Dry Cider January Announced by Cider Association

The American Cider Association is launching a month long campaign called Dry Cider January to promote their members’ ciders containing 0 grams of sugar. They will list the ciders on their website and will be promoting them through the association’s social media channels with the hashtags #dryciderjanuary and #pickdrycider. 

The list will be updated regularly and can be found here.

“The brain has a hard time distinguishing fruity from sweet. Many ciders with absolutely no sugar in them can still be fruit-forward,” explained the association’s executive director, Michelle McGrath. “You’ll find there are a multitude of dry ciders available when you start seeking them,” she added. 

Alcohol is created when yeast converts sugar into alcohol through fermentation. A cider that contains no residual sugar has been fermented to absolute dryness. Sometimes cidermakers will blend a completely dry cider with fresh juice for acid/sugar balance, but other times they leave the cider entirely dry. These dry ciders are what the association is listing on their website for the campaign.

“It’s fairly common for cidermakers to list a dryness scale on their packaging nowadays. Although the definition of ‘dry’ may vary, a 0g sugar cider will generally be marked as such on the back label. ‘Bone dry’ is another term some companies may use to distinguish their 0 grams RS ciders from their dry ciders with only 1 or 2g,” McGrath shared. Some dry ciders, like Brut from Virtue Cider, include nutrition labels that indicate 0g sugar. 

The list of ciders on the association’s website demonstrates the flavors and styles possible not only in the cider category, but in ciders with 0g sugar.  From single varietal ciders showcasing specific apple varieties and served in a 750ml bottle to ciders aged on rose and hibiscus petals and served in a 12 oz can, the range is impressive. They are adding to the list daily throughout January. Follow along on their Instagram account @pickcider to learn more about the featured products. 

The American Cider Association is developing additional campaigns for 2020 to showcase their members and highlight the diversity of flavor and style in the category. 

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Active members of the American Cider Association may submit their 0g sugar ciders to be featured here. Consumers can participate with the hashtags #dryciderjanuary and #pickdrycider. 

The Gravensteins of Sonoma County

“What can I get for you?” I ask the next customer at the bar. “I don’t know. Do you have any cider made with Gravenstein apples?”, comes the reply. “All the ciders on our menu have some Gravenstein in them. What sort of cider do you like?”

That’s a typical beginning conversation at the Craft Cider Tent of the Gravenstein Apple Fair, an annual fundraising event benefiting the local agricultural non-profit Sonoma County Farm Trails. Most of our customers are not regular cider drinkers, and have generally just tried one or another of the large nationally distributed brands. Confronted with a menu of 18 local ciders, from almost as many producers, they are understandably a bit flummoxed. We talk about what they typically drink, do a little sampling, and eventually find something they love.

When most people hear “Sonoma County, CA” they think wine, but apples have been a part of the commercial landscape there since northern Europeans arrived in the mid-19th century. Chief among them was, and is, the Gravenstein, an apple whose 18th century origins (said to be Italy, Denmark, or Germany) are shrouded in mystery. It’s an apple that expresses itself marvelously in the area’s loamy soils, warm, dry days, and cool summer nights. Nineteenth century pomologists had it right when they described the Gravenstein as having “that refreshing admixture of sweet and acid which characterize our most esteemed apples” and declaring it good for cider. 

Cider makers in the area take full advantage of everything the Gravenstein has to offer making ciders that cover all possible flavor and texture bases – wild and tart native-ferments (Old World Winery and Coturri Winery); dry and fruit forward (Sawhorse Cider and Horse & Plow Winery); clean and crisp (Goat Rock and Ethic Ciders); semi-dry single varietals (California Cider Company and Golden State Cider), and complex blends (tannic from Tilted Shed Ciderworks, aromatic from Dutton Estates). The 10-fold increase in local cider companies over the last seven years has been a boon to local farmers, too, allowing them to resist the economic pressure to grub up their orchards in favor of wine grapes. 

While the range of flavor possibilities seems almost endless, what these ciders all have in common is their use of local fruit, typically dry-farmed and organic, harvested and pressed in season. They also rarely make it outside of Northern California, and most can only be found within Sonoma County itself and the handful of counties that surround it. To experience all this place has to offer, you have to go there. 

The American Cider Association is making it easy for the attendees of CiderCon 2020 in nearby Oakland to do just that with a pre-conference orchard and tasting tour. For cider lovers, it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

American Cider Association Note: Registration for CiderCon 2020 and associated tours will open soon! Darlene Hayes will be the guide for the Sonoma Country tour.

Meet Your Board Member: Josie Mielke

Josie Mielke is the co-owner and operations manager at Urban Orchard Cider Company in Asheville, North Carolina. She was elected to the ACA board of directors in January 2024 to an At Large Seat.

Tell us about your cidery/farm/orchard

Urban Orchard Cider Company is family owned and operated by a crew of passionate and fun-loving cider nerds. We source ALL of our apples from North Carolina, and utilize multiple yeast strains to craft a diverse offering of cider flavor and aromatic profiles. Our current collection of recipes contains over 80 innovative and creative ciders, utilizing fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, flowers, and hot peppers. All of our ciders are aged a minimum of six months, to allow for natural clarification, and the maturation of natural flavors and aromas.

How did you get into cider?

Like a lot of people I am gluten intolerant. I had dabbled in cidermaking because I went gluten free in 2006 and could not find a cider that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, at that time there was not a lot of selection and I found that they were all too sweet for me. At the same time I had moved back to Asheville and was having a very hard time finding employment due to the recession and Asheville being a service based city. Our family had discussed starting a business after the recession and with the craft beer boom and the accessibility of apples in our area this seemed like the perfect fit. 11 years later, we’re still here, and sometimes I really can’t remember how it all happened. Small business is a whirlwind.  

Why did you decide to run for a position on the board?

The pandemic had a big impact on my view of community. Pre-Covid I felt like an isolationist. I kept my head down and plowed through, focused solely on our business operations. Post-Covid and now 11 years in the industry I have a more holistic view of what we can accomplish together. A thriving cider industry is good for all of us. I would be lying if I also didn’t mention that I was getting a little stagnant in my position. The opportunity to branch out of my daily routine and make an impact invigorates me. As a political science and history double major there really is nothing more exciting than dropping a bill in Congress and trying to get it passed. I can’t wait to witness and be a part of the process for the Bubble Bill.  

What are your hopes for the future of the US Cider Industry?

I’d like to see cider valued for the artful product that it is. The entire industry has been working for a long time to overcome stereotypes about our category. The fact is that the US is producing some fantastic cider and I think that the public is finally catching on that cider is a versatile, creative and sophisticated  beverage. Not to mention it tastes damn good. 

How do you describe your cider region? 

The South is full of old generational apple farms. Many of which in our area used to grow for Gerber. Urban Orchard has made it a point to always buy local, and now it’s as important as ever. Asheville is booming and the housing market is hungry for land. Many farms are considering sales to real estate developers and farming is a tough gig. Now that Gerber is gone, cider is stepping in as a value added product for growers. While the majority of our fruit is dessert and eating apples, we think that you can craft fantastic cider from blending the variety of cultivars which provide some lovely acids and great sugar content.  

What’s your favorite apple to work with and why?

I don’t really have a favorite apple. While the apple is always the star in Urban Orchard products, I really enjoy experimentation with complementary fruits, herbs, vegetables, hot peppers, etc. That may set me apart from a lot of producers as I am not a traditionalist, but my passion comes from a culinary inquisitiveness and it’s the most fun aspect of the business to me.  

What is your favorite cider/food pairing? 

Ginger infused cider and sushi (yum). Really any nice cider with spicy Asian food is delicious. Cider and ice cream is also very tasty.

What is your favorite nature/cider pairing?

Cider on the beach baby! A better beverage has never been made for a hot day in the sun.

What would you like our members to know about you that they might not know? –non-cider related!

Traveling is my passion, as well as staying fit by challenging myself at the gym, outdoor activities, dancing and yoga. I have two energetic Airedales and a blind little poodle who keep me on my toes. I recently became a certified scuba diver and went to Norway to swim with Orcas! I also do volunteer work such as working the polls during elections, planning fundraisers for food security, and assisting with care for mistreated animals. 

From Snack to Sensation: Elevating Cider and Cheese for National Grilled Cheese Day

It is widely known that cider and cheese make exceptional pairings, but can we upgrade an excellent snack into the perfect meal? For National Grilled Cheese Day, I took to my favorite aisle in the grocery store to find new ways to bring cider and cheese together. 

When considering pairings, there are a few things I like to start with

  • Match intensities: This can be very important when working with strong flavors like those found in blue cheese.
  • The 4 C’s: Whether you start with the cheese or with the cider, consider if there are elements of each that you wish to balance out or to bring to the front by using the cut, complete, complement, or contrast methods.
  • Consider your condiments: Condiments can make or break a pairing so don’t forget about them.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of bubbles: Especially when working with buttery bread and strong cheese, allowing the carbonation to help cut through the fat can be very useful.

In this instance, I like to start with my type of cheese and then choose my cider style and complete the dish with bread, condiments, and other add-ons. In order to showcase the wide range of ciders available I have made pairings for all 5 of the Cider Families: Cider, Perry, Fruit Cider, Botanical Cider, and Dessert Cider.

Cider

Fresh mozzarella on a toasted baguette with crispy bacon and pistachio crumbles is cut and complemented by a cider made in the traditional method. The sparkling nature will cut through the buttery bread and fatty bacon and bring complementary fruity and vegetal qualities.

Smoked gouda on sourdough with honey dijon mustard, Pink Lady apple slices, and lemon zest is complemented by a harvest driven apple cider featuring at least medium tannin and no more than medium acidity. Consider a single varietal for this pairing. 

Perry

Aged cheddar on pumpernickel with a blueberry compote and balsamic vinaigrette is beautifully balanced by the floral acidity and light sweetness of a perry. Consider a blend of both low and high tannin pears to match the intensity of the cheddar. 

Fruit Cider

Gorgonzola on multi-seed bread with avocado and arugula paired with a semi-sweet, medium to medium+ acidity fruit cider. Consider a sour cherry cider for this pairing to bring out the nutty and green components of the sandwich.

Botanical Cider

Fontina cheese on potato bread with a basil pesto and fresh spinach can shine brightly with a semi dry botanical cider. Best cider matches for this pairing would have a medium body and at least medium acid that has nutty and green notes.

Dessert Cider

So for the dessert pairing, let me take you somewhere a little off the wall and make a sweet grilled cheese pairing. Brie cheese on a toasted croissant with nutella and fresh raspberries are the perfect match for ice cider that features notes of citrus floral and green.

Cheese and cider are the perfect pairing, and there are endless possible combinations. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut and measure with your heart. 

Looking for more information on cider and food pairing? Download our Food and Cider Pairing Basics Guide.

Looking for in person options to learn more about cider and food pairing? Check out our upcoming Level 1 Certified Cider Guide workshops around the country.

ACA Seeks Guest Country for CiderCon® 2025

CiderCon® is one of the most robust, diverse, thorough and connected professional cider conferences in the world. We pride ourselves on being a host to international attendees year after year.  The 15th annual CiderCon® will take place in Chicago, Illinois from February 4-7, 2025. We expect well over 1,000 people to attend. We are requesting proposals from other countries to send a diverse representation of their regional cidermaking community to be featured guests of honor at CiderCon® 2025. Previously featured countries are Spain, France, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden and Norway. Guests from these countries continue to attend future CiderCons because of the quality programming and because CiderCon® is an exchange of ideas, understanding and knowledge that enriches the global cider community. 

Costs: The American Cider Association will waive CiderCon® registration fees, provide up to 5 nights hotel for up to 4 cidermakers, and pay for and help coordinate cider imports for educational sessions. Guest countries are asked to further fund cidermaker expenses (airfare, taxi, per diem). Cidermakers may also fundraise through sponsorships, and we are happy to brainstorm strategies. ACA will also provide professional photos of cidermakers participating in CiderCon®, suitable for PR uses by their home country. 

Proposals will be considered on the following priorities: (A) evidence of guest country financial commitment (B) compelling cider story (C) depth of cidermaking knowledge for proposed speakers (D) diversity of proposed speakers, in cider style, cider opinions, and demographics. We are also prioritizing countries that have not been featured before. 

Countries in close proximity to each other may want to team up if there are less cideries available in their own country. We welcome creative proposals. 

Proposals are due June 1, 2024 at 5 PM Pacific Time. Please contact Michelle@ciderassociation.org if you have any questions.

CiderCon® 2025 Request for Speaking Proposals

Mark your calendars for an unparalleled gathering of minds and talents at CiderCon® 2025, set to transform the vibrant city of Chicago from February 5-7, 2025. As the world’s leading event dedicated to advancing the craft of cidermaking, CiderCon® offers an exceptional platform for networking, learning, and sharing the rich traditions and innovative techniques that define our industry.

This year, we’re casting a wide net to bring together the most knowledgeable, passionate, and visionary individuals among us. We’re looking for presentations that will enlighten and inspire, covering a wide array of topics from best practices and emerging trends to groundbreaking research and process improvements.

To make a successful proposal, please specify:

  • Target audience: Role in industry as well as business model
  • Skill Level: Is material appropriate for beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert level audience members
  • Key Takeaways: What skill, tool or new understanding will attendees walk away with?

The topics we’re particularly excited about this year include:

  • Compliance
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Distributor Relationships
  • Sales Strategies
  • Market Trends
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Safety
  • Leadership
  • Equity & Inclusion.

If you have insights or experiences in these areas, we want to hear from you!

At the heart of CiderCon® is our unwavering commitment to inclusivity. We believe that diversity fuels innovation and strengthens our community. That’s why we encourage proposals from individuals of all backgrounds, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and those with disabilities. Furthermore, we’re eager to hear from voices in related fields outside of cider to enrich our discussions and broaden our horizons.

Please submit your proposals to the CiderCon® committee by June 1, 2024 by filling out the Google Form. If selected, you’ll receive a complimentary pass to CiderCon® 2025, including lunches and access to all the fantastic non-ticketed events we have planned.

Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of the cider industry. Together, we can make CiderCon® 2025 a milestone event that celebrates our craft, fosters innovation, and builds a more inclusive and vibrant community. We can’t wait to see you in Chicago!

April 12: Member Orientation Webinar

Join us for our Member Orientation on April 12 at 11:00 AM Pacific

We are thrilled to announce that we will be holding our first ever Member Orientation webinar! There is such a vast amount of resources that the ACA offers to you all and we want to make sure that you know where to find them and how to take advantage of them. Miranda, our new Membership Coordinator will be leading a short video to go over who we are as an organization, the benefits of being a member, and a tour of our website. We have made a few changes to make the things that you are looking for most, more easily accessible. She will also discuss the easiest ways to manage your membership, give your team access to the membership portal, and answer any questions you may have. 

The Orientation will take place via Zoom on April 12th at 11:00am Pacific Standard Time. If you have any questions regarding the Orientation, feel free to reach out to our Membership & Engagement Coordinator Miranda Bradeen at miranda@ciderassociation.org. If you are unable to attend, the video will be recorded and you will be able to watch it at a time that is convenient for you.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

April 24 Level 1 CCG Workshop at CiderWorld in Germany

The American Cider Association (ACA) is excited to collaborate with CiderWorld to host an in person workshop for the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) Program Level 1 Certified Cider Guide (CCG).

This workshop is meant for all, and is the first level of the ACA’s in depth international cider education program, CCP.

We have a fantastic session planned, including a Certified Instructor leading an in person training, and an “introduction to sensory evaluation” tasting experience featuring the five cider families. Participants of this workshop will also be able to take the test online immediately after the training or take the test at a later date.

Cost per person is $189 USD which includes the in person training, instructor led tasting experience, downloadable study guide and online exam fee. Please note that ACA members will receive $50 off registration. Email jennie@ciderassociation.org for member code.

This is a great opportunity for the Frankfurt hospitality community and the broader European cider community to gather in person to attend the workshop and achieve their Level 1 CCG certification.

All are welcome! Please share this event with anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers and cidermakers who are interested in cider education or in adding a cider certification to their accreditation.

Location

Frankfurter Landwirtschaftlicher Verein e.V.

Krautgartenweg 1, 60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Nearest U-Bahn station: Frankfurt (Main) Niederursel

Timing for the Day

8:45 AM: Arrival and Check-in

9:00 AM: Presentation

12:00PM – 1:00 PM: Tasting Experience

1:00 PM-1:30 PM: Take the online CCG 1 exam (bring your own laptop)

April 27: Certified Pommelier Exam at CiderWorld

TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM AT CIDERWORLD IN FRANKFURT, GERMANY ON APRIL 27!

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier Exam will be held at CiderWorld in Frankfurt, Germany. The exam will take place Saturday, April 27, 2024 at Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten, Palmengartenstrasse 11, 60325 Frankfurt am Mein, Germany. The exam will begin promptly at 8:30 AM.

*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 a discount code available for ACA members who want to take the test. 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.

For non-members, the exam is $350.  

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 CP’s 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.

May 13: 2024 Annual Membership Meeting

We’re thrilled to invite you to join us on Monday, May 13, 2024 at 12:00 PM Pacific on Zoom for our 2024 Annual Membership Meeting.

During the meeting, we’ll reflect on our accomplishments from the past year, take a close look at our new strategic plan, and discuss how we work together under the big tent of cider in the upcoming year to sustainably grow the cider industry. After the meeting, we’ll have an optional virtual cider hang for anybody wanting to network with your cider peers. Let’s lift a glass together to the great year ahead!

Please note that you must be an Active ACA Member to attend the meeting, but don’t worry if you’re not yet one, you can join or renew your membership by clicking here.

We’ll send you the Zoom link before the meeting on May 13, 2024, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox. We look forward to seeing you all virtually and celebrating the cider industry.

Government Affairs Update: ACA Lauds the CHEERS Act to Support Bars, Restaurants and Venues with Draft Systems

On March 11, U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL-16) and Steven Horsford (D-NV-04) introduced the Creating Hospitality Economic Enhancement for Restaurants and Servers Act (CHEERS Act), a bipartisan effort aimed at supporting local businesses, restaurants, and bars with a focus on draft beverage systems. This legislation seeks to revitalize the hospitality industry by expanding tax incentives for investments in energy-efficient systems that include keg and tap property. 

The American Cider Association has joined the Beer Institute, the Brewer’s Association, National Beer Wholesalers Association, the National Restaurant Association, the Independent Restaurant Coalition and others in applauding this effort. By offering support for the use of draft lines and keg equipment in establishments, the CHEERS Act recognizes the importance of draft beverages and their connection to a thriving hospitality sector.

Michelle McGrath, CEO of the American Cider Association, highlighted the significance of draft cider sales in the Beer Institute’s press release about the bill on March 11, stating that draft cider accounts for 60% of hard cider consumption at establishments. 

“On-premise consumption plays a crucial role in introducing consumers to cider, making restaurants, pubs, taprooms, sports arenas, bars, and movie theaters vital components of the commercial cider ecosystem,” McGrath stated. 

The CHEERS Act’s focus on supporting investments in new, energy-efficient draft equipment is welcomed by the cider industry as it provides much-needed relief for the hospitality sector. This legislation acknowledges the importance of draft sales in sustaining local small businesses and aims to contribute to their recovery during these challenging times.

The ACA applauds Representatives LaHood and Horsford for their introduction of the CHEERS Act.

To read more about the CHEERS Act visit the Beer Institute website. 

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 contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey for the discount code to receive $50 off their registration.

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 – 2:30 PM Certified Cider Guide Workshop
  • 2:30 – 3:30 PM Cider Tasting Experience
  • 3:30 – 4:00 PM Take the Online Certification Exam
  • 4:00 PM Guided Tour and Networking