Certified Pommelier Exam Prep Workshops Now Available!

We are bringing you two online Certified Pommelier™ cider evaluation workshops. The Certified Pommelier™ exam is a rigorous test of a beverage professional’s cider knowledge, including one’s ability to taste and evaluate an apple-driven cider. These workshops are an opportunity for students to practice using the formulated evaluation schema used in the tasting exam. The cost for each of these workshops is $35 for non-ACA members and $15 for members. The instructors will be teaching using a live evaluation of three featured ciders.

Certified Pommelier™ Guided Tasting – January 20, 2021 – $35 non-members, $15 members

The first workshop on January 20, 2021 will feature the Rare Apples Series: Variety 4-pack from Stormalong Cider. Registered students will be sent information on how to purchase those ciders. Cider purchases are entirely optional and are limited to states with amenable shipping laws. You can review the states that Stormalong can ship to here. The workshop will be led by Jenny Dorsey and Brian Rutzen. This workshop can be purchased here. *The deadline to purchase cider for this workshop on 1/20 has passed, but the workshop will be available on-demand and may be viewed at any time.

Certified Pommelier™ Feburary Guided Tasting – February 17, 2020 (Pending) – $35 non-members, $15 members

The second workshop will feature different ciders from three different producers (TBD). That workshop is tentatively scheduled for February 17, 2021. The workshop will be led by Darlene Hayes and Tim Godfrey. Purchase this workshop here.

Get to Know Your New Board Member: Philippe Bishop

Meet Philippe Bishop, who was elected to the board as an at large member in 2020!

Where do you work and what is your position?

I am a partner with my folks at Alpenfire Cider, primarily I handle our sales, designs and the marketing side of things… But as every small business owner I wear many hats when needed.  For instance, I’m currently sitting on the ferry heading over to the orchard to off-load a trailer of bottles for our 2019 releases.

Do you work in cider full time? If not, what is your other job?

I am with Alpenfire full time.

How did you get into cider?

I blame my parents . My first sips of cider that I remember were around 1990 sailing up in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. It was super sweet, came in a 2 liter plastic bottle and was flavored with peach or berries or something. Perfect for my young palate. That sparked my interest, then when we decided to get into the business and feeling the connection to the land after years of clearing it, working the soil, and planting trees is really what firmed up my love for cider. As time and Alpenfire progressed we needed ways to sell it, I jumped on that and haven’t looked back.

Why did you decide to run for a position on the board?

I am passionate about the cider industry and felt I could help give a voice to the über small orchard based producers out there. 

What are your hopes for the future of the US Cider Industry?

For cider to grow, from the trees to the glass. I would like to see the industry help spur a younger generation into growing trees and working the land. I would like to see the cider lexicon educate the buyers, the media and the influencers, plus help consumers find a cider they like and realize not every cider is the same. I want people to want to learn about cider, know their apples and celebrate the differences from large to small and urban to orchard based producers like us. 

How do you describe your cider region? 

We have a lot of passionate good people up here making primarily modern interpretations of cider spurred by an abundance and availability of eating apples. It has closely followed the beer industry and the term “innovation.” I’m not a big fan of that word but it seems to fit where we are. We as a whole have done a great job of offering a wide selection to the consumers. That has paid off by a fair amount of shelf space and lots of taps dedicated to local cider but I feel we have a ways to go on the educational front and helping people to better understand cider. 

What’s your favorite apple to work with and why?

Our Foxwhelp apple. It may not be the “real” one but it has all the great characteristics of the traditional bittersharp apple and does very well in our orchard. It is also a very large apple, so easy to pick though they have gotten smaller as our orchard has matured. It ferments well, and given the proper time (roughly 1.5 years), makes a stellar single varietal cider!

What is your favorite cider/food pairing? 

Too many to list really! I believe what grows together goes together and being in the maritime climate 1/2 mile or so from the beach I really enjoy most seafood with our Pirates Plank Bone Dry. The earthy tannins, subtle acids, and hints of salinity make things like oysters POP!

What is your favorite nature/cider pairing?

Our Ember Bittersweet by the glow of a campfire.

What would you like our members to know about you that they might not know?

There’s life outside of cider? My wife Shannon and I live in Seattle with our kids Sierra & Cortland along with our old cranky dog Zephyr. I love and crave being outdoors, specifically either deep in the woods or at the beach. The further away from crowds I can get the better.

Learn about the rest of your board members HERE!

New CiderCon® Session: Artisan Japanese Cooking with Japanese Craft Cider

Japan is home to centuries old culinary tradition that is still thriving. It is also home to a relatively new but growing cider scene. Join Lee Reeve of inCiderJapan and world renowned cookbook author Nancy Singleton Hachisu for this exploration of cider today in Japan and how it can be incorporated in both traditional and modern Japanese food traditions. Lee will open this session with a review of what’s happening in Japan’s cider scene and it will be followed by a cooking demonstration with Nancy.

Nancy Singleton Hachisu is a native Californian, Stanford graduate who has lived with her Japanese farmer husband in a 90-year-old farmhouse in rural Saitama since 1988. Author of four cookbooks: Japanese Farm Food (Andrews McMeel, Sept. 2012), Preserving the Japanese Way, (Andrews McMeel, Aug. 2015), Japan: The Cookbook (Phaidon, April 2018), and Food Artisans of Japan (Hardie Grant, Nov. 2019). Hachisu’s work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese.

Hachisu appears frequently in Japanese media, documenting her preserving and farm food life as well as visits to artisanal producers in more remote areas of Japan to advocate for Japan’s disappearing food traditions. Recipient of a James Beard award, she has written for The Art of Eating, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Food, BBC Travel, and Fool Magazine.

Hachisu also assisted on and appeared in the Salt episode of Netflix’s runaway hit: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

Lee Reeve is the Owner-operator of inCiderJapan G.K., a marketing & promotion creative consulting company, as well as an importer, retailer, and producer of cider and cider-related goods. He is also the publisher of inCiderJapan, Asia’s first and only bilingual magazine dedicated to all things cider.

Lee is widely regarded as a leading authority on Japan’s cider scene, market, and industry, and is often asked to present seminars on said topics. He has been a keynote speaker for several distinguished conferences including the Australian Cider Festival (2018), Second World Beverage Conference & International Symposium on Beverage Crops in Xi’an, China (2018), and was scheduled to speak at the Global Cider Forum (2020) before its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Lee is the representative for Japan at the international cider tourism network, Ciderlands, as well as co-organizer of the Global Cider Connect project, a world-first six-nation cider collaboration to be held in Japan in 2021.

Now Available: Q3 Nielsen Reports

Complimentary custom, quarterly market trend reports are part of your American Cider Association membership. To access these reports at any time, sign into our login page. The landing page is full of helpful tools like our custom Nielsen reports and more.

Just looking to download Quarter 3? Log in and click here.

Q3 Highlights:

  • The impact of the pandemic is stark. On-premise cider sales declined an estimated 40% when comparing 52-week periods and nearly 70% when comparing 12-week periods for the previous year.
  • Total cider was up 10% for Q3 in off-premise channels measured by Nielsen. This does not make up for the massive pandemic-induced on-premise declines.
  • Regional brands drove off-premise growth–up 34% vs national brand declines of 6%.
  • Both on- and off-premise cider sales for regional brands are expected to eclipse national brand sales in Q4.

Find more insights by region, packaging and ingredients in our custom reports.