Archive for the ‘Cider Event & Tasting’ Category

Edit: Wildfire Cider has been added to the line up at the Washington Brewers Festival. See my new entry for them at the very bottom of the page.

Look what I found… A complete rundown of all the cider makers pouring at the Washington Brewers Festival.

2010 Washington Brewers Festival

From the Washington Brewers Festival website:

A newly expanded Cider and Wine Tasting Tent featuring the following fine cideries and wineries from Washington State.

Finnriver Cidery – Chimacum, WA
Farmstead (Rustic Sparkling Cider)

Red Barn Cider – Mt. Vernon, WA
Red Barn Sweetie Pie (Common Cider Sweet)
Red Barn Fire Barrel Cider (English Cider Dry)

Snowdrift Cider – East Wenatchee, WA
Dry Cider (English Style Cider)
Cliffbreaks Blend (Common Cider)
Semi Dry (New English Style Cider)

Tieton Cider Works – Tieton, WA
Wild Washington Apple (Semi Dry)
Cherry (Semi Sweet)
Blossom Nectar (Sweet)

Westcott Bay Orchards – Friday Harbor, WA
Traditional Dry Cider (English)
Traditional Medium Sweet Cider (English)

Wildfire Cider – Port Townsend, WA
Apfelwein German style still (Organic Estate Cider)
Pirate’s Plank – Bone Dry (Organic Scrumpy Style Cider)
Ember Semi-sweet (Organic Estate Cider)


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Just got word via Twitter post from Lars at Snowdrift Cider Co. in East Wenatchee WA. that the GLINT CAP (Commercial) results were in. Here are the results from the link he posted. I’ll update if anything turns out to be inaccurate.

A lot of great folks got the praise and appreciation they deserve. Special congrats to Snowdrift Cider Co. who has barely released their cider and yet brought home two medals a bronze for their Dry in the English Style and a gold for the Semi-Dry in the New England Style category. Rich Anderson at Westcott Bay Orchards Cider got another gold for his Dry and silver medal for his Very Dry in the English Style category. Drew Zimmerman at Red Barn Cider got a Silver in the common Perry category for Red Barn Perry “Moulton’s Dry”.

I’d also like to give special recognition to Mike Beck of Uncle John’s Cider Mill. Uncle John’s really cleaned up apparently with what looks to be about 10 medals. Way to go guys. Mike also sent me a load of ciders from their Great Lakes International Cider Festival which are in my refrigerator awaiting a quiet moment for Heather and I to evaluate and potentially write about a number of them. I didn’t get any Uncle John’s in the package but it certainly looks as though I need to get my hands on some.

Congratulations to all the winners and all the entrants. Keep up the great work cider makers.

I urge you all to pick up any of these ciders on the list or even any local craft cider you can find. Many of the winners can be found on my map and the ones I don’t have at the time of my post will be up shortly.

The results

Category 25a – Cyser (1 Entry)

Gold – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Cyser, St Johns, MI

Category 26c – Open Category Mead (1 Entry)

Silver – Robinette Cellars, Cyser, Grand Rapids, MI

Category 27a – Common Cider (21 Entries)

Gold – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Uncle John’s Hard Cider, St Johns, MI
Silver – Blackstar Farms, Hard Apple Cider, Suttons Bay, MI

Silver – McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks, North Carolina Hard Cider Thurmond, NC
Silver – Warrick Valley Winery and Distillery, Doc’s Draft Hard Apple Cider, Warwick, NY
Silver – Spicers Orchard Winery, Sweet Williams Hard Cider, Fenton, MI
Bronze – McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks, North Carolina Dry Hard Cider, Thurmond, NC

Bronze – Tulip Valley Vineyard and Orchard, Burro Loco Cider, Mount Vernon, WA
Bronze – Tandem Cider, Early Day, Suttons Bay, MI
Bronze – McIntosh Orchards, Draught Cider Dry, South Haven, MI

Bronze – Tideview Cider, Tideview Festive Sparkler, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Bronze – Vandermill Cider, Hard Apple Cider, Spring Lake, MI
Bronze – Hideout Brewing Company, Hideout Cider, Grand Rapids, MI
Bronze – Northville Winery, Hard Cider, Northville, MI

Category 27b – English Cider (10 Entries)

Gold – Westcott Bay Cider Westcott Bay, Traditional Dry Cider, Friday Harbor, WA
Silver – Westcott Bay Cider, Westcott Bay Traditional Very Dry Cider, Friday Harbor, WA
Silver – Henney’s Cider Co., Frome Valley Sweet, Herefordshire, England

Silver – Oliver’s Cider House, Hereforshire Medium Cider, Herefordshire, England
Bronze – Aspall Cyders, Aspall Dry Cider, Suffolk, England
Bronze – Aspall Cyders, Aspall Medium Cider, Suffolk, England
Bronze – Oliver’s Cider House, Herefordshire Dry Cider, Herefordshire, England

Bronze – Henney’s Cider Co., Vintage, Herefordshire, England
Bronze – Snowdrift Cider Company, Dry Cider, East Wenatchee, WA

Category 27c – French Cider (1 Entry)

Gold – Aspall Cyders, Aspall Organic Cider, Suffolk, England

Category 27d – Common Perry (2 Entries)

Silver – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Uncle John’s Perry, St. Johns, MI
Silver – Tulip Valley Vineyard and Orchard, Red Barn Perry Moulton’s Dry, Mount Vernon, WA

Category 27e – Traditional Perry (2 Entries)

Silver – Oliver’s Cider House, Herefordshire Dry Perry, Herefordshire, England

Bronze – Oliver’s Cider House, Blakeney Red Perry, Herefordshire, England

Category 28a – New England Cider (2 Entries)

Gold – Snowdrift Cider Company, Semi-Dry Cider, East Wenatchee, WA

Silver – Uncle John’s, New England Cider/Seasonal, St. Johns, MI

Category 28b – Fruit Cider (11 Entries)

Gold – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Apple/Cherry Cider, St. Johns, MI
Silver – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Apple/cCranberry Cider, St. Johns, MI
Silver – Aspall Cyders, Aspall Perronelle’s Blush Cider, Suffolk, England
Silver – Vandermill Cider, Apple Blueberry Cider, Spring Lake, MI
Silver – Robinette Cellars, Apple Cherry Cider, Grand Rapids, MI
Silver – Warrick Valley Winery and Distillery, Doc’s Draft Hard Pear Cider, Warwick, NY
Silver – Vandermill Cider, Apple Peach Cider, Spring Lake, MI
Silver – Northville Winery, Blue River, Northville, MI
Silver – Tideview Cider, Raspberry Cider, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Silver – Northville Winery, Crimson Dew, Northville, MI

Category 28c – Applewine (4 Entries)

Silver – Robinette Cellars, Apple Table Wine, Grand Rapids, MI
Silver – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Applewine, St. Johns, MI

Category 28d – Specialty Cider or Perry (4 Entries)

Silver – Lehmans Orchard, Honeycrisp Hard Apple Cider, Niles, MI
Silver – Vandermill Cider, Black Tea Cider, Spring Lake, MI
Silver – Vandermill Cider,Michigan Wit, Spring Lake, MI

Category 2006-1 Macro Cider (8 Entries)

Silver – H.Weston and Sons Ltd., Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy, Herefordshire, England
Silver – Green Mountian Beverage, Woodchuck Draft Cider – Amber, Middlebury, VT
Silver – Green Mountian Beverage, Woodchuck Draft Cider – Oak Aged, Middlebury, VT
Silver – Green Mountian Beverage, Strongbow, Middlebury, VT
Silver – Green Mountian Beverage, Woodchuck Draft Cider – Granny Smith, Middlebury, VT
Silver – H.Weston and Sons Ltd., Stowford Press Medium Dry Draft, Herefordshire, England
Silver – Green Mountian Beverage, Wyder’s Pear Cider, Middlebury, VT
Silver – Original Sin, Original Sin Pear Cider, New York, NY

Category 2006-2a Intensified Cider & Perry – Prefermentation – Ice Cider (3 Entries)

Gold – Eden Ice Cider Co, Eden-Calville Blend, West Charleston, VT
Silver – Eden Ice Cider Co, Champlain Orchards- Honeycrisp, West Charleston, VT
Silver – Tideview Cider, Tideview Sparkling Ice Cider, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Category 2006-2b Intensified Cider and Perry – Postfermentation – Pommeau (6 Entries)

Gold – Blackstar Farms, Sirius Maple, Suttons Bay, MI
Gold – Warrick Valley Winery and Distillery, American Fruits Apple Liquor, Warwick, NY
Silver – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Apple Dessert Wine, St. Johns, MI
Silver – Aeppeltreow Winery, Poirissimo Traditional, Burlington, WI
Silver – Robinette Cellars, Dessert Apple Wine, Grand Rapids, MI
Silver – Blackstar Farms, Sirius Pear, Suttons Bay, MI

Category 2006-3a Distilled – Eau de vie (2 Entries)

Silver – Warrick Valley Winery and Distillery, American Fruits Pear Brandy, Warwick, NY
Silver – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Vodka From Apples, St. Johns, MI

Category 2006-3b Distilled – Brandy Oak Aged (1 Entry)

Gold – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Apple Brandy, St. Johns, MI

Category 2009 – Non Alcoholic Sparkling Cider (2 Entries)

Gold – Vandermill Cider, VanderMill NA, Spring Lake, MI

Best Of Show

Best Of Show – Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery, Uncle John’s Hard Cider, St. Johns, MI

Honorable Mention – Warwick Valley Winery, American Fruits Apple Liquor, Warwick, NY

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The following information passed along to me about the Fifth Annual Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. This is the only North American competition with an emphasis on cider and perry only. Even the beer, mead and distillation entries are required to be derived from apple or pear. Nice!



The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association is pleased to announce its call for entries for the Fifth Annual Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition.  This Pro-Am competition has divisions for both commercial and noncommercial producers and is open to ciders, perries, meads, beers, and commercial distillates, provided they are made with apples or pears.  There are nineteen categories of entry.  For traditionalists this competition includes a category for Standard Cider & Perry (with five subcategories). The Standard category has requirements that the entry be produced from a minimum of 85% juice, not include both sugar and water (or sugar syrup and water) in the list of ingredients, and not have added flavor.  The Association reserves the unrestricted right to submit commercial entries in this category to testing to verify conformity to requirements.

Judging for the competition will take place at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday, December 12 , 2009.   Entries must be received at the drop-off/ship-to location between Monday, November 23, 2009 and Tuesday, December 8, 2009.

Most entry categories included in this competition conform to BJCP style guideline categories:


20. Fruit Beer. Restricted to beers made with either apples or pears only.
23. Specialty Beer. Restricted to beers made with either apples or pears only, but may include other  ingredients.


25A. Cyser (Apple Melomel). Apple Juice and honey-no other ingredients.
25C. Other Fruit Melomel. (Pear) Pear Juice or blend with pear juice and no
other ingredients.
26C. Open Category Mead (must contain apple or pear)

Standard Cider & Perry

27A. Common Cider
27B. English Cider
27C. French Cider
27D. Common Perry
27E. Traditional Perry

Specialty Cider & Perry

28A. New England Cider

28B. Fruit Cider
28C. Applewine
28D. Other Specialty Cider/Perry

Some additional categories in this competition are not recognized by the BJCP:

2006-1 Macro Cider or Perry (see full details of how this is defined in the entry packet)

2006-2 Intensified Cider or Perry

A.    Prefermentation (Ice Cider) (Open to commercial and noncommercial

B.      Postfermentation (Pommeau) (Open to commerical division only)

2006-3 Distilled (Open to commercial division only)
A. Eau de vie
B. Brandy (Oak Aged)

In accordance with this competition’s custom, and in keeping with the Association’s mission to promote and educate, there will also be a training seminar for judges the evening before the judging.  This is free to competition staff, including judges and stewards. Any remaining space available will be offered first come first reserved for a nominal fee of $15.00 to anyone else wishing to participate and benefit from this opportunity.  The number of extra spots has been increased slightly this year but it is best to notify Rex Halfpenny as soon as possible if you’re interested.  The seminar will take place in the Pearl Room on the second floor of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday, December 11 from 7PM until 9PM Eastern Time.

If you would like to participate in the judging, you must contact competition organizer Rex Halfpenny (mibeerguyd@aol.com) and provide the following information.

– -Name and contact information

– -Commercial producer affiliation if any

– -Judging experience; novice, experienced, advanced, BJCP rank (if
applicable).  (It is customary to pair less experienced judges with more experienced judges).

– -Style categories that you are best qualified to judge

– -Style categories entered (this is used to ensure that judges will not evaluate their own products)

Each entry must include an entry form attached to the bottle with a rubber band and the appropriate entry free. Noncommerical entries are $10 for the first entry, $7 for the second, and $5 for each subsequent entry.  Commercial entries are $50 per entry ($35 for members of the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association).  To encourage international participation the entry fee will be waived again this year for entries produced and shipped from outside North America.  Entrants are still responsible for paying their own shipping and duty costs.

Each entry must include a minimum of 24 ounces (or 750ml, i.e. two 12- ounce bottles). It is suggested that at least two containers are entered (regardless of size). This gives the judges the opportunity to sample your entry from a fresh bottle should it be elevated to the second round Best of Show (BOS) judging. The second bottle may also be used by first round judges should they perceive a problem with the contents of the first bottle.

To aid in maintaining fairness of blind judging commercial entries will be poured out of sight of judges and identified by a randomly assigned identification number. Noncommercial entries will be poured at judging tables and must be sent in bottles free of permanent labels or markings.

For the full entry packet please email the Association’s competition chair Rex Halfpenny (mibeerguyd@aol.com) ,  lead registrar Jeff Carlson (carlsonj@gvsu.edu), or find it online at http://www.michiganbeerguide.com.

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Ivar's Salmon House 2nd Annual Fall Cider Celebration

Ivar's Salmon House 2nd Annual Fall Cider Celebration

Ivar’s Salmon House and the Northwest Cider Society are co-sponsoring the 2nd Annual Fall Cider Celebration. I didn’t make it last year but I sure hope to go this year. They have a terrific line up of ciders this which seems to be expanding to accommodate our growing Northwest cider selection.

Here is the event info from the Facebook event page. Remember you have to RSVP and pre-purchase tickets from Brown Paper Tickets. Do it before they run out this will be a big event.

Thursday, November 12, 2009
5:30pm – 8:30pm
Ivar’s Salmon House
401 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA

View Map

Ivar’s Salmon House invites you! Join us for a special event in celebration of the harvest season. Sample from a refreshing selection of regional and international hard ciders accompanied by an array of hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Jason Bray. More than 25 varietals of ciders will be poured during the evening.

New this year – vote and select a “People’s Choice” awarded for best cider.

Whether you like sweet, dry or semi-dry or are new to the world of hard cider, there’s something for everyone!

Featured ciders include:
Aspall Cider | Blue Mountain Cider | Crispin Cider | Domaine Dupont | Eaglemount Cider | J.K. Scrumpy | Red Barn Cider | Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider | Spire Mountain Cider | Wandering Aengus Cider | Westcott Bay Cider | Wildfire Cider — and more!

Sample hors d’oeuvres menu*:
* Seared large scallop; Granny Smith apple compote
* Shucked oyster; hard cider Mignonette
* Alder grilled salmon, apple brandy glaze
* Cider braised pork belly; apple gastrique
* Pork sliders, apple chutney
* Domestic and imported cheeses
* Mixed seasonal vegetables
* Cider braised chicken
* Imported and domestic cured meats
* Cider glazed shrimp

Cost: $30

*Co-sponsored by NW Cider Society
**Advance tickets only, no evening walk-ins please.

To RSVP visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/85665

NOTE: No one under 21 years old will be admitted.

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1st annual Artisan Cider Festival @ Portland Nursery’s Annual Apple Tasting
October 10th – 11th and 17th-18th
10am to 5pm

Portland Nursery
5050 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215-1791
(503) 231-5050
Map Link

Two weekends of Artisan Cider tasting and heirloom apple fun. Some of the highlights look to be tastings of 20 or so Traditional Ciders from around the country, Cidermaking demonstrations, as well as heirloom cider apple and fresh pressed juice tasting.

This should be good and an excellent intro to craft/artisan/traditional cider. Participating ciders are suppose to be “Artisan Ciders” which they have defined as producers that start with whole apples. You are sure to see some of the best of the best from around the country and can even purchase and take home cider distributed in Oregon.

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On October 3rd 2009 go check out one of Washington’s newest cider makers Tieton Ciderworks @ the Fresh Hop Festival in Yakima.

I’ll be writing more on Tieton Ciderworks very soon! Until then check their website and blog.

Blog: Tieton Cider Works
Link: http://tietonciderworks.blogspot.com/2009/09/come-visit-us-tieton-cider-works-will.html

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Cider & Perry Fest Proof

I got an email and event notification from Mike at Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns Michigan. They will be holding their 2nd annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival the weekend of September 12th and 13th 2009. Looks like they have a really great even lined up this year. Cider and Perry tastings, antique apple variety tastings, cider and cheese pairings. Man!

benwatsoncciderhardandsweetAmong other festivities they have wrangled Ben Watson to host some of their event and do a “meet the author”. Ben Watson is the author of Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own, which I have to say is one of the finest, most informative books on cider you’ll find today. If you are at all even a little bit interested in learning some of cider’s history, not to mention some great instruction on making it, buy it, buy it, buy it!!! I’ve been planning a post on it since the release of the second edition.

Thanks for the heads up Mike! If there are any cider drinkers and enthusiasts out near Michigan I strongly suggest you plan on making this event. If I weren’t half way across the country I would be going. Below you’ll find the official event weekend schedule as was sent to me.

2nd Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival – SEPTEMBER 12 & 13 Uncle John’s Cider Mill

Uncle John’s Cider via Google Maps

SATURDAY September 12:

11-6: SAMPLE CIDERS & PERRYS from the Great Lakes Regions. $10/includes souvenir glass. (first 250 ppl.) and 10 pours.

SUNDAY September 13:

11-12: ANTIQUE APPLE TASTING Ben Watson will work with growers and sample varieties from the past. $10/limited to 50 ppl.

Ben Watson will carry you through a sampling of cheeses from the Great Lakes paired with Cider & Perry. $10/limited to 50 ppl.

AFTERNOON: BEST OF THE NON-PROFESSIONALS. Bring your own cider or Perry for admittance.


CIDER HARD & SWEET by Ben Watson, 2nd Edition
FROM THE VINE: Discovering Michigan Wineries by Sharon Kegerreis and Lorri Hathaway.

Gift Shop, Bakery & Cider MIll Open
Wagon & Train Rides, Kids Corral,
Corn Maze & Winery Open. Lunch. (Live Music Sunday)


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