Open a special bottle of cider this Saturday, February 26, 2022!
This Saturday, February 26 is Open That Bottle Night. Open That Bottle Night was started back in the year 2000 by two Wall Street Journal columnists, Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher. Held on the last Saturday in February of each year, this day encourages folks to open up that special bottle and share memories.
While they may have been talking about wine, we know that there’s a lot of special bottles of ciders with great stories sitting on shelves and in cellars just waiting to be opened and have their stories told. So we’re asking you to open one of those special bottles and share your cider bottle story on Instagram.
Is it a bottle from the first batch you ever made? Does it have a unique apple variety that you’ve been wanting to try? A cider you stumbled upon while on vacation? A cider gift from a friend that you’ve been saving? A cider that you fell in love with the first time you tried it and had to add it to your collection?
Silly or poignant, we want to hear them all! Tell us and the world your cider bottle story and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #openthatciderbottle this Saturday, February 26, 2022!
TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM JUNE 20, 2022 IN SEATTLE, WA
Are you ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? Already passed the Certified Cider Professional Level 1 Certification and looking for that next challenge? Now’s your chance! The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a new date for those interested in sitting for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam! The next Certified Pommelier™ Exam will take place June 20, 2022 from 7:30-11:30am at Seattle Cider Co. in Seattle, Washington. Read on to learn more about the Certified Pommelier™ Exam and how to prepare, what to expect, and how to register! (P.S. There’s a discount code available for ACA members who want to take the test. You can find that code HERE by logging in to your account.)
WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM?
American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful U.S. cider industry by providing valuable information, resources and services to our members and by advocating on their behalf. One way to fulfill this mission is through the Certified Cider Professional Program–a program aimed at educating the front-line of cider sales (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!).
The intro-level certification (CCP Level 1) is an online test that can be taken at any time. The more advanced level of certification–the Certified Pommelier™ exam–is a sit-down hand-written exam: part short answer, part essay questions, and part sensory and taste evaluation questions. *CCP Level 1 is a prerequisite for Certified Pommelier.
Certified Pommeliers™ must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered in CCP Level 1, but must also be able to think critically and use the basics to demonstrate a higher understanding of the elements of cider. The exam consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting).
The test is meant to be challenging. Studying is highly recommended.
The topics covered in the exam are:
- Apples, the Orchard & History
- Cider Making
- Flavor & Evaluation
- Cider Families
- Keeping & Serving
- Food & Cider
- Social Responsibility
*If a test-taker passes only the written or only the tasting portion of the exam, they are permitted the opportunity to retake the un-passed portion of the exam at a future date (within 18 months).
WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER™?
Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often misunderstood by food and beverage professionals. Certifications are increasingly used in the professional realm to set oneself apart as an individual with specialized knowledge, though cider is often covered in a cursory manner by most certification programs, if at all. Although there are already more than 1,700 Level 1 Certified Cider Professionals, being recognized as a Certified Pommelier™ will put you in the vanguard of verified advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.
HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST?
For ACA members, the exam is $125 per attempt. There is a discount code that members can access to receive the exam at the membership rate of $125. That discount code can be found here. For non-members, the exam is $200. Should it be needed, test takers can retake future written or tasting portions of the exam at a separate sitting with a 25% discount.
- Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? YES- You must be 21 or older and you must provide an ID to prove you are who you say you are.
- Do I need to pass the level 1 CCP exam to take the Certified Pommelier™ test? Yes. Passing the Level 1 CCP exam is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken the Level 1 exam, you can purchase the Level 1 bundle on demand HERE. The bundle includes an on-demand webinar, study guide, and access to the online exam.
- What can I bring into the event? Nothing may be brought into the exam room. Cell phones must be left at the door. Pencils and drinking water will be provided.
- How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact CCP contributor and proctor Jennie Dorsey at email@example.com.
- What’s the refund policy? We will refund test takers up two weeks before the exam.
- Is there a training workshop? This is not a workshop, but an exam only. Once you register for your exam, study materials including webinars and study guides will be emailed to you. There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in depth peer conversations. STUDY! We highly recommend interviewing cidermakers and cider tenders to help prepare. Blind tasting flights are also good prep.
- Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? If you are transferring registration to another person, please email us in advance.
- Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate ciders from multiple cider families.
- How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory portion of the exam and 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the sensory portion. There will be a 15 minute break in between exam portions.
Refund and Opt Out Policy
Refunds will be offered up to 2 weeks before the exam.
Any purchaser can opt out of the exam up to 72 hours prior to scheduled time. If opt out is chosen, another exam date must be chosen within 18 months. No refunds will be given.
Please fill out the 2021 Cider Production Survey!
The American Cider Association would appreciate your help in aggregating production information for U.S. cideries for 2021. We collect this information in order to help advocate for cidermakers with Congress, the media, and buyers.
This survey will take about 20 minutes to complete. This survey is being collected by an independent third party who has agreed not to share information with us that might identify who you or your cidery are, and to only share aggregate data with us. YOUR PRIVACY MATTERS TO US.
Your cidery name is collected by the 3rd party to ensure there are no duplicates, but the ACA will never see that information.
We do ask a number of questions about sales and production for 2021. You will find it helpful to have that data handy before completing the survey. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey! Note: If you produce wine or other beverages besides cider, please answer only considering your cider production.
Deadline extended to Thursday, March 10, 2022! Fill out the survey now before time runs out.
The American Cider Association is pleased to invite our members to join us for the Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting will take place Monday, March 29, 2021 at 10:00am Pacific via Zoom.
We will take a look at last year’s accomplishments, review our strategic plan, and let you know what’s in the works for the year ahead. We look forward to virtually seeing all of you and hearing your ideas for how we can promote the US cider industry.
You must be an Active ACA Member to participate in the Annual Membership Meeting. You can log in, join, or renew your membership here.
We will provide you with the Zoom link prior to the beginning of the meeting on March 29, 2022.
Join us March 1, 2022 at 12:00pm Pacific for analyses of the harvest driven cider segment of the cider industry. Harvest driven cider makers are defined as those for whom 75% of their annual cider production is are pressed once per year at or close to the date of harvest and are aged for a minimum of three months prior to packaging. Because this segment of the cider industry is often smaller producers who don’t sell in markets captured by Nielsen data or retail data scanner providers like IRI, the American Cider Association decided to launch an annual harvest driven cider survey. This inaugural survey was undertaken by Michael Uhrich of Seventh Point Analytic Consulting. He has taken a deep dive into the data to suss out the current status of the harvest driven cider segment and will present these results with us in this webinar.
This webinar is for ACA members only. You can log in, join, or renew your membership here.
Registration closes February 28, 2022 at 1:00pm Pacific. Information to join via Zoom will be sent after registration closes on February 28, 2022.
While we appreciate Congressional support for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, it is clear that cideries and others in the hospitality industry are still in need of additional support. Submitted claims far outstripped what was provided in March 2021 by approximately $50 billion. Refilling the RRF is an important step in the hospitality industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
New bipartisan legislation provides much-needed economic relief to the hospitality industry, including restaurants, bars, cideries, and other craft alcohol businesses with tasting rooms. With fewer Americans dining out, traveling, or gathering for events, these businesses have seen dramatic declines in revenue and struggled to reopen. Through this legislation, eligible entities may receive grants to help cover payroll, mortgage or rent payments, utilities, operational expenses, and other eligible expenses.
We’re asking Congress to provide relief to hospitality businesses still struggling to survive, and we need your help. After Congress established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) last spring, the initial round of funding left 177,000 eligible businesses without a penny of relief.
According to research by the National Restaurant Association, the RRF saved more than 900,000 jobs at restaurants that received grants. Their estimates indicate that fully funding the RRF will save more than 1.6 million restaurant jobs.
Congress is weeks away from considering a spending bill for all government operations. It’s critical that this package include additional support for the RRF!
Join us in urging your Members of Congress to support additional funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) by passing the Continuing Emergency Support for Restaurants Act (S. 2675)!
BeerBoard’s Hard Cider Trends Webinar February 22, 2022
Join Dillon Card and Jim Randall from BeerBoard for the newest on-premise insights for cider with national and regional breakdowns, including competitive style and product performance data. This webinar will take place Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 12:00pm Pacific on Zoom. Zoom link will be provided the day before the webinar.
This webinar is for active ACA members only. Join now or renew your membership!
- The 12th Annual CiderCon® took place in Richmond, Virginia from February 1 to February 4, 2022. This was a return to an in-person event after holding CiderCon 2021 in a virtual space. CiderCon® is the American Cider Association’s annual event. This year’s theme was Southern Cider.
- On the main two days of the conference, 37 workshops presented information on 8 tracks. The tracks were: apples and orcharding, cidermaking, flavor and terroir, sales and distribution, marketing and trends, better business, legal and compliance, and history. The schedule can be downloaded here.
- 36 states and DC were represented with Virginia, New York, Washington, California, Oregon, and Pennsylvania sending the most attendees.
- 805 people attended the conference, and there was an increase in the number of regular ticketed attendees participating compared to the last in-person conference in Oakland, CA in January 2020.
- This year’s trade show featured 73 vendors including several veterans from past CiderCons®, as well as an impressive number of first time exhibitors who were excited to meet professionals from cider’s growing industry.
- James Beard finalist and multi-nominee Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider was the event’s keynote speaker. She discussed the history of Southern apples and cider and the lessons that modern growers and cidermakers can learn from that history.
- There were 11 tastings sessions in total for CiderCon® 2022 including sensory evaluation and food pairing workshops, crab apple cider tastings, Southern apple cider tastings, a sensory review of Northern Michigan ciders, low-abv cider cocktails and more.
- The American Cider Association partnered with the Cider Institute of North America to co-develop a large production oriented and technical-in-nature workshop track with 9 sessions on topics from producing cider using wild fermentation to fruited cider to creating ciders with residual sugar. The Cider Institute of North America trains cider makers through their educational programming in partnership with universities like Cornell.
- In addition, CiderCon® held several orcharding sessions for growers. Beginning sessions included an introduction to holistic orcharding practices and a hands-on grafting workshop. Advanced concept sessions included integrated pest management solutions for both diseases and insect pests.
- Sessions also focused on lessons that can be learned from other craft beverage industries, including tourism, sustainability practices, clubs, and barrel aging.
- The American Cider Association offered its Certified PommelierTM exam at CiderCon® 2022, an advanced second level designation of its Certified Cider Professional program geared toward beverage and hospitality industry professionals. More than 30 people sat for the challenging test that includes a blind sensory evaluation section. The new cohort of Certified PommeliersTM will be announced in 6 weeks.
- More than 150 people took one of 5 tours during CiderCon® 2022. The first overnight tour was offered to the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, in addition to tours to the Virginia apple growing regions of Albemarle County and Nelson County. There was also a tour of Richmond based cideries and a tour of the historic Jackson Ward area of Richmond–once known as Black Wall Street. The tours were coordinated the Virginia Association of Cidermakers and the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office.
- The ACA launched an equity pledge at CiderCon® and two sessions directly addressed methods for building a more inclusive cider industry. Day Bracey, founder of Barrel & Flow (formerly Fresh Fest), discussed how he and his team built one of America’s most inclusive brew festivals and the initiatives behind it. Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham of Crafted For All and the Brewer’s Association returned to CiderCon® to cover a variety of practical pipeline development strategies to help cider business successfully increase the breadth, depth, and diversity of its pool of qualified job applicants.
- CiderSoms hosted CiderCon®’s first ever BIPOC Cider Professional Meetup and Pomme Pride hosted their first meetup for LGBTQIA+ cider industry professionals.
- Richmond Cider Days, an unaffiliated list of cider events sponsored by the Virginia Association of Cidermakers, took place during the week of CiderCon® with 30 events ranging from single varietal tastings, to tap takeovers, to cider pairing dinners.
- The American Cider Association’s annual board elections happen concurrently with CiderCon®. Newly elected board members were announced during lunch on Friday and include: Christine Walter of Bauman’s Cider in Oregon to an At-Large Seat, and David Glaize of Glaize & Bro. Juice Co. and Old Town Cidery in Virginia as the Southern Chair. Eleanor Leger of Eden Ciders in Vermont was re-elected to Eastern Chair and Ben Calvi of Vermont Cider Co. was re-elected to a Large Cidery Seat.
- The American Cider Association’s board recognized Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider in Virginia and Dan Pucci of New York, co-author of American Cider, for their significant contributions to the cider industry.
CiderCon® 2023 will be held in Chicago, IL from January 31 through February 3, 2023.
CiderCon® was created to offer the commercial cider industry an outlet to meet, share ideas, collaborate and affect positive changes in cider making and cider fruit production best practices, the cider market and cider regulations. CiderCon® is organized by the American Cider Association whose mission is to grow a diverse and successful U.S. cider industry by providing valuable information, resources and services to our members and by advocating on their behalf.
Last Friday, the American Cider Association (ACA) announced the results of their annual board of directors election at their 2022 industry trade conference called CiderCon®, held this year in Richmond, Virginia. The ACA is the nation’s non-profit trade group working to protect and advance the hard cider industry. Christine Walter of Bauman’s Cider in Gervais, Oregon was elected by members to the ACA board as a director-at-large and David Glaize of Old Town Cidery in Winchester, Virginia was elected as the Southern Chair, tasked with serving as the liaison for the ACA’s Southern members and the Board of Directors.
Notably, both new board members are multi-generational apple growers in addition to being cidermakers. Apples are a critical ingredient in cider’s production as all hard cider–traditional, bottle-conditioned, fruited or otherwise–is made from fermenting apple juice using the same fermentation methods as wine. Having a substantial grower presence on the board of directors connects the board further with cider’s most important ingredient–apples.
New ACA Board Members
Christine Walter grew up on the family farm, Bauman Farms, in rural Oregon. Raising apples and pressing juice with her family are some of her earliest memories. She studied Biochemistry in college, and eventually made it back to the farm where she now makes award winning Bauman’s Cider in the barn. She is currently a member of the board of The Cider Institute of North America, close partners of ACA. She is energetic, creative, and strategic.
David Glaize is a 4th generation apple grower in Winchester VA, and co-owner of Old Town Cidery. Alongside his brother (Philip) the two convinced their dad to plant cider varieties back in 2010, and to construct a processing facility in 2018. The juice company, Glaize & Brother Juice Co, provides custom juice blends to cideries, wineries, and breweries up and down the East Coast. In working to keep the family business vertically integrated, David and his brother opened Old Town Cidery in 2021. David is a member of US Apple–a trade group for apple producers–and hopes to help deepen the relationship between the two groups. He is passionate about consumer education and farmland protection.
2022 ACA Board Officers
The ACA also announced the results of their 2022 board officer elections. Dave Takush, the head cidermaker of 2 Towns Ciderhouse in Oregon joins the ACA’s executive committee as Secretary. John Behrens of Farmhaus Cider in Michigan served as the board secretary in 2021 and was newly elected as Treasurer for 2022. Brooke Glover of Swilled Dog in West Virginia and Eleanor Leger of Eden Specialty Ciders in Vermont were both reelected as Vice-President and President, respectively.
“I’m excited to work with our fantastic board and our diverse membership to move the cider industry forward with the trade and regulators. Together, we will help American drinkers of all demographics discover and enjoy the amazing range of great ciders in the marketplace,” says Leger.
“Paul and David are both incredibly strong leaders,” says ACA executive director, Michelle McGrath. “Paul and I have worked very closely together to grow the ACA since my hiring in 2016. It’s been an honor to work with him and learn from his mentorship. And David was a force for positive change. I am a better leader for having worked with both Paul and David, and I will miss their presence on the board tremendously.”
The ACA will hold its annual virtual membership meeting, with opportunities to meet board member, on March 8, 2022 at 10AM Pacific. Members will be sent meeting details by email.
“Our virtual membership meeting last year was a big success. The board loved it so much we’re going to do it every year now,” says McGrath. “It’s a great chance to talk more deeply about strategic initiatives on the heels of CiderCon® conversations.”