Pick Cider for The Holidays

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest weeks of the year for cider, and November and December is a time to shine! We are once again offering members free promotional materials as a membership benefit. All print material orders will include tabloid-sized Thanksgiving posters and generic holiday/Christmas double-sided table tents. 

  • Just need a logo? Please find free marketing vectors and images here. Be sure to read our guidelines of usage. Pro tip: If you have a really great image, layer a vector Pick Cider file on top and create something special. If you need to get an event up quickly, just use one of the raster image logos!
  • Supplies are limited, so place your order as quickly as possible. Click here to order.
  • We will also be pushing events and special releases again. Please let us know about your events and seasonal ciders with this form here.
  • Have a recipe or other seasonal media that features your cider? Send us the link at marketing@Ciderassociation.org.
  • Check out our dressed for the season PickCider.com!

Your membership must be current for us to ship you materials, pitch you in articles, or re-share your social media campaigns. Thanks for logging in to ciderassociation.org to renew if your membership is due. 

Looking forward to sharing the cider word this holiday season!

Pick Cider® is a registered trademark of American Cider Association.

American Cider Association Board Announces New Seats for 2020 Election

With over 900 cider producers and counting, the cider industry is a mosaic of business models, cider styles, geographies and individuals. Since we first earned our non-profit status in 2014, American Cider Association has worked to push forward programming that benefits everybody in our industry’s ecosystem. One way we do this is by making efforts to ensure different types, sizes and regions of cideries have representation on our committees and Board. This requires regular evaluation as the industry continues to grow and our programming adapts to meet the industry’s needs.

Recently, the Board of Directors paused to examine the structure of our membership regions and board. Two changes were the result of that reflection.

American Cider Association Creates Pacific Coast Membership Region for California and Hawaii 

Our membership elects regional chairs to the board of directors. The Mountain West region previously included Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Geographically, the region is vast to say the least.

With over 100 cider producers and counting, California is vying for the most-producers-per-state distinction. The American Cider Association board felt that between unique market challenges and sheer number of producers, it was time to carve out a new region that included California. Hawaii, previously in the Northwest membership region, will also be included. We are calling this new membership area the Pacific Coast region. Next January will be the first opportunity for members from this region to elect a chair to the board of directors.

American Cider Association Board Hopes to Recruit Small Producers

The cider industry is comprised of many small operations and a few larger ones. Although we currently have smaller producers represented on our board (45% of our board members produced under 60,000 gallons each in 2018), we want to be sure that the smallest cideries are always at the table. These smaller cideries are a large volume of our membership and the industry, and we want them to feel welcome and listened to. We are adding a new ‘At Large’ seat to the roster, and we are strongly encouraging producer-growers from small-by-design cideries to run for this seat in the 2020 election.

2020 Board Elections

There are new three-year terms starting for the following 5 board positions:

Regional Chairs (4) (under 1M g/yr)

  • Midwest (IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI, KY)
  • Northwest (OR, WA, ID, MT, AK)
  • Mountain West (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY, SD, ND, KS, NE, OK, TX)
  • Pacific Coast (CA, HI)

At Large (1)

  • We are strongly encouraging producer-growers making less than 25,000 gal/year to run for this seat.

Considering running? Please join us for this information webinar on November 20 (11AM PST/2PM EST). We’ll discuss what it’s like to serve on the board and answer any questions. All board positions are volunteer roles.


Our board is increasingly diverse in some measures, but it remains homogenous in others. We have initiated efforts to address representation on our board, in the industry, and throughout the cider consumer base. Fostering diversity and equity takes commitment, and we’ve just begun our journey to define this goal and its strategy. We hope you’ll join us in inviting our colleagues of underrepresented groups to be involved in the association.

Electronic Voting

Last year we switched our voting to 100% electronic to allow our members to vote regardless of whether or not they can attend CiderCon. The voting will take place as the same time as CiderCon, January 28-31, 2020

CiderCon® 2020 is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

You can now register to attend CiderCon® 2020–the world’s premiere industry event for the cider community. It’s taking place in sunny and happening Oakland, California at the Marriott from Tuesday, January 28-Friday, January 31. 

What’s new at CiderCon®? We are glad you asked!

  • After a brief hiatus, the 1/2 day orcharding seminar is back! This will happen on Wednesday morning and will explore questions specific to growing apples in the western US. 
  • We’ve partnered with the Cider Institute of North America to offer an expanded technical production track. Cidermakers: this is for you!
  • We’ve tailored a track focusing on sales, so whether you are the only employee or one of many sales reps, we can brainstorm how to sell more cider. 
  • Brain dates will allow attendees to schedule 15 minute sessions with expert consultants on a range of topics.
  • Meet-ups will offer curated yet informal information sharing and networking opportunities. Meet-up topics on the docket so far include apple spirits production, perry production, influencer marketing, and sustainability. Want to pitch a meet-up topic? Let’s hear it! 
  • We’re offering 4 tours this year! Whoa! Whether you’re exploring the terroir of Sonoma County or the Parajo Valley, deepening your knowledge of pairing cider with food in the sizzling hot culinary scene of California’s East Bay, or digging into the history of Albert Etter and apple production in Northern California, you’re sure to learn a lot and have a blast while doing it. 
  • The featured international cidermaker guests of honor this year are from Ireland!
  • And we are thrilled to welcome a keynote speaker, Jill Giacomini Basch from Point Reyes Creamery. We’re kicking off Thursday morning with a cheese and cider pairing!

Returning events include:

  • TUES: Charles McGonegal’s Elements of Style workshop offers an in depth look at how to experience a cider. 
  • WED: The opportunity to become a Certified Pommelier™. Sign up for the exam when you register.
  • WED: The TTB’s in-depth workshop covering labeling and tax policies.
  • WED: The second annual meeting and gathering for Pomme Boots. 
  • WED: The roaring welcome reception and cider share featuring 50+ cideries!
  • THURS-FRIDAY: Seminars galore! Production, tasting, marketing, apples, sales, business and compliance. As always, CiderCon® tasting sessions delve deep into cider production, evaluation, and philosophy. 
  • THURS-FRIDAY: An even BIGGER trade show than the year before, now sprinkled with cider sample offerings. Thank you, FruitSmart for your sponsorship.
  • FRIDAY: The grand toast and bottle share.
  • And more!

Visit the CiderCon® website to review more schedule details.

The base registration fee for CiderCon® 2020 is $395. This includes access to workshops on Wednesday-Friday, a ticket to the Welcome Reception/Cider Share on Wednesday night, the keynote address on Thursday morning, two delicious lunches, the BIGGER trade show happening Thursday & Friday and the grand toast on Friday night! (Tours and some workshops have an additional registration fee.)

Let us know if you have questions about registering for this event. See you in Oakland, cider friends!

P.S. CiderCon® 2020 is excited to be a part of Bay Area Cider Week! Have a cider event to submit? Do that here.

Visit here to register for CiderCon®!

Test Driving a Cider Lexicon

The American Cider Association introduced our first cider style guide in 2017.  Our ultimate target audience was consumers. How can we help consumers find a cider they like and come back to the category again and again, and how can we advance this goal by training beverage professionals, the folks that interface between the producer and consumers?

We stipulated from the start that the style guide was meant to be an evolving document that could grow with the industry. The release of the guide sparked critical conversations about the power of words, how consumers interact with cider, and how the guide could be improved to further facilitate those interactions. We made minor changes in the 2018 version, but after training hundreds of people through our Certified Cider Professionals program we came to the conclusion that the current vision of the guidelines was not as effective as we wanted it to be.

We are happy to share with you this latest evolution in language. It was developed based on industry feedback as well as our experience training Certified Cider Professionals. Our goal is to use this language to teach the beverage and hospitality industries about cider and to align on the language we use to describe a cider while maintaining the flexibility to celebrate regionality. We are soliciting your input on this updated approach. 

 Key changes include: 

  • Simpler product families focused on the ingredients paired with more objective terms for describing the thing that matters most to a consumer : How does it taste?
    • Does it taste dry or sweet?
    • Is it tart? Spicy? Sour? Floral?
    • Is it fruit-forward or tannic?
    • Is it light, medium, or full-bodied?
    • Does it taste like the adjunct? 
  • Focusing on the accepted scientific classifications of apples: sweet, sharp, bittersweet and bittersharp. 
  • The introduction of a lexicon with descriptive phrases and terms that tell the consumer more about how the cider was made and how it tastes, many that are already widely used within the beverages industries.

Please review the following lexicon framework from the view of a consumer. Is there something we’ve missed? Something we need to consider cutting?  We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. You can contact us specifically about this project at lexicon@ciderassociation.org.