Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp Giveaway from The Crafty Cask

The Crafty Cask is kicking off their 2022 class of craft alcohol makers in their 10-course online Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp and are offering ACA members a chance to win a giveaway (valued at $2,673). One ACA member will be selected to win this membership.

Entries accepted through Friday, February 4th.

Here’s everything that is included: 

  • Additional log-ins for anyone else on their team to divide and conquer or train their team more fully.
  • A community of craft alcohol makers who will all be starting the course together on February 21st for increased accountability with extra support, challenges, tips, and more.
  • Exclusive member-only discounts on their favorite marketing products and services (brand photography, web design, etc…).
  • Weekly live drop-in office hours for personalized support.

That’s a $2,673 value of marketing education and support, totally free for one lucky ACA winner. 

Interested in entering for a chance to win this phenomenal giveaway! Click here to find the link to enter (you will be prompted to login to your ACA account).

NEW! Additional Richmond Tour Added for CiderCon 2022!

That’s right cider people! There was so much demand for tours that we decided we needed to add one more. A big thanks to the Virginia Wine Board and Virginia Association of Cider Makers for their work in planning this new tour! Now, what do you need to know about this new tour?

Richmond Cider Tour

9:00am – 4:00pm Departure from Richmond Marriott Hotel

$75 includes transportation, lunch, and tastings at 5 cideries

Enjoy getting to know the Richmond area and cider scene with this tour of five cideries. You’ll start out your day with tastings at Bryant’s Small Batch, then head on to Hardywood Craft Brewing to taste their line-up as well. Following lunch (and cider) at Courthouse Creek Cider you’ll take a tour of their facility before heading on to taste at Blue Bee Cider. The day will wrap up with a tasting at Buskey Cider before returning to hotel.

Already registered for CiderCon® 2022, and you’d like to add this tour? You can buy a ticket for this tour HERE.

Not registered for CiderCon® 2022? You can add this on during the registration process. You can register HERE.

Nominations for 2022 ACA Board of Directors Open

Running for the ACA board of directors is a great way to get involved in lifting our industry up. We are actively recruiting individuals from US-based cider companies to run for the board of directors. These are volunteer positions with a three year commitment. Active membership of the association is required and candidates must be permanent employees or owners of active bonded-cideries to run. Board seats up for election this year include:

  • “At Large” (Open to all regions and cidery sizes)
  • LARGE Cidery (>1M gal produced in 2020)
  • Southern Regional Chair (AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
  • Eastern Regional Chair (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)

Interested candidates should complete the self-nomination form by January 25:

Have questions about board service? Reach out to Michelle. 

Do you know who is on the current board? Meet them HERE.

Developing a more diverse and equitable cider industry and association is a long-term project that requires conscious iterative investment at every stage. Our board is actively working toward goal development in this area (read a blog post from our board vice president, Brooke Glover). We believe that representation matters in reaching those goals and we are thus encouraging diverse candidates including women, BIPOCs, LGTBQIA+, veterans and people with disabilities to run for the board of directors.

Q3 Trends Available for Download

Q3 reports are available for download as part of your ACA membership benefits. Regional cider brand sales were up 11% for year over year comparisons of Nielsen-measured off-premise channels for the 52-week period ending with Q3. Total cider category sales for the 52-week period ending with Q3 were up 2% compared to 2019 and down 4% when compared to 2020 for Nielsen-measured off-premise channels. In on-premise channels, cider’s rebound for the 12-week period of Q3 compared to the same period for 2020 exceeded beer’s rebound for both draft and packaged sales. For more details on how the category is performing including regional and packaging analysis, download our members-only Nielsen reports after logging into our website.

ACA Receives Grant for “Year of the Apple” in Virginia

Bryant’s Cider, Roseland, Virginia

The American Cider Association is proud to announce a new partnership with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant awarded for $70,012. Starting in early 2022, the American Cider Association (ACA) and their partners in Virginia cidermaking and agriculture will launch “The Year of The Apple,” an integrated public awareness, food industry professional outreach and market research campaign.

Virginia is the country’s 6th largest producer of apples and home to 48 independent cider makers, from the celebration-worthy bottles to adventure-ready cans. Virginia also boasts perhaps the longest and most storied history of cidermaking in North America, with apple orchards that date back to the 1600s. Yet both the restaurants and food lovers of Virginia don’t choose home-grown cider enough—Virginia has lower sales-per-capita than other cider making states.

Virginia Association of Cider Makers President Anne Shelton is excited about the opportunity the grant may bring. “Our state has a bountiful array of homegrown apple varieties, a deep history of cidermaking, and a super talented community of cidermakers crafting a wide variety of styles. We hope this grant can increase awareness around this with consumers and buyers and promote Virginia apples.”

In addition to creating awareness and understanding around Virginia cider, the grant will pay for survey research to learn more about the supply of the unique mix of apples that grow best as well as more about the state of the cider industry in Virginia.

From Shenandoah peaks to gentle ocean beaches, Virginia is home to a uniquely American diversity of landscapes, people, and ciders. “With just a little reminding, I think the drinkers of Virginia are ready to embrace the diversity and deliciousness of our uniquely Virginian ciders,” says ACA member Courtney Mailey of Blue Bee Cider in Richmond.

Letter from Board President Eleanor Leger

Dear Cider Friends –

As the new year begins, I am reflecting on the special challenges our incredible industry faces. 2022 will inevitably require more adaptation to supply chain issues, inflation, labor shortages, and the ongoing impact of the pandemic on sales channels and business models. These conditions are impacting all sectors of the alcoholic beverage market, but the special challenges we face in cider are a function of our small category size and the limited resources and power we have among ourselves to build awareness among consumers and achieve leverage in distribution.

I believe more than ever that cider’s future is strengthened when we draw the connection from apples to orchards to cider. Stories of growers, varieties, and the flavors that apples bring to ciders and to food pairings are what can move people to a greater appreciation of the diversity among cider offerings and a greater openness to considering cider as a choice on the shelf or at the table. These stories will benefit large and small cideries alike, across all price points and methods. Our fruit is what makes our product more expensive than grain or cane sugar based alcohols. We all must celebrate it if we are to claim the price points we need for economic sustainability across size and method. In this sense, we are truly united in our “big tent” approach. All cider is made from apples and we as a category share pride in that. 

On an exciting note, we are seeing new cideries continue to open across the country. Also increasing are wineries and breweries who are adding ciders to their product line ups, including new orchard operations. These will be more voices helping to spread the word about apples and cider. Concurrently, as an association, we have invested this year in more projects to measure and report on the growth of cideries. Additionally, for the first time, we are reporting on trends in the segments of the market that are often missed by data services such as Nilsen and IRI, including cellar door and cider club sales and sales to smaller and/or regional on-premises accounts. This will allow us to create a fuller picture of the American cider market. Stay tuned for more exciting data announcements!

We are excited to include this new data perspective in our CiderCon® program in Richmond next month. The ACA team, volunteers and partners have worked hard to identify the best tracks, presenters and topics based on your feedback, from apples and orcharding to production, compliance and more. CiderCon® covers these important topics across a range of experience and business models: from enthusiast to expert, from taprooms to cider clubs, and from high volume cans to small batch natural ciders. Michelle and the Board are working to make sure we can hold CiderCon® safely in the current environment, and there will continue to be updates as the date draws nearer.

I wish all of you, your families and team members health and prosperity for 2022. In the meantime, if I can be of service, if you have questions, if you have comments or suggestions, I will always be delighted to hear from you.