ACA Announces Diane Flynt as CiderCon® 2022 Keynote Speaker

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that award winning cidermaker Diane Flynt will be the keynote speaker at CiderCon® 2022 set to take place in Richmond, Virginia from February 2-4, 2022. Her keynote presentation will highlight the history and legacy of southern apples and cider. There are many lessons that can be learned from that past that can apply to creating a more sustainable future for the American cider industry. 

Flynt’s own history in the cider industry began in 1997 when she founded Foggy Ridge Cider, the first licensed cidery in the South, by planting cider apples, including many southern varieties. From 2004-2018 Foggy Ridge Cider produced 5300 gallons a year of orchard-focused ciders that was distributed across 15 states. 

Since its first production, Foggy Ridge Cider gained a national reputation for high quality cider. Foggy Ridge was featured on CBS Sunday Morning Show, and in publications including Gourmet, Imbibe, Saveur, Garden & Gun, Esquire and Martha Stewart Living. Food & Wine magazine named Foggy Ridge a “Small Batch Superstar” in 2010. MADE: In America awarded Foggy Ridge a 2012 American Treasurer’s Award, recognition for artisan producers. Foggy Ridge Cider received many “best of” awards, including a top rating from the New York Times for its Serious Cider blend. 

Flynt herself was nominated for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Beverage Professional in 2015 and 2016, and was a finalist for this award in 2017 and 2018. She speaks on cider, farming and food culture in national and regional forums.

“We are thrilled to have Diane Flynt joining us in Richmond at CiderCon 2022 as our keynote speaker,” says American Cider Association Executive Director Michelle McGrath, “Her wealth of knowledge and experience in the cider industry is impressive and I know that attendees will walk away from her talk with new inspiration for ways to move forward sustainably in their own cider businesses.”

After moving to an online format for CiderCon® in 2021, the American Cider Association is looking forward to hosting an in-person event for CiderCon® 2022, presented by premier ACA sponsor, FruitSmart. Planning for sessions, the extensive trade show, several regional tours, and various local cider events is well under way and the ACA believes that Richmond will be an exciting city in which to be located. The rich history of southern cider will provide a broad focus on a regional lens and Flynt and other speakers are expected to address the role enslaved people, such as George and Ursula Granger, played in the development of cider in the United States. 

Anne Shelton of Albemarle Ciderworks and the Virginia Cider Association President comments, “The Virginia Cider Association is pleased to welcome CiderCon® to the Commonwealth of Virginia. VCA members have been working hard to make CiderCon® 2022 a memorable experience for cider producers and cider enthusiasts both from the US and abroad.”

The ACA will be forming a COVID-safety plan for CiderCon 2022 to ensure that all attendees can participate with as little risk as possible. Both CDC and Virginia guidelines will be considered. The plan will be announced when ticket sales launch later this month.

CiderCon® is the premier conference for cidermakers in the United States. For more information about CiderCon® or the American Cider Association please contact Michelle McGrath. Follow @cidercon on Twitter for the latest news or head to the CiderCon® website for updates.

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