New York’s Senator Schumer to Champion the Bubble Tax Modernization Act

The American Cider Association is pleased to share that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer will be championing the Bubble Tax Modernization Act in the Senate. While standing at New York’s Samascott Orchards, a provider of apples to New York’s Nine Pin Cider, Senator Schumer emphasized his commitment to close the carbonation barrier that is continuing to hold back innovation in the cider industry.

“There is no reason that craft cidermakers like Albany’s Nine Pin should get hit with a whopping 1,400% tax increase if they want to make bubblier cider or cider that is mixed with other fruits which has soared in popularity. It hurts our craft cidermakers, hurts consumers, hurts our growers, and is slowing the growth of this booming industry in Upstate NY,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am proud to support the Bubble Tax Modernization Act to finally pop this convoluted carbonation tax hamstringing the craft cider industry.”

Senator Schumer has long been a supporter of the cider industry and was instrumental in the passage of the CIDER Act in 2016. The CIDER Act successfully lowered taxes and increased the allowable carbonation threshold on hard cider made from apples and pears. The Bubble Tax Modernization Act seeks to achieve a similar result for ciders fermented or flavored with fruits other than apples and pears.

In a state like New York where diversified farms are plentiful, putting a carbonation cap on fruit ciders limits opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and success with consumers for both growers and cidermakers. Products like Nine Pin’s blueberry cider, made with a blend of apples from Samascott Orchards and blueberries from Indian Ladder Farm, are a prime example of profit extension for farms through year-round value-added agriculture. 

Additionally, extreme weather events can create gaps in apple harvest, making co-fermentation or blending with other desirable fruits necessary in certain harvest years. “Flexibility in fruit is important for growers,” says Michelle McGrath, CEO of the American Cider Association. “We’ve seen an uptick in co-ferments and fruit blends driven by consumer interest, but also driven by necessity. If your harvest was demolished by a freeze or a heat dome, why wouldn’t you consider blending with other fruit that had a better harvest? The bubble tax makes it harder to pivot when needed,” McGrath continued. 

To put the current tax structure in content, 100 gallons of hard apple or pear cider costs $22 in federal taxes. However, if cidermakers make a co-fermented batch of cider with blackberries and carbonate it like other products, they will have to pay $340 in federal taxes. The Bubble Tax Modernization Act would allow fruit ciders to carbonate to the levels that hard apple and pear ciders are allowed. This change would allow cidermakers to give consumers the fruitier bubblier cider they want at a price they can afford. 

The Bubble Tax Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which only applies to products under 8.5% alcohol by volume, would also open fruit mead and fruit wine up to more carbonation. Like cider, mead and winemakers with products under 8.5% ABV can carbonate at a higher threshold–until fruit is involved. In today’s beverage landscape, many producers are making cider, mead and wine. The lack of carbonation is a competitive disadvantage for these producers. The bill was introduced in January 2024 with bipartisan support on the house side through Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Congressman Mike Kelly (PA)

“We’re thrilled about Senator Schumer’s enthusiastic support of the Bubble Bill. He’s a champion for New York’s agricultural community and he gets that the community includes cider,” McGrath said.

To learn more about the current bubble tax, download our Bubble Tax Fact Sheet.

July 8: The Sweet Spot: Choosing Equipment That’s Not Too Big, Not Too Small, but “Just Right”

ACA Member Exclusive Webinar, July 8 – 11:00 AM Pacific

Join us for an in-depth look into the science of selecting the perfect cider-making equipment in our upcoming Coffee Chat with Juicing Systems. In this session, we’ll look into the critical factors that can propel your cider-making operation to new growth. From understanding your current operational status and pinpointing bottlenecks to planning for future growth and comparing equipment options, we’ll cover it all. Learn how the right equipment can save time, reduce labor costs, and significantly boost your productivity and profitability.

Whether you’re an experienced cider maker or just starting out, you’ll gain valuable insights into making informed decisions that align with your goals. Explore side-by-side comparisons of different equipment setups, discover the financial benefits of financing, and get practical advice on choosing equipment that fits your needs and budget. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to equip yourself with the knowledge to grow your cider business efficiently and effectively.

About Our Speaker

Meet Remo Trovato, the founder behind JuicingSystems.com. Originally from Switzerland, he found his home in Canada’s Okanagan Valley with his wife, Kristen. They started MobileJuicing.com to tackle food waste in orchards, but soon realized North America needed better juicing tech.

With Remo’s savvy and connections, he introduced European machinery to North America, innovating their operation. Now, Juicing.Systems not only sells but also services and maintains equipment, thanks to the team’s deep expertise.

When he’s not juicing, Remo’s shredding mountains on his snowboard or cherishing his family’s time. But what he loves most? The relationships with his clients. To Remo, the sale is not the end of the transaction, but the beginning of their relationship.

Can’t make it to the live webinar? This webinar will be recorded and made available to ACA members in our Resource Hub.

July 22: Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification in Bellingham, WA

Earn your cider certification and enjoy a tasting experience at Lost Giants Cider Company!

The American Cider Association is excited to collaborate with Lost Giants Cider Co. to host an in person workshop and tasting for the Certified Cider Professional Program, Level 1 Certified Cider Guide on July 22 at 1:00 PM Pacific. Participants will be able to take the certification test online immediatly after the training or take the test on their own at a later date. Registration to this event will also include a tour of Lost Giants!

Cost per person is $189 which includes the in person training, tasting experience, and test fee. ACA Members can find their exclusive discount code in the Resource Hub.

This is a great opportunity for the Northwest cider community to gather in person to attend the workshop and earn their certification.

Food and more cider will be available for purchase at the tasting room after the training.

We would love to see anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers, cidermakers, and anyone interested in cider in any way. You are all invited to build your cider education and earn your Certified Cider Guide accreditation.

Location:

Lost Giants Cider Company, 1200 Meador Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98229

Schedule:

  • 1:00 – 4:00 PM Certified Cider Guide Workshop
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM Introductory to Sensory Analysis Tasting Training
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM Take the Online Certification Exam
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM Optional Networking Hour

July 23: Certified Pommelier Exam at Lost Giants Cider

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at Lost Giants Cider in Bellingham, Washington on July 23!

Ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held at Lost Giants Cider in Bellingham, WA. The exam big promptly at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, July 23, 2024.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s also a discount code available for ACA members for the Certified Pommelier Exam. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

  • Apples, the Orchard & History
  • Cider Making
  • Flavor & Evaluation
  • Cider Families
  • Keeping & Serving
  • Food & Cider
  • Social Responsibility

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

July 25: Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification in London

Join Us July 25th in London for a Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification!

For the first time, the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) Program is being taught in the UK! The world’s finest cider education program will launch with a Level 1: Certified Cider Guide (CCG) classroom session and exam in the heart of London on Thursday 25th July. Leisurely run over the course of a day, this L1 CCG training has been developed specifically for those who work directly with consumers and trade customers, namely those working in retail and hospitality, importers, distributors, wholesalers and employees of cider producers. It is also the program for cider fans, aficionados and drinkers can showcase their extra weight of knowledge and passion. It is designed to enable participants to have a professional standard of knowledge and appreciation for different types of cider and how they are achieved, an approach to assessing cider and the different sensory qualities they have, and guidance on the best practice principles for serving, storing and selling.

Candidates will receive an email containing a downloadable study guide and a link to the online exam in advance of the workshop. The day itself will consist of a presentation of the materials from the study guide, with extra elaboration and, of course, the opportunity for questions. There will also be a guided sensory session of at least 3 ciders clearly demonstrating the key structural characteristics within cider, and utilizing a structured approach to their assessment.

The topics covered in Level 1: CCG are:

  • Apples, Pears and Orchards
  • Cider Production
  • Families and Flavor
  • Evaluating Cider
  • Keeping and Serving
  • Cider and Food
  • Social Responsibility

Event Timeline:

  • 09:30: Arrival and Check In
  • 10:00: CCG Presentation Part 1
  • 11:30: Break
  • 11:45: CCG Presentation Part 2
  • 13:15: Lunch
  • 14:15: Sensory Analysis
  • 15:30: Exam

August 19: Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification at France 44

Earn your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide accreditation and enjoy a tasting experience at France 44 on August 19 at 1:00 PM Central!

The American Cider Association is excited to collaborate with France 44 to host an in person workshop for the Certified Cider Professional Program Level 1 Certified Cider Guide. Participants will have the opportunity to complete the online certification exam immediatly after the training or on their own at a later date.

Cost per person is $189 which includes the in person training, instructor led tasting experience, a downloadable study guide, and access to the online certification exam. ACA members can contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey for the discount code to receive $50 off their registration.

This is a great opportunity for the Minnesota cider community to gather in person to network and earn their first level of cider certification. Registration to this event will also include a 15% discount to France 44 retail store and a celebratory cider on their roof following the event.

We would love to see anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers, cidermakers, and anyone who loves cider. All are welcome to begin their cider education journey by adding this cider certification to their accreditations.

Location:

France 44, 4351 France Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410

Schedule:

  • 1:00 – 4:00 PM Certified Cider Guide Workshop
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM Introductory to Sensory Analysis Tasting Training
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM Take the Online Certification Exam
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM Celebratory toast on the rooftop, networking, and retail discounts

August 20: Certified Pommelier Exam at Minneapolis Cider Company

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at Minneapolis Cider Company on August 20, 2024!

Ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier Exam will be held at Minneapolis Cider Company, 701 SE 9th St., Minneapolis, MN 55414.

The exam will begin promptly at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, August 20, 2024.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s also a discount code available for ACA members for the Certified Pommelier Exam. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

  • Apples, the Orchard & History
  • Cider Making
  • Flavor & Evaluation
  • Cider Families
  • Keeping & Serving
  • Food & Cider
  • Social Responsibility

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

Dry Cider July Looks to Celebrate 0g Residual Sugar Ciders

The ACA’s Dry Cider July campaign is set to launch on July 1, 2024 as a way of highlighting ciders containing zero grams of residual sugar. We encourage everyone to join the campaign through social media with the hashtags #dryciderjuly and #pickdrycider!

There is a common misconception that all ciders are sweet. The ACA is out to bust this cider myth–it’s actually easy for a cidermaker to ferment their cider to 100% dry leaving no sugar in the final product. For those looking to limit their sugar intake or who prefer the flavor of dry ciders, we have put together a database of producers and offerings that make finding these ciders easier for consumers. 

The range of ciders in the Dry Cider Finder reflects the vast possibilities of flavor and styles possible in cider, even without sugar. From single varietal ciders, showcasing specific apple varieties and served in a 750 ml bottle, to ciders aged on rose petals and sage and served in a 12 oz can, and everything in between.

The Dry Cider Finder can be found on our website.

If you are a cidery and have 0g residual sugar ciders that you would like to have showcased in the directory, please fill out our form here by June 18th, 2024 to be included on this year’s list. You must be an active ACA member to be included in the Dry Cider Finder.

For any questions regarding the Dry Cider July campaign, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Membership and Engagement Coordinator Miranda Bradeen.

October 7: Certified Cider Guide Workshop at Texas Keeper Cider

Earn your cider certification and enjoy a tasting experience at Texas Keeper Cider on October 7!

The American Cider Association is excited to collaborate with Texas Keeper Cider to host an in person workshop and tasting for the Certified Cider Professional Program, Level 1 Certified Cider Guide. Participants will be able to take the certification test online immediatly after the training or take the test on their own at a later date. Registration to this event will also include a tour of Texas Keeper!

Cost per person is $189 which includes the in person training, tasting experience, and test fee. ACA members can contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey for the discount code to receive $50 off their registration.

This is a great opportunity for the Southern cider community to gather in person to attend the workshop and earn their certification.

Food and more cider will be available for purchase at the tasting room after the training.

We would love to see anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers, cidermakers, and anyone interested in cider in any way. You are all invited to build your cider education and earn your Certified Cider Guide accreditation.

Texas Keeper is on 19 acres so there is ample off-street parking. They are also wheelchair accessible and people with mobility issues can be dropped off close to the door.

Location:

Texas Keeper Cider, 12521 Twin Creek Road, Manchaca, TX 78652

Schedule:

  • 1:00 – 4:00 PM Certified Cider Guide Workshop
  • 4:00 – 5:00 PM Introductory to Sensory Analysis Tasting Training
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM Take the Online Certification Exam
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM Optional Networking Hour

American Cider Association Partners With Great American Beer Festival® Competition to Welcome Cider

The American Cider Association (ACA), the national trade organization for the hard cider industry, is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Great American Beer Festival® (GABF®) Competition. This collaboration will see the introduction of cider as a prominent category in the esteemed annual competition, set to take place this October in Denver, Colorado. GABF, organized by the Brewers Association (BA), is the nation’s largest professional beer competition. Its medals are globally acknowledged as an emblem of brewing excellence and among the most sought-after accolades within the brewing community.

The GABF competition started in 1987 and has grown to be one of the largest beer competitions in the world, with over 9,000 individual beers entering each year. In 2023, 9,298 entries spanning 99 beer categories across 175 styles were judged, and 263 breweries were awarded 303 medals.

“The medals are meaningful to the winners due to the competition’s reputation with retailers and wholesalers. This is one of the many reasons that GABF opening its doors to cider is something we’re excited about,” says ACA’s CEO Michelle McGrath. “Although cider is not beer, the two categories have a lot in common–especially routes to market–making collaboration possible and exciting.”

The BA welcomes the ACA partnership by including ACA’s input on styles and judges and extends the BA member competition entry rate to ACA’s cidery-level members. GABF registration opened on June 11, and the ACA cidery-level members can find instructions for submitting their entries in the ACA Resource Hub.

“The Great American Beer Festival competition serves as a platform for the finest beers from across the nation to undergo rigorous scrutiny and vie for the title of ‘Best in Class,’” remarked Chris Williams, competition director for the Great American Beer Festival. “This year, we are pleased to invite the more than 1,300 commercial cider producers to compete for medals in the inaugural cider categories.”

“There is a global ecosystem of cider competitions that provide a range of services to the cider industry, including professional cider education, networking, recognition, and category development,” says McGrath. “We value all the various competitions and are thrilled to welcome GABF into the world of cider competitions.”

The BA sees this as the beginning of developing cider at GABF and hopes to work with the ACA to grow entries and styles in subsequent years.

The consumer-facing festival—the nation’s largest beer festival—also showcases cider and other beverages, and the ACA will be present at the festival this fall.

Learn more about the GABF competition here. ACA members can log into their ACA member accounts starting June 11 and head to the Resource Hub for information on how to get member rate discounts to enter cider in GABF 2024.