June is Pride Month: Celebrate our Industry and All of the People and Styles That Make It Amazing

As we step into Pride Month, it’s a perfect time to celebrate everything that makes the cider industry so vibrant and dynamic. Our community thrives because of the people and the styles and stories that they share. 

Commissioned in 1978, the rainbow flag was made as a visual representation of love and safety for all races, ages, and genders in the LGBTQIA+ community.  The very same safety and togetherness that we value and hold as pillars of our industry. Publicly demonstrating your alliance with these values through your brand and images helps us to keep these ideals at the forefront, and to celebrate the progress that has been made.

This Pride Month, let’s honor the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community and their invaluable impact on the Cider world. It’s a perfect time to embrace the spirit of inclusivity and unity that lies at the heart of our community. Whether you’re a seasoned cider professional or a newcomer to the scene, there’s a place for everyone here.

Join Our Rainbow Photo Contest!

To celebrate Pride Month, we’re excited to announce a photo contest that captures the essence of our community through the colors of the rainbow. We invite you to participate and showcase your creativity and love for cider in a way that highlights each vibrant hue.

How to Participate:

  1. Take a Photo: Snap a picture that incorporates all the colors of the rainbow or just one color of your choosing in a creative way. It could be a beautifully arranged cider tasting with colorful fruits, a picturesque orchard scene, or anything that represents the spirit of Pride and our industry.
  2. Share Your Story: Along with your photo, share a brief story or description of what Pride and the cider community mean to you. We want to hear your unique perspective!
  3. Submit Your Entry: Post your photo and story on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #CiderPride2024. Make sure to tag us @pickcider. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.


The contest runs throughout the month of June, and winners will be announced in early July. Six winners will be chosen from the entries at random and will be featured in our monthly newsletter and receive a Cider is for Everyone hoodie.

Press Release: ACA Welcomes Six New European Certified Pommeliers

The American Cider Association is pleased to welcome six new European Certified Pommeliers after completion of the first certification exam offered outside of the United States. The new Certified Pommeliers are some of the key members of the European cider community, and their embrace of the Certified Cider Professional program is another step forward in the realization of the ACA’s vision for the industry through increasing the understanding and appreciation of cider and perry. 

The new Certified Pommliers hale from countries across the continent including the UK, Italy, France, Germany, and Lithuania. They are Adam Wells, who was on the shortlist for 2024 Fortnum and Mason’s Drink Writer of the Year for his work at Cider Review, Marco Manfrini, president of the Associazione Pommelier e Assaggiatori di Sidro,  influential cider writer (Cider Explorer) Natalia Wszelaki, historian, writer and maker at Kertelreiter Cider & Perry Barry Masterson, cidermaker at Sodo Sidrinė Donatas Genys, and wine and cider scientist and consultant Yann Gilles.

Donatas Genys

Yann Gilles

Marco Manfrini

Barry Masterson

Adam Wells

Natalia Wszelaki

“The response to the exam was amazing,” shares the ACA’s CEO Michelle McGrath, “and to have such a distinguished group now part of the growing global CCP community is a testament to the CCP program’s role in supporting the growth of cider within the larger beverage category. It is a rigorous exam, and you could tell that all who sat for it had taken their studies seriously though they are all already playing significant roles in the cider industry. We are so grateful to Christine Isensee-Kiseau, Michael Stöckl, and the whole Cider World Frankfurt team for partnering with the ACA to make this exam happen and hope we can do it again next year.”

Education and certification programs such as those run by Cicerone, the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and the Court of Master Sommeliers, have done much to increase the understanding of the beverages they cover and enhance the professional standing of the individuals that complete them. With its CCP program, the ACA is poised to do the same for cider, raising the drink’s profile within the larger hospitality community as cider’s share of the global beverage market continues its steady growth. Continuing education is an important part of staying relevant in a rapidly changing hospitality environment.

For more information about the CCP program contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org or visit the ACA website at www.ciderassociation.org. For information about CCP classes in Europe, contact European CCP representative Gabe Cook at gabe@ciderassociation.org.


Member Rate Increase and New Member Levels Notification

We love cider! At ACA we are deeply committed to supporting the industry and our members so that the US cider community can be strong today and continue thriving for years to come. 

So it goes without saying, we also love our members. That’s one reason why we haven’t increased our membership dues for more than 7 years. We know your resources are limited, and for this reason, we take our fee structure and your benefits very seriously. But the time has come to adjust our membership rates slightly, so we can continue growing our education and advocacy programming. We are also adding some new membership levels to better meet demand.


If you would like to pay your next annual dues early, we will be happy to honor the current rate before the increases take place on July 1. Please contact our membership and engagement coordinator Miranda for more information. 


Active US Cideries (Organizational Membership Type)

The American Cider Association’s bylaws define voting level members as any commercial producer of cider and/or perry with production in the United States of America with a valid, current Federal winery license issued by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)–a requirement for all commercial cider producers in the United States. 

Voting level member dues will increase on July 1, 2024. The range in increase will depend on your membership level. These increases will help the ACA to continue delivering relevant and impactful programs to support your business’s bottom line, make your life easier with access to helpful resources and expertise, and cultivate a healthy US cider industry and community.

These memberships are an example of an Organizational Membership Type, where all employees are eligible and included in the membership for no additional cost. 

US Commercial Cidery Membership LevelsPrior DuesNew DuesRate Increase
Annual production of 1-5,000 gal/year$175$1856%
Annual production of 5,001-25,000 gal/year$350$3706%
Annual production of 25,001-100,000 gal/year $500$55010%
Annual production of 100,001-500,000 gal/year $1,000$1,15015%
Annual production of 500,001-1,000,000 egal/year $2,000$2,30015%
Annual production of > 1,000,000 gal/year $3,000$3,45015%


Allied members are not voting level members per ACA’s bylaws.

Cideries-in-planning (Organizational Membership Type)

Before a cidery begins commercial production, they may join as allied members to get access to the helpful resources available to ACA members.  

  • The dues for US-based Cidery-In-Planning members will increase 6% to $185 annually. 
  • The new Cidery-In-Planning member type for International Members will be $196 annually.

Enthusiasts (Individual Membership Type)

We are excited to add a second enthusiast type membership specifically for bartenders, sommeliers, beverage directors, chefs and other food, beverage and hospitality professionals. 

  • The Hospitality membership type will be $75 per person annually. 
  • The home cidermaker/enthusiast membership will remain $75 per person annually.

Retailers, Bars, Restaurants and Wholesalers (Organizational Membership Type)

Retailers, bars, restaurants or wholesalers who sign up as allied members can include all their employees in their membership with no added fee. 

  • Independent Retailers, Bars, Restaurants and Wholesalers: $250 per company annually
  • Corporate and Chain Retailers, Bars, Restaurants: $385 per company annually

Allied Trade (Organization Membership Type)

The ACA is lucky to have the support of vendors, suppliers, service providers and partner organizations who believe in our programming to support the cider industry. (Please note that Allied Trade member benefits apply to an organization’s employees, not members, volunteers, subsidiaries or clients.)

  • Allied Trade Memberships: $375 per company per year

Orchards (Organizational Membership Type)

We are adding two different types of farm memberships for fruit growers based on farm revenue. For now these memberships use the USDA farm designations to differentiate. We are developing specific benefits for our grower members, and are looking into how to designate our members that are both growers and cider producers. Stay tuned!

  • Family Farms (<$500,000 gross annual sales): $195 per farm annually
  • Commercial Farms (>$500,000 gross annual sales) $375 per farm annually

International Cider Producer Members (Organizational Membership Type)

We are privileged to have international cideries participate in ACA programming year round. We’re refining our international cidery level member fees as follows:

Int’l Commercial Cidery Membership LevelsDues
Annual production of 1-5,000 gal/year$ 196
Annual production of 5,001-25,000 gal/year$ 383 
Annual production of 25,001-100,000 gal/year $ 567 
Annual production of 100,001-500,000 gal/year $ 1,155 
Annual production of 500,001-1,000,000 gal/year $ 2,300 
Annual production of > 1,000,000 gal/year $ 3,500 


We’re looking forward to continuing working with you and for you! Together we can grow and nurture a robust and diverse cider industry. We appreciate your support. We can’t do it without you!

Press Release: ACA Reaches 100 Certified Pommeliers Following New York Exam

The American Cider Association is thrilled to announce that 100 individuals have now attained the prestigious Certified Pommelier designation following the exam held at ACA member cidery Wölffer Estate in Sagaponack, New York on April 18. This benchmark is meaningful for the Certified Pommelier program because the exam is rigorous with robust theory and sensory evaluation sections . The new Certified Pommeliers are Hannah Keggins, Cidermaker at Westwind Orchard, Alicia Pelkey, Cidermaker at Red Apple Farm, and Charlee Oddo, Cider Expert at Ancona’s Wines & Liquor.

Hannah Keggins

Alicia Pelkey

Charlee Oddo

“We are beyond excited to celebrate that we now have 100 Certified Pommeliers. To see the dedication of so many in the beverage community equip themselves with advanced skills to guide consumers through the wide variety of ciders available is truly inspiring,” comments ACA CEO Michelle McGrath.

Early on, the American Cider Association recognized the need to promote specialized knowledge about the cider category. Most food and beverage certification programs cover cider in a cursory manner or not at all. With cider being a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements often not known by culinary and hospitality professionals, the establishment of the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program in 2016 was a strategic maneuver to educate professional audiences.

Today, the CCP program is educating those on the front-line of cider sales, making it the world’s most comprehensive and in-depth cider appreciation program for food and beverage professionals worldwide.

“We know that consumers respond to engaged servers, and that confident recommendations go a long way in influencing their purchase decision. Our theory of change is that cider enthusiasm is contagious–CCP is how we keep the flame growing,” adds McGrath. 

Certified Cider Professional Program Benchmarks as of May 21, 2024:

  • Number of Level 1 Certified Cider Guides: 2,602 
  • Number of States with Certified Cider Guides: 49 including DC
  • Number of Countries with Certified Cider Guides: 20
  • Number of Level 2 Certified Pommeliers: 100
  • Certified Pommeliers Around the World: United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, New Zealand and the UK

More about the Certified Cider Professional Program and Upcoming Opportunities

The CCP program begins with a Certified Cider Guide (CCG) Level 1 certification to help industry professionals develop a fundamental understanding of cider. The Certified Pommelier (CP) Level 2 takes it a step further by encouraging cider professionals to think critically and showcase a higher level of understanding of the elements of cider. The rigorous testing process consists of four types of questions, including short answer, fill in the blank, essay, and blind sensory–which is based on tasting.

The ACA is dedicated to ensuring that all information tested on the exam is made accessible to anyone who desires to learn. To that end, the ACA released a textbook in March of 2023 to help candidates prepare to take the exam with just one comprehensive resource. The second edition of the textbook was released in March of 2024 to present a more global view of the cider industry as well as including new sections covering important emerging sectors such as low and no-alcohol products.The textbook is available for purchase through Kindle Direct Publishing. Additionally, the ACA offers sensory analysis practice webinars and a Facebook study group continuously updated with resources for exam candidates. Interested candidates can find links to all Certified Pommelier resources on the ACA website.

For those interested in attaining their Certified Pommelier designation, there are several upcoming exams to choose from:

In addition, there is a live sensory analysis webinar scheduled for June 27 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific featuring Brooklyn Cider House. Those interested in attending can find all the details on the ACA website. Taking advantage of sensory analysis webinars is highly encouraged for those interested in taking the Certified Pommelier exam. 

Contact the ACA’s Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey if you have questions about the Certified Cider Professional program or are interested in taking either the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide or Level 2 Certified Pommelier exams. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification


May 30: Navigating Trends: Insights Into Wine & Spirits for Cidermakers

Join us for an exclusive webinar hosted by 3 Tier Beverages consultants Julia Lechleiter and Mary Mills, in collaboration with the American Cider Association. We will explore Wine and Spirit trends and the possible intersection with Cider. 

As the BevAlc industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial for Cider producers to stay informed to be able to adapt to shifting consumer preferences. In this insightful session, industry experts will explore key trends, innovations, and consumer behaviors that are shaping the Wine and Spirits landscape provided through NIQ Scan and Consumer Panel Data. 

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the cider industry, this webinar offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and stay ahead of the curve. 

About the Speakers:

Mary Mills

Mary Mills joined 3 Tier Beverages in 2022 from NielsenIQ, where she spent 14 years across client management, business development, and innovation insights. She has experience working with various clients in the food, beverage, and consumer goods industries, with 9 years focused on alcohol specifically. She holds a Marketing degree from The Ohio State University and is an avid Buckeye fan. She resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Andy and two children, Luke and Ava.

Julia Lechleiter

Julia Lechleiter started out her career at 84.51 on their Insights team where she supported emerging CPG brands in leveraging Kroger household data to guide customer-focused assortment, promotion, innovation and digital strategies. After supporting clients on numerous new item presentations and being exposed to the power of BASES innovation research, she joined NIQ on the BASES BevAl team. While she learned to love the BevAl industry, she missed working in a data platform to support clients run various analyses, specifically those related to retailer relations which led her to 3 Tier. Julia graduated from Miami University with a degree in Marketing, and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have a 1-year old son, John, and two cocker spaniels, Bailey and Phil.

June 17: Sensory Analysis Workshop at Bivouac Ciderworks

Interested in learning how to taste cider like a pro? The American Cider Association is proud to announce that we will be teaming up with Bivouac Cider to host a cider sensory workshop. Join us Monday, June 17 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Adventure Lodge, 3980 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104 for an in person workshop.

Over the course of 2 hours, an expert Certified Pommelier will lead you on a guided tasting through two ciders and a food pairing. This hands on workshop will teach you the professional tips and tricks for understanding the elements of local and national ciders. Come sip, swirl, and savor delicious ciders! Perfect for cider lovers at any level

Cost: $40


  • 5:30 PM: Doors open
  • 6:00 PM: Cider sensory analysis workshop begins.
  • 8:00 PM: Networking

Must be 21 or over to attend.

Are you an ACA member? Click here to access the member exclusive discount code in our Resource Hub.

June 27: Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Brooklyn Cider House

You’re invited to a Live Sensory Analysis webinar on Thursday, June 27th, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Pacific!

Join our Certified Pommelier panel as they guide you through an immersive sensory experience featuring cider from Brooklyn Cider House in New York.

During this live practice session, you’ll learn how to analyze and appreciate cider like a pro and prep for your Certified Pommelier exam.

Not able to make it to the live event? No worries! The webinar will be recorded and available for you rewatch at any time with your initial purchase.

Cider must be purchased separately. Please be aware that it may take several days to receive your cider order, so we encourage you to purchase your ciders as soon as possible. Also, please verify that cider can be sent to your state before purchasing ciders. Ciders can be purchased from Brooklyn Cider House by clicking here. Use code “CP2024” at checkout to receive $2 off the bundle price.

Cost for the webinar is $30 for non-members and $20 for ACA members. Are you an ACA member? You can find your discount code in the Resource Hub.

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email. This email is a placeholder for the event. The evening before the event you will receive an email with a Zoom link to the webinar. Please note this link will be sent to the registered email.

USA Featured as Guests of Honor at CiderWorld in Germany

Darlene Hayes Recognized for Her Efforts to Develop the Category

The 16th annual CiderWorld took place in Frankfurt, Germany last week. The combined competition, celebration, and cider expo welcomed the United States as the Guest Country of Honor this year. In addition, the ACA was able to partner with CiderWorld to offer the first Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification and the first Certified Pommelier Exam in Europe.

CiderWorld’s expo was held at the Palmengarten and featured over 100 exhibitors from 17 countries who shared their cider with attendees.The American Cider Association joined member cideries ANXO and Vander Mill at the USA’s spotlight booth. The ACA also poured cider from Alpenfire Cider, Bauman’s Cider, Metal House Cider, Raging Cider & Mead and Tanuki Cider, highlighting the diversity and range of American Cider to German consumers. 

“Many of the visitors to our cider booth were shocked to hear about the size of the American cider industry and taste the quality of some of the ciders made there. It was an incredible experience to share these ciders with German consumers who drink a lot more cider than the average American,” reflected Michelle McGrath, CEO of ACA.

Every year at CiderWorld an individual is recognized as the Cider Star of the Year. The ACA is thrilled to announce that this year the honor went to Darlene Hayes, ACA Educational Content Manager. Darlene was recognized for her efforts to raise awareness of the cider industry around the world, her research into the history and roots of cider in the U.S., and for her work with other cider specialists to develop a consensus on knowledge and standards.

“Darlene Hayes’ extensive knowledge of science and law, as well as her exceptional palate, make her the ideal partner when it comes to the growth and development of the cider industry,” says Michael Stöckl, Managing Director of CiderWorld.

Norman Thatcher Scharpf, U.S. Consul General, joined the CiderWorld award ceremony to meet U.S. cider producers and celebrate the U.S. being the guest country of honor. He formally addressed the audience with remarks on the growth and significance of the U.S. cider market. 

Frankfurt and the Hessen region are steeped in centuries of cider culture that have not only persevered but flourished, symbolizing a cherished heritage and a testament to the region’s love for its local produce and traditional crafts. Known locally as “Apfelwein” in German, this cider has been a staple of Hessen culture, deeply ingrained in the social fabric of the region. The art of cidermaking in Hesse evolved from the abundant apple orchards dotting the countryside, with families passing down time-honored recipes from generation to generation. Frankfurt, in particular, emerged as a hub for cider production and consumption, giving rise to cozy “Apfelweinwirtschaften” (apple wine taverns) where locals and visitors alike can gather to enjoy local cider. 

It was a great honor to participate in the CiderWorld competition and expo. The ACA hopes that more U.S. cideries will enter the CiderWorld competition in the future.