CiderCon 2022 Health and Safety Guidelines

The American Cider Association is taking utmost precautions to create a safe CiderCon environment. Our health and safety guidelines require all persons present at CiderCon 2022 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 21 or to provide a negative PCR test within 3 days of arrival or to provide a negative antigen test within 24 hours of arrival. One of these two things, proof of vaccine or a negative test result within the above timeframe, will be required to attend CiderCon 2022. Verification will happen outside registration at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Absolutely no exceptions will be made.

Per Virginia Department of Health and CDC recommendations, we are currently strongly urging attendees to receive booster shots against COVID-19 by January 21, 2022. The CDC recommends receiving a booster shot if it has been 6 months since your second mRNA or first Johnson & Johnson shot. 

Additional precautions:

  • Masks must be worn at all times at indoor CiderCon events with the exception of during meals and tasting events where specific safety protocols will be in place. This includes tour buses. 
  • Security and staff will enforce mask adherence. 
  • CiderCon staff and volunteers will participate in daily health screenings.
  • At this time, the hotel and the Greater Richmond Convention Center require their staff to wear masks.
  • Tasting sessions will be in expansive rooms and will be socially distanced as much as possible.
  • The Cider Share welcome reception is being divided into two sessions, with featured cideries rotating off. We will be capping attendance of Cider Share to 200 per session. The room has the capacity for 600, and we will encourage social distancing. 
  • Thursday’s and Friday’s lunches are box lunches so you can easily opt to eat where you would like. Tables will be set at less density than normal. 
  • Please do not attend CiderCon with symptoms. 

We are working closely with the hotel, the Greater Richmond Convention Center. and the Virginia Department of Health to ensure all possible safety precautions are taken. The list above is not exhaustive and we will be sure to update registrants as things evolve. 

We are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 restrictions in Richmond and Virginia. Your safety matters to us.

Let’s take care of each other, get boosted, wear our masks, and have the safe in-person CiderCon reunion we are all craving! 

You can read our complete Health & Safety Guidelines here.

Advocacy Update: In Support of Harvest Dates

The American Cider Association (ACA) recently sent a letter to the TTB voicing the ACA’s support of a specific proposed labeling rule included in Notice 176, published in late 2018. 


The notice contained proposed rules for modernizing wine (including cider), spirits and malt beverages labeling and advertising regulations. The ACA, many regional cider guilds and dozens of our members submitted comments on the notice during the official comment period. The comments included support for many but not all of the proposed rules. 

Some positive change has resulted from those comments. We are hopeful our letter will usher further TTB announcements in favor of our official comments first made in 2019. This letter is our third mention of our support of harvest dates since our official comments posted.


The ACA’s recent letter to the TTB reiterated our support for the Notice 176 proposal to allow the use of harvest dates on qualifying wines and ciders. Harvest dates would create an important opportunity to distinguish a maker’s cider from season to season. Read our letter for further details of the proposal and our reasons for supporting it.


Our members’ support allows the ACA to amplify the voice of cider and to develop relationships with the TTB and others for the benefit of our industry. Through the collective power of our members, we have a stronger voice for cider when it matters. Our recent letter in support of harvest dates is one example of our commitment to advancing the needs of all cider producers, big or small. 

We are grateful for the TTB for seeking the input of industry members regarding the proposed rules in Notice 176, and we eagerly await further announcements regarding the creation of harvest dates. 

Beer Kulture, ANXO Cider, and The American Cider Association Partner to Increase Diversity in the Cider Industry

ANXO, Beer Kulture Kollaboration Cider Will Help Fund Cider Scholarships 

Beer Kulture, ANXO Cider, and the American Cider Association have partnered to introduce three scholarship opportunities designed to bring new Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Native North American, Pacific Islander, and other BIPOC individuals into the cider industry.

Each scholarship includes:

  • Certified Cider Professional Level 1 bundle (including the exam)
  • Two Certified Cider Professional Sensory Webinars
  • Registration fee for the Certified Pommelier Exam
  • Registration for the recipient and a guest to CiderCon®, the cider industry’s annual conference
  • Travel to and from CiderCon® for the recipient and a guest
  • Lodging at CiderCon® for the recipient and a guest

“We’re excited to expand into the cider industry with the work we’re doing,” said Latiesha Cook, CEO and President, Beer Kulture. “The broader alcohol space is large and offers so many opportunities to people of color as consumers, potential industry employees, and future owners that it makes sense for us to start looking at partnerships beyond beer. By bringing more people of color into these industries at every level, it creates new possibilities, not just as workers, but as founders, so they can own a piece of the space and drive the industry forward too. We’re really excited to work with ANXO and the American Cider Association for our first official scholarship and kollaboration in cider.”

While this is the first official cider scholarship and kollaboration for Beer Kulture, it’s not the group’s first foray into cider. Last year, the group worked with Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the American Cider Association, to offer a package of free virtual registrations to CiderCon® 2021 to past Beer Kulture scholarship and internship winners. That package also included the Certified Cider Professional Level 1 exam and workshops.

“Last year’s partnership with Beer Kulture went so well that we wanted to continue the relationship with them this year,” explained McGrath. “Much like the beer industry, cider has historically struggled to diversify, especially beyond gender. Partnering with Beer Kulture is an opportunity for us to proactively reach people of new backgrounds and welcome them into our industry.”

This year, the partnership expanded to include Washington, D.C.’s ANXO Cider.

“We’re really focused on doing the work to help move the industry forward,” commented Rachel Topelius, co-founder and Director of HR and Community Outreach, ANXO Cider. “When we started talking with Latiesha and Michelle about this scholarship opportunity, we thought about how we could go further and drive more impact. After Latiesha mentioned that past Beer Kulture scholarship winners have given feedback that it can be intimidating being the only person of color at a conference, the idea came up to fund sending a plus one, to make each winner feel more comfortable and welcomed.”

The three scholarship packages will be funded by a new cider kollaboration from ANXO, Beer Kulture and the American Cider Association. The cider, a 7.3% ABV dry cider named Kulture, is a unique blend of 50/25/25 Albemarle Pippin, Dabinett, and Harrison apples, developed in conjunction by ANXO and Beer Kulture. The resulting liquid will be juicy with bold and gripping tannins producing a textured mouthfeel accompanied by balanced acidity.

“Kulture contains an exceptional blend of apples,” explained Sam Fitz, co-founder and President/Director of Production, ANXO Cider. “All the apples were sourced from Virginia and Pennsylvania within 100 miles of our facility in D.C. They were each then fermented naturally in wood prior to the blending.”

Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Native North American, Pacific Islander, and other BIPOC individuals interested in the scholarships are encouraged to apply by visiting this LINK.

Kulture, the new dry cider kollaboration, will debut at a release party at CiderCon® on February 2, 2022. Follow ANXO and Beer Kulture to learn more details about the release party closer to CiderCon®, including the time and location.

About Beer Kulture

Beer Kulture builds trust and strengthens communities by using craft beer to foster inclusion, equity and diversity. Together, we can change the world – one beer at a time. Learn more at

About ANXO Cider 

ANXO Cider (pronounced Ahn-Cho) is a Washington, DC-based craft cidery inspired by centuries of American and European cider making culture. The idea of ANXO was first planted in the minds of Founders and Co-Owners Sam Fitz, Rachel Topelius, and Cooper Sheehan during a life-changing trip to the Basque country of Spain and the West Country of the United Kingdom where Sam was introduced to the rich history of farming and fermenting apples.  ANXO’s mission is to grow cider culture in the US by creating and importing the finest ciders that are the purest expressions of the apples they are made from.  ANXO makes cider much like vintners make wine, embracing an #ApplesOnly approach, using apples and yeast.  Fermented in stainless steel or wood vessels the resulting product is sugar and gluten free and low-carb and is as complex as wine and accessible and sessionable as beer. Learn more at

About the American Cider Association

The American Cider Association is an organization of cider and perry producers in the United States.  It gathers and shares information about cider production, regulations and cider apple growing to help members improve their operations, raise awareness and advance cider in the market.  The organization was founded in February 2013. Learn more at

CiderCon Session: Can I Say That? Health and Nutrition Labeling Restrictions and Requirements

Both the TTB and the FDA regulate what you can, can’t and MUST say on your cider packaging and in your promotions. Amidst a consumer-driven health craze, it’s important to know how these regulations impact your cidery. In this workshop, beverage-specialist attorney Marybeth Williams will walk you through these regulations when it comes to health claims and nutrition disclosures. She will cover the regulations for ciders both over and under 7% ABV.

About Marybeth Williams

Marybeth Williams is President of Williams Compliance and Consulting Group, LLC, near Richmond, VA, which provides compliance services and legal consulting to the alcohol beverage industry.  She works with suppliers, focusing on the day to day compliance issues and trade practice parameters within which industry members must function.   Ms. Williams graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1996, and has practiced in both the public and private sectors.

CiderCon Session: New Skins: How Brand Positioning & Packaging Design Can Reinvigorate a Category & Connect with New Drinkers

New CiderCon® 2022 Session! New Skins: How Brand Positioning & Packaging Design Can Reinvigorate a Category & Connect with New Drinkers

Beyond packaging trends and gimmickry, there’s an opportunity for every brand to better understand and communicate a meaningful story. As a brand strategist in the beverage alcohol space, Michael Kiser will share industry analogs and frameworks for aligning brand position, customer experience, and retail strategies that have helped companies new and old connect with their audiences.

About the Speaker

Michael Kiser is an innovation strategist (tech and CPG) working with some of the world’s largest and smallest brands to create innovation pipelines based on emerging market factors and consumer desires. He runs a boutique brand strategy and design practice in Chicago (Feel Goods Company), the world’s leading editorial voice in beer (Good Beer Hunting), and a cross-industry insights newsletter and community for beverage alcohol (

Creating Consumer Excitement with Food Pairing Suggestions

Pairing food and cider is an important key to helping people learn to love the complexities and nuances of cider, but we all understand that it can be tricky business. Join us for a dive into putting theory into practice in this session with our Cider Education Outreach Manager, Jennie Dorsey at CiderCon® 2022 in Richmond, Virginia from February 1-4, 2022.

Creating Consumer Excitement with Food Pairing Suggestions

We all know the “Four C’s” of food pairing, but putting theory into practice can be a little intimidating, especially for members of your tasting room staff that are just beginning their adventure with cider. In this session, cider and food pairing expert Jennie Dorsey will walk you through a pairing framework (with tasting samples!) that you can take back to your business, train your staff, and watch your sales grow.

About Jennie Dorsey

Jennie Dorsey is founding member of Pomme Boots Society for women in the Cider Industry and has held numerous positions since she first entered the Cider Industry over a decade ago. Jennie actually began her journey in the coffee industry where she was a nationally ranked competition barista and trainer specializing in sensory analysis with a focus on food pairings.  The skills honed in competition led her on the path of beverage discovery, where she fell in love with cider and it’s unmatched pairing possibilities. Jennie is a working member of the Cider Certification team, and she was given the distinguished award of Cider Server of the Year in 2018 by the ACA. Jennie is passionate about food and beverage of all kinds, cinema, vintage lifestyle and can always be spotted by her brightly colored hair. She joined the ACA staff in 2021 as our Cider Education Outreach Manager.

An Intro to Holistic Orcharding for Novice Growers

Intro to Holistic Orcharding for Novice Growers

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that Mike Biltonen will lead an Intro to Holistic Orcharding for Novice Growers workshop at CiderCon® 2022. In this seminar we will cover the basics of what to look for when you’re seeking a site appropriate for your orchard, whether it be in your backyard, on the adjoining hillside, or in the next county. We will discuss climate, land, and soil characteristics as well as horticultural considerations you need to ponder before you plant the first tree. We will also cover the steps for designing and planting your first trees, as well as the first year’s management focus.

This course will take place Wednesday, February 1, 2022 at the Richmond Marriott Hotel from 12:30-3:00pm. The cost to attend is $15. Be sure to add it on during registration.

About Mike Biltonen

Mike Biltonen has spent nearly 40 years in agriculture – working mostly with orchards, vineyards, and specialty veg and fruit crops.  He specializes in all aspects of sustainable orchard production of apples, pears, and stone fruit. An early passion for sustainable agriculture evolved into a profound dedication to the principles and practices of ecologically-focused, biodynamically-driven farming. The last fifteen years Mike has worked as a consultant to novice and seasoned farmers and orchardists alike on all aspects of establishing and managing regenerative and integrated farmscapes. Mike also conducts workshops, seminars, webinars, and has a free newsletter for the truly dedicated. He co-owns Know Your Roots, a novel and innovative family-owned company, with his wife Debbie where they are synchronously using farming and herbalism practices to heal the Earth.