider production sessions.

“Despite increasing competition in the beverage alcohol space, cider has maintained its status as a mainstay beverage category, with year after year growth in local and regional cider brands across the country,” says McGrath, referring to cider’s growing popularity nationwide.  In fact, regional and local cider was up 10.4% for the 52 week period ending on September 9th for chain retail measured by NIQ via 3 Tier Beverages.

The extensive trade show, presented by long standing ACA partner FruitSmart, will feature more than 100 vendors and be held at the Oregon Convention Center, with accommodations and other activities provided at the Hyatt Regency Hotel located just next door.

Tickets to CiderCon® are available now and are $435 for ACA members and $725 for the public, when booked by December 4th. After that date, member registration rates rise to $500 and public tickets go to $800. Ticket price includes the opening general session on Thursday morning, access to educational sessions, networking events, the trade show, and lunch on Thursday and Friday. Bulk pricing is available for groups of 5 or more.

More information about the wide array of events and educational sessions being offered as well as registration can be found on the CiderCon® website, and follow @cidercon on X or @pickcider on Instagram for the latest news. CiderCon® is an ACA event produced with the generous support of our members and ACA’s premier sponsor, FruitSmart.

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Cider Share at CiderCon® 2024

Get ready to raise a glass and toast to the start of CiderCon® 2024! Join us for our beloved welcoming reception, Cider Share, on Wednesday, January 17 from 5:00 to 7:30pm. Sip on some of the finest ciders while mingling with fellow cider folks from around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned cidermaker or a newbie to the industry, the Cider Share reception is the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and kick off an unforgettable conference.

At Cider Share, attendees will have the chance to sample ciders from a variety of cidermakers from all over. Not only will you get to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and styles, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the ciders from the cidermakers and their staff. Plus, with 600 people in attendance, Cider Share is a great way to connect with other cidermakers from your region and mingle with fellow CiderCon® attendees.

Tickets for Cider Share are only $20, so be sure to add it to your registration process before it’s too late!

And if you’re a cidermaker yourself, consider applying to pour your ciders at Cider Share. Cideries will be chosen through a lottery system, with considerations given to geography and style. Fill out the application form here. Deadline to apply is October 31 or when space has filled up. Two pourers will be allowed per company. All other company employees must purchase tickets to attend Cider Share.

CiderCon® 2024 Tasting Sessions

Tasting sessions have long been one of the most popular features of CiderCon®. Attendees can gain a wealth of knowledge while sipping on ciders that delve into the styles, production practices, flavors, and terroir available. Below you will find the CiderCon® 2024 tasting sessions outlined with dates and times as well as cost per session. It is important to note that some of these sessions may overlap, so be sure to check the schedule carefully. Don’t forget to add on any tastings that catch your eye during the registration process, as they are sure to sell out quickly!

An Introduction to Low-ABV & Non-Alcoholic Cider Production

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 10:30-11:45 AM

Cost: $12

This session will provide a basic overview of the various methods that can be used to produce low-ABV and non-alcoholic (NA) ciders, including a brief introduction to the technologies and regulations that may be associated with NA cider production. We will not be covering sparkling juice production, Participants will taste a range of products and should walk away with insight into various methods that might be employed to produce low-ABV and NA products, and the knowledge that there are different regulatory hurdles associated with NA production. Attendees will learn about different methods of low-ABV production, different methods of non-alcoholic production, technologies associated with NA production, and regulatory matters associated with NA production.

Breaking Boundaries: Cider Hybrids with Beer and Grape Wine

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 10:30-11:45 AM

Cost: $12

An increasing number of cidermakers, winemakers, and brewers are experimenting with hybrids that break down what is typically expected from stand-alone beverages. By crossing boundaries between categories, the outcomes of these blends and co-fermentations offer exciting new flavors. Join this session to hear from producers about different approaches to hybrid products and considerations when unifying cider, wine and beer. Attendees will taste cider/grape wine hybrids from North America and grafs from the U.K. and Sweden, where beer/cider hybrids have been a key to bringing new consumers into the fold of cider.

Comparing the Effect of Yeast Inoculation Rate on Fermentation Kinetics, Chemical and Aroma Compounds in Cider Fermentations

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 2:00-3:15 PM

Cost: $12

Yeast produce different types and concentrations of aroma compounds as a function of yeast strain type, fermentation conditions, raw ingredients, and juice treatments. The sensory profile of cider is significantly associated with yeast selection and the quality of cider is dependent upon predictable fermentation outcomes. During yeast metabolism subtle changes in yeast cell inoculum level, determine rate of cell division, nitrogen demand, and availability of aroma precursors. It is generally accepted in the wine world, that 106 yeast cells/mL should allow the fermentation to proceed predictably and completely with little to no residual sugar remaining; while under inoculating leads to sluggish and stuck fermentations. However, recent research in wine and beer has suggested that yeast inoculation rate can be used to drive aroma production toward an increase in positive aromas. Speakers in this advanced level sensory session will explore the effect of yeast inoculum size on the production of aroma compounds both positive and negative in a cider fermentation, by decreasing cell count to accommodate the limited carbohydrate and nitrogen present in apple juice destined for fermentation. Attendees will learn more about yeast metabolism and how yeast inoculation rates can be used to drive cider style and quality.

Nordic Approaches to Cidermaking

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 3:45-5:00 PM

Cost: $16

This year, we’re excited to welcome a delegation of Nordic cidermakers to CiderCon®. Join this session for a unique opportunity to try ciders from Norway and Sweden and learn about different production styles and techniques used in the region.

Pear Necessities: The Fruits and Flavours of International Perry

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 3:45-5:00 PM

Cost: $12

Riding the wave of the cider revolution, perry – perhaps the world’s best-kept drinks secret – has gradually been ascending too. In the UK, continental Europe, the USA and beyond, makers and drinkers are waking up to the unique qualities of the fermented pear. In this session Adam Wells, founder-editor of Cider Review and currently writing his first book, Perry: A Drinker’s Guide, will lead a panel discussion and tasting of some of the best perries from around the world.

The Ancestral Method: Between Science & Art

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 10:00-11:15 AM

Cost: $12

This very traditional method in France makes it possible to produce sparkling ciders, fermented in bottles, while preserving some residual sugars of the apple without adding anti-yeasts or using pasteurization. Willamette Valley is home to some renowned winemakers using this technique, and more and more cidermakers are experimenting with the Ancestral Method. Hear from experts about production considerations, ways to identify the critical points, and keys to success of this demanding method, between science and art. Attendees will walk away having understood the particularities, advantages and disadvantages of the ancestral method compared to other carbonation methods. They will be able to identify the critical points and keys to success of this demanding method, between science and art.

Harvest Harmony: Exploring the Potential of Apple and Stone Fruit Co-Ferments

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 10:00-11:15 AM

Cost: $12

This session’s goal is to examine the extent of the possibilities of what apples plus+ can do. Co-ferments have been adopted across the fermentation world as a fun and exciting entry point both for producers and consumers alike. This session will focus on two different co-ferment mediums that are added with apples to produce something greater than the sum of their parts. This session will talk about making co-ferments but will focus on how these cider into a portfolio of offerings and how to engage with consumers about their nature, flavor and personality.

Evaluating Ciders for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 11:30-12:30 PM

Ticketed Session: $10

Participants will practice evaluating ciders using the ACA’s Structured Sensory Evaluation process guided by Certified Pommeliers™ Darlene Hayes and Tim Godfrey. This session will teach you how to objectively assess any cider, empowering you in the cidery and in assisting customers to find a cider they love while also helping you to prepare for the Certified Pommelier™ exam.

Fruit Foraging for Commercial Cider Production in New York & Beyond

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 2:00-3:15 PM

Cost: $12

Cider producers in many parts of the country are foraging apples to use in their commercial products. Some producers do this as an inexpensive way to obtain apples, others are finding unique quality attributes from the foraged fruit, and still others believe that foraging is a way to discover climate resilient genotypes that can be propagated and grown in orchard settings. In this panel discussion, Cornell and Rutgers scientists will share results from a project that interviewed dozens of producers in the Northeastern US about their foraging practices, and then chemically analyzed the foraged fruit, as well as genotyped the trees to learn about the pedigree of the trees. Commercial cider producers will be on the panel to share their stories, as well as their ciders made from foraged apples. Attendees will learn about the scale and scope of foraging, the reasons why producers are foraging, and the quality of cider made from foraged fruit.

New Frontiers in Traditional European Cider Regions

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 2:00-3:15PM

Cost: $12

In an increasingly global cider community the exchange of information is leading to truly impressive innovations in both traditional and emerging cider producing regions. This panel of international cider experts will discuss the exciting new developments taking place across Europe. Traditional ciders may have their steadfast supporters, but in order to capture new consumers innovation is essential. This panel of writers, researchers,  judges, and consultants, have a broad understanding of cider in all its forms, and will present some of the most innovative ciders from their regions.

Using Amphora & Terracotta Vessels in Cider Production

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 3:45-5:00 PM

Cost: $12

Clay vessels have been used to ferment, store, and transport beverages since 6000 B.C. and a new wave of producers are rediscovering amphora and terracotta as a breathable, sustainable, and durable option for making cider. Andrew Beckham, the first commercial producer of terra cotta Amphorae for winemaking, cidermaking, and brewing in North America, will walk through the process of making his Novum fermenters and how to use them and care for them. Producers will discuss how they craft their ciders using terracotta, and what considerations to have when fermenting in amphora. This will also include a tasting of their ciders.

The Pasteurization Primer: Starting Out and Scaling Up

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 3:45-5:00 PM

Cost: $12

Anyone can pasteurize cider at any size! Learn the science, data tracking, and practical methods to start with test batches and scale up to a hundred cases per day and beyond. We will start with a brief overview of stability concerns, needs, and common methods for cider, then hone in on pasteurization theory, best practices, equipment options, and solutions for small to medium sized cideries. Topics include temperature monitoring, DIY small-scale bath pasteurization, batch pasteurizers, small tunnel pasteurizers, and brief discussion of many interrelated stability and packaging parameters. There will be a sensory tasting of pasteurized cider at different levels. Attendees will learn what a PU is, how to determine target min/max PUs, deciding what equipment options are right for you, and tips for how to scale.

CiderCon® 2024 Tours

From the mountains to the valleys, from the cities to the farms and rural communities, these CiderCon® 2024 tours will explore the diverse natural beauty, apple growing regions, and cider traditions of the Great Northwest.

What to Know Before You Go:

  • Scheduled departure times are subject to change.  Please contact Emily to confirm timing before making travel plans.
  • All tours will involve decent amounts of walking and may involve mud, rough terrain, stairs and/or inclement weather. Please come prepared with sturdy walking shoes and clothing for all weather possibilities.

One Day Tours

Columbia Gorge Cidery & Brewery Tour

Tuesday, January 16, 8:30 AM – 5:45 PM

Cost: $110

Visit three fermentation focused businesses in the scenic Columbia River Gorge that make both cider and beer: Double Mountain, Mt View Orchards, and Working Hands Fermentation. We’ll tour production spaces and tasting rooms to see how these businesses attract both the local community and tourists, both beer and cider drinkers. Tour cost includes tastings, lunch, and transportation.

Visit:

Portland’s Quirky Culinary Adventure: Exploring Weird and Wonderful Food and Cider Pairings

Tuesday, January 16, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Cost: $100

Indulge your senses in a culinary adventure like no other as we take you on a journey through the heart of Portland, Oregon, where food, cider, and culture collide in a tantalizing fusion of flavors and experiences. This tour features 5 unique locations, with multiple pairings at each location. Don’t miss out on this chance to celebrate the vibrant culinary scene of this beautiful city, known for its diverse and quirky offerings and world-renowned ciders.

Co-Existing & Co-Fermenting in the Willamette Valley Cider & Wine Region

Tuesday, January 16, 8:30 AM – 5:45 PM

Cost: $110

The Willamette Valley, just south of Portland, contains two-thirds of Oregon’s wineries and vineyards. It’s also home to fabulous cideries, many of them using the bounty of the region to make co-ferments. On this tour we’ll visit four cideries and orchards to chat about how they coexist in wine country and taste their ciders. Tour cost includes tastings, lunch, and transportation.

Visit:

2 Towns Ciderhouse Open House

Wednesday, January 17, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Cost: $20

Catch a ride to 2 Towns Ciderhouse – Oregon’s largest craft cider producer – for a special CiderCon Open House. Tour the 2 Towns production space, meet with cidermakers, and mingle with CiderCon attendees under the big tent. Lunch and snacks from food trucks and more than 20 ciders will be available for purchase.

Overnight Tours

Olympic Peninsula Cider Tour

Monday, January 15, 12:00 PM – Tuesday, January 16, 6:15 PM

Cost: $295

Journey north to discover the beauty and history of the cideries, orchards, and lands of the Olympic Peninsula. This two day tour will visit two cideries, one cidery event space, and a new cider education facility. Tour cost includes tastings at 3 stops, dinner, lunch, breakfast, hotel, and transportation. In addition to the official tour agenda, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Fort Worden Historical Park where we will stay overnight in historic officer’s homes.

Visit:

Production Tour: Seattle & Surrounds

Overnight Full Tour Cost: $395

Monday, January 15, 9:00 AM – Tuesday, January 16, 6:00 PM

From small DIY to high tech high volume, this tour will visit 4 Seattle area cideries showcasing different production facility scales and styles. On this 2 day tour of production facilities you’ll visit Schilling Cider, Seattle Cider Company, Locust Cider, and Greenwood Cider Company. We’ll also make time for a tasting at Yonder Cider’s taproom and a cider pairing dinner at Capitol Cider. Tour cost includes tastings at each stop, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 hotel night in Seattle, and transportation to and from Portland. In addition to the official tour agenda, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Ballard brewery district and Capitol Hill neighborhood on your own.

Visit:

Partial Tour Cost: $100

Tuesday, January 16, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Live in the Seattle area? Join the Seattle tour for a cider pairing dinner at Capitol Cider on Monday evening and all activities on Tuesday 1/16. Bring your luggage and meet at the hotel in Seattle on Tuesday morning  You’ll meet the tour and catch a ride to Portland.

Visit:

Volunteer at CiderCon® 2024!

 

Fall is here and with the apples being picked all over this fair country, we can’t help but think of all the new ciders that will soon be bubbling away in fermentation vessels! Which also brings to mind the pleasant thought of another CiderCon® in the works! This year CiderCon® will once again be held in Portland, Oregon after an eight year hiatus. We’re already lining up an amazing assortment of tours, trainings, tastings, and educational sessions, not to mention the trade show, that we hope will help cidermakers thrive in 2024 and beyond. That being said, it takes a village to put on CiderCon® and we’re asking for your help. We are looking for volunteers for CiderCon® 2024 in Portland and we would love to have you join us!

Who’s Elegible?

  • Are you a cidery making less than 25,000 gallons?
  • Are you a cider enthusiast who would like to meet some of your favorite cidermakers?
  • Are you a cidery in planning interested in learning from fellow cidermakers?

Then you are elegible! If you have questions about whether or not your eligible, email Woodley.

What’s expected of you as a volunteer? 

It’s simple! 5 hours of your time between Monday, January 15 and Friday, January 19, including serving for at least 2 tastings (if physically able) within those 5 hours. That’s it!

What’s in it for you? 

Tons! Your registration fee for CiderCon® will be waived! All general sessions and workshops will be open to you. While this does exclude paid tours or tastings, you will still be able to sign up and pay for these opportunities when you register for CiderCon®. That means that other than your volunteer shifts, the rest of the time is yours to check out the amazing sessions, tastings, trade show, etc. that make CiderCon® so wonderful to attend!

How do I sign up?

Please sign up on Bloomerang Volunteer if you’re interested in volunteering at CiderCon® 2024! Our Volunteer Coordinator, Woodley Smith, will be in touch with you as soon as more details are firmly in place.

If you have any questions, please contact Woodley Smith.

2023 NW Cider Cup Winners Announced

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The region’s most competitive cider and perry cup celebrates a record breaking 10th year!

PORTLAND, OREGON (June 16, 2023)

2023 NW Cider Cup  winners were announced Thursday evening, at Polaris Hall in Portland, Oregon. Simultaneously, results of this competitive showdown of cider and perry excellence streamed live on Northwest Cider Association’s instagram feed @nwcider

The Portland crowd, a vibrant grouping of nearly 200 makers, industry professionals and cider enthusiasts, donning dress-to-impress attire, cheered enthusiastically at each accolade. “The cider community in our region is very passionate and innovative,” NW Cider Association’s Executive Director, Emily Ritchie states. The competition’s playful Best Dressed Award, selected live from amongst attendees on award night, is an annual crowd favorite. 

2023 was a record breaking year receiving 279 entries, from 51 unique commercial cider and perry makers across Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia. In this banner year, entries competed in 19 categories, for up to 57 medals - one possible gold, silver and bronze per category. “Something that sets The Cup apart is how competitive it is to win.” Ritchie says. This year, only 19% of all entries were awarded. “These medals really matter,” she concludes. The 2023 Best of Show went to Alpenfire Cider from Washington for Glow-Airlie Red Flesh Single Varietal in the Red-Fleshed Dry Category. The Best of Show Runner-Up went to Yonder Cider also in Washington for their Barrel Aged Perry in the High-Tannin Perry Category.

2023 Best of Show Runner Up - Barrel Aged Perry, Yonder Cider (WA) and 2023 Best of Show - Glow - Airlie Red Flesh Single Varietal, Alpenfire Cider (WA)

NW Cider Cup, the region’s longest standing, most competitive blind judging of ciders and perries, has been organized since 2016 by the Northwest Cider Association, a regional non-profit that is nearly 100 cidery members strong. The Cup, founded a decade ago by local cidermakers aims to inspire and maintain high quality. That purpose remains a priority today. “Cidermakers want to win, but they’re also really rooting for each other.” Ritchie notes. “When NW makers take home gold and cider fans notice, the whole category benefits. This is a collaborative and supportive community.” 

51 total medals were awarded to 24 cideries in 2023. Entries increased by 12%, from 241 in 2022, following a 60% increase in entries from 2021 to 2022. Low Tannin Dry, Single Varietal, Red-Fleshed Sweet and 16 other categories were evaluated in an all-day judging session on Monday, June 12th in Portland, Oregon. 

2023 competition stats also boasted a record setting 62 judges with a cohort that mirrors cider owner and drinker demographics with roughly 50:50 male/female split. Judges included: 8 Certified Pommeliers™, the most advanced professional status the American Cider Association (ACA) currently offers, numerous Certified Cider Professionals, cidermakers, and category aficionados. Judges hailed from as far as Vermont, Virginia, New York, California, Washington, Idaho and the United Kingdom. Competition judges were trained to review: appearance, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel of each entry. The assessment, critique and praise makers receive as a result of this competition is part of an innovative feedback loop,  provided to makers a bit outside of the mainstream, from a uniquely relevant pool of qualified experts.

The NW Cider Cup aspires to help cider curious better understand and articulate what they like in ciders, demystify how to select the best. The competition results offer a what to drink guide for anyone excited about NW cider today.

This spring, the competition got a fresh logo and updated name: NW Cider Cup, formerly Portland International Cider Cup. Categories and evaluation criteria got an update following an in depth industry focus group review. New software, new receiving, judging and party locations all spurred new systems and served as catalysts for change. “We’re excited to be evolving the competition in a growing category. Local cider sales grew 30% over the last year!” Ritchie comments. The NW Cider Association team agrees the competition is in the process of being reinvigorated.

2023 NW Cider Cup Winners

BEST OF SHOW
Glow - Airlie Red Flesh Single Varietal, Alpenfire Cider (WA) - Red-Fleshed Cider Dry Category

BEST OF SHOW RUNNER-UP
Barrel Aged Perry, Yonder Cider (WA) - High-Tannin Perry Category

BEST NEW CIDERY OF THE YEAR *TIE*
Empyrical Orchard and Cidery (WA) - AND - Heartland Ciderworks (OR) 

BEST SMALL CIDERY OF THE YEAR
Puget Sound Cider Company (WA)

BEST MEDIUM CIDERY OF THE YEAR
Bauman's Cider (OR)

BEST LARGE CIDERY OF THE YEAR
2 Towns Ciderhouse (OR)

LOW-TANNIN CIDERS DRY
GOLD, Mac Dry, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR
SILVER - Dry Cider,  Double Mountain Brewery & Cidery - OR
BRONZE - Transplant, Highpoint Cider - ID

LOW-TANNIN CIDERS SWEET
GOLD - 11th Anniversary, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR
SILVER - Original Cosmic Crisp, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR
BRONZE - Local Legend, Schilling Cider - WA

HIGH TANNIN CIDERS DRY
GOLD - Kingston Black, Puget Sound Cider Company - WA
SILVER - Reine Des Pommes, Bauman's Cider - OR
BRONZE - Dabinett Yarlington Mill  /  Dual Varietal, Alpenfire Cider - WA

HIGH-TANNIN CIDERS SWEET
GOLD - Estate Blend Rootwood Cider Company Gold WA
SILVER - Excelsior Imperial Apple Schilling Cider Silver WA
BRONZE - La Raison Reserve Empyrical Orchards and Cider Bronze WA

RED-FLESHED CIDERS DRY
GOLD - Glow - Airlie Red Flesh Single Varietal, Alpenfire Cider - WA
SILVER - Mountain Rosé, Puget Sound Cider Company - WA
BRONZE - Wenatchee Wave, Yonder CiderWA

RED-FLESHED CIDERS SWEET
SILVER - Mountain Rose Single Varietal,  Bauman's CiderOR

LOW-TANNIN PERRIES
GOLD - Perry, Seattle Cider Company - WA

HIGH-TANNIN PERRIES
GOLD - Barrel Aged Perry, Yonder Cider - WA
BRONZE - Principle, Empyrical Orchard and Cidery - WA

WOOD/OAKED
GOLD - Mezcal Barrel Aged Cider, Bauman's Cider - OR
SILVER - Reserve Cider, Kristof Farms - OR

SINGLE VARIETAL
GOLD - Kingston Black, Puget Sound Cider Company - WA
SILVER - Brown Snout, Single Varietal Bauman's Cider - OR
BRONZE - McIntosh Pet Nat, Bauman's Cider - OR

FRUIT CO-FERMENTED
GOLD - Quince Cider, Victoria Cider Co - BC
SILVER - Blackberry Pear, Puget Sound Cider Company - WA
BRONZE - Wild Blue Huckleberry, Puget Sound Cider Company - WA

FRUIT POST-FERMENTATION ADDITION SWEET
GOLD - Plum Dandy, Meriwether Cider - ID
SILVER - Coulee, Yonder Cider - WA
BRONZE - Cherry Lane, Sea Cider - BC

FRUIT-POST FERMENTATION DRY
GOLD - Palisades, Yonder Cider - WA
SILVER - Yuzu Plum, 19 Acres Cider Co. - OR
BRONZE - Loganberry Cider, Bauman's Cider - OR

BOTANICAL HOPPED
GOLD - Liquid Limber, Union Hill Cider Co. - WA
SILVER - Hop Shot, Meriwether CiderID
BRONZE - Imperial Citra Kissed, Cedar Draw Cider - ID

BOTANICAL HERBED
GOLD - The Baddie, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR
SILVER - Lavender Black Currant, Finnriver Farm & Cidery - WA
BRONZE - Lavender Honey, Shuswap Cider Company - BC

BOTANICAL SPICED
GOLD - Pineapple Mai Tai, Swift Cider - OR
SILVER - Pumpkin Spice, Seattle Cider Company - WA
BRONZE - Cucumber Jalapeno, Incline Cider Company - WA

SPECIALTY FORTIFIED
GOLD - Ore No. 001, Runcible Cider Company - OR
SILVER - Pomona, Sea Cider - BC
BRONZE - Apple Mistelle - #2 | Estate Blend, Alpenfire Cider - WA

SPECIALTY LOW ALCOHOL/ALCOHOL REMOVED
GOLD - N/A Pacific Pineapple Cider, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR
SILVER - The Little Apple, Heartland Ciderworks - OR
BRONZE - Light Cider, Bauman's Cider - OR

SPECIALTY OTHER
GOLD - Sour Empress, Cedar Draw CiderID
SILVER - Plum As You Are, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR
BRONZE - Hollow Jack, 2 Towns Ciderhouse - OR

We’re hiring for a Membership and Communications Coordinator

The Northwest Cider Association is looking for a positive, hard-working membership coordinator to be the first point of contact between members and our association. The coordinator is responsible for working closely with members, both existing and potential, in order to meet their needs and provide excellent customer service.

 

The Northwest Cider Association envisions the Pacific Northwest at the heart of the craft cider movement with a vibrant, collaborative industry where anyone can share in the success and joy of cider.  Our mission is to nurture the community, economy, and ecosystem of a thriving cider culture for our members and consumers by supporting businesses, inspiring quality, and telling the story of Pacific Northwest cider.

About the Position:

This is a part-time, remote position that reports directly to the Executive Director. Compensation range between $20-$25/h depending on experience. Competitive salary and generous benefits including PTO, paid sick leave, casual dress and remote work.

 

Primary Duties of the Membership Coordinator:

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for members, prospective members, and partners.
  • Develop and manage online and offline content for members, including video content.
  • Manage membership coordination via NWCA website and Wild Apricot software applications.
  • Ensure members are informed about events, member-centered activities, and special initiatives by preparing and issuing regular emails and written communications.
  • Ensure excellent customer relations by helping members make the most of their association benefits.
  • Assist with event management, including registration, booking venues, etc.
  • Provide team support at in-person events, approximately 3x year.
  • Administrative duties to support Executive Director and team members.

 

 

Skills and qualifications:

  • Good written and oral communications
  • Strong technology skills, including familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPress, database management (preferably with Wild Apricot or similar CRM)
  • Personable, friendly, and outgoing personality who enjoys interacting with people
  • Remote position, no office. Flexible hours within 9-5 parameter
  • Strong internet connection
  • Interest for the Northwest (fermented) cider industry
  • Preference for someone in Portland, OR or PNW
  • Self-starter

 

 

Other details:

  • Job hours may flex during event cycles. Guaranteed 20h weekly.

 

 

Application process:

  • Accepting applications from now until February 11th on a rolling basis. Ideal start date is early April.

 

To APPLY: Please email resume and cover letter to NWCA’s Director: emily@nwcider.com. Write in the subject line of the email: Membership Coordinator Application

 

 

CORE ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES ​​(Guiding principles that define how we treat each other, our members and the public in our daily interactions)

 

COLLABORATION: We believe in the power of teamwork founded on trust, and value the transformative impact of collaboration.

 

INCLUSIVITY: We listen with empathy and respect for one another, affirm the dignity and worth of each member of our community, and treat people with kindness.

 

ROOTED: We act with integrity and authenticity, commit to an ethos of openness, and achieve tangible results founded on the highest ethical standards.

 

EXEMPLARY: We engage with enthusiasm, dedication and pride, thinking big and creatively to help advance our industry in new and inspiring ways.

 

PASSION: We do our best work when we do it with a strong sense of purpose and a passion for each other and for cider.

 

FUN: Through our collegial culture, we celebrate each other’s victories and have each other’s backs—which helps us build a stronger team, a thriving industry, and a better future for all.

NABC Executive Director David Bauermeister to Retire

NABC Executive Director David Bauermeister to Retire

David Bauermeister, executive director of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), has announced his retirement effective September 1, 2022.

Bauermeister and his team have grown NABC into a leader in Washington agriculture, making a lasting impact on how farmers access markets. Under his leadership NABC was instrumental in the launch of the Northwest Cider Association. During the height of the pandemic when creative solutions were sought to connect farmers with consumers, NABC also provided technical assistance to successfully launch new food hubs in Southwest Washington, the San Juan Islands, and for Whidbey Island.

Known for his collaborative skills, Bauermeister has worked closely with government agencies including the Washington State Department of Commerce, USDA and WSDA, as well as numerous nonprofits such as the Whatcom Community Foundation and Skagit Community Foundation. He has responded to producer needs to expand NABC’s services to 12 counties, as well as developed new initiatives to support farmers who traditionally have been underserved.

“Providing equal opportunity for all farmers has always been important to me.  The NABC board of directors and staff take this very seriously and know this means being proactive. I am proud of the work we have accomplished together, particularly the launch of the Latinx Business Development Program and our other efforts to better reach and serve members of underserved communities.”

Raised on a wheat farm east of Connell in eastern Washington, agriculture has always played a big role in Bauermeister’s life. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Agronomy. Bauermeister had a career in agri-business before he switched to non-profit work as the Director of Natural Resources for the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He joined NABC in 2006, shortly after its formation, and served as the organization’s first executive director.  “I was immediately interested in the job. I thought it was a great opportunity to jump in and have a service role within the agriculture industry. That really appealed to me,” he said. “Plus I have always loved the Skagit Valley. It is a gorgeous valley, and is simply a great place to live.”

Bauermeister contributed years of his experience and knowledge to build NABC’s offering of business consulting services and training. This has established NABC as a “can do” organization, providing technical assistance to farmers to be more profitable and maximize their capabilities as value-added producers.

“Speaking for not only myself but for the other members of the Board, clients past and present, we want to thank David for his tremendous leadership and guidance of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center,” said Bruce Gregory, president of the NABC Board of Directors and one of the original directors who first hired David. “His quiet demeanor, sharp mind, and humor, traveled well with his tireless dedication over the years. We are extremely grateful to David for his vision and commitment. His impactful energy, work, and willingness to go into so many projects and travel through sometimes crazy schedules, has grown the organization and the value-added agricultural landscape that has helped hundreds of farming families realize their dreams.”

During his time with NABC, Bauermeister served on numerous boards himself, including Genuine Skagit Valley, Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative, Northwest Cider Association and Cider Institute of North America and San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild.

“David was instrumental in the growth of the cider education program in collaboration with Washington State University in northwest Washington. He also provided leadership in the establishment of the Northwest Cider Association, that has been foundational for cider makers throughout the Pacific Northwest.” According to NABC Board Member Carol Miles, Director, WSU Mount Vernon Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center. “David has earned a life-time supply of cider from the industry that he was instrumental in supporting!”

Mike Peroni, currently assistant director for NABC, has been named the new executive director.

David and his wife Janet, plan to enjoy retirement by spending more time with their 10 grandchildren, as well as working their own farm in the Skagit Valley.