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.
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.
IWSC International Wine & Spirit Competition Applications Due June 7
This summer, the IWSC, in partnership with Cider Is Wine, is bringing its international drinks awards to Somerset, South West England, to judge cider, perry, and fruit wine made from 100% juice, not from concentrate.
Renowned for expertise, influence, and personal approach, the IWSC is proud to champion entrants from across the cider category.
Learn more and apply today: https://iwsc.net/alternative-drinks/cider
Making An Impact During Pride Month Through Company Culture
In the United States, pride marches and parades trace their roots back to 1970 when they were created to mark the anniversary and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Today Pride Month is celebrated every June across the country as a means to create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to be visible and wholly themselves. But what if there are ways you could create that space within your cider company culture all year long?
Learn more about the LGBTQ+ acronym
This Pride Month, we invite you to create a work environment that makes your LGBTQ+ employees feel safe and valued. In all of these examples, your entire organization will be better poised to thrive by pursuing the steps outlined.
- Review company policies that impact leadership and employee pipelines for LGBTQ+ employees: Do your anti-discrimination policies mention LGBTQ+ individuals? Have you evaluated your employee pipeline to see if you are creating opportunities for leadership development with your LGBTQ+ employees?
- Support your staff’s mental health. Provide paid mental health days and create opportunities for mental health-restoring company group activities. Support human resource speakers talking to your team. Consider formal mental health benefits. Be aware of anti-LGBTQ+ events highlighted on the news and how that might emotionally impact employees.
- Offer paid parental leave regardless of gender or biological/adoptive birth.
- Commit to learning and using the proper language. The language about the LGTBQ+ community evolves fast. Showing a commitment to using the right terms goes a long way in earning trust.
- Center the Trans experience in your inclusion efforts. As a leader, using your pronouns when you introduce yourself is validating for your transgender staff. Don’t make pronouns mandatory (some employees may not be out as trans individuals) but create space for others to follow suit when they are comfortable to do so. When pronoun wishes are shared by staff, honor them. Have a gender-neutral bathroom available.
- Take an affirmative public position on LGBTQ+ inclusion and belonging. This can be through events, social media or partnerships. Some great examples include Seattle Cider Company partnering with Queer Mountaineers to support a safe space for outdoor enthusiasts of all backgrounds, genders, and sexualities; Diskin Cider Co. hosting Drag Brunch in Nashville and partnering with Tennessee-based LGBTQ+ affirming organizations to do so; and 1911’s PRIDE Cider connecting back to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (a NY-based organization promoting free gender expression and working to improve equal access to quality social, health, and legal services). Avoid “rainbow washing” by creating and standing by policies that will protect and uplift the LGBTQ+ community.
You can find more in-depth resources for creating a workplace that is inclusive below:
- Sign up for your Crafted For All account (included with your ACA membership benefits!)
New Item Coding for UPCs with NIQ
We want to make sure your cider is accounted for in national sales data. It’s important every cider is included so we can have an accurate picture of the cider industry and collect data that you can use when pitching your ciders to wholesalers and retailers around the country.
Please find below detailed instructions for how to submit new products to NIQ (formerly Nielsen).
To get NEW UPCs added:
- Fill out the NPC 2023 Form.
- Send both the form and correct photos (see below for photo guidelines) to Mary Mills at 3 Tier Beverages and she and her team will make sure everything is good to go for NIQ. She recommends uploading images to a shared drive (Dropbox or Google Drive) in order to preserve image quality.
Below is an in-depth photo guideline to follow when submitting photos to NIQ to get new UPCs coded or current ones updated.
Nielsen accepts 2 types of photos:
- 3D: Photos of the real 3D item.
- Flat: 2D photos of the label/box.
Nielsen is VERY PARTICULAR about the photos needed so below are the guidelines to follow. The images needed are described below, flat photos are best if you have them. If not, please send images of the actual item. For either type of photos you choose to submit, Nielsen requires photos of:
- Clear images of all 6 sides, including top & bottom of the individual product
- Clear images of all 6 sides, including top & bottom of the packs (2/4/6/12pk/etc) are needed if they are not sold individually
- Make sure photos are in jpeg format or else they will NOT be accepted
- They need to be clear, have a neutral background, and high resolution so no blurring when zoomed in
- Professional photos are not required
Click here to view photo examples for both 3-D and Flat.
Have questions? Email our NIQ contact Ryan Sisto.
Urge Congress to Support the USPS Shipping Equity Act
On May 23 Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) once again introduced the USPS Shipping Equity Act in Congress alongside Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and 8 other House co-sponsors. Currently, the U.S. Postal Service is not allowed to ship cider, beer, wine, or distilled spirits, because of a leftover, outdated ban put into effect during the Prohibition era. The USPS Shipping Equity Act would give parity to the US Postal Service, allowing it to ship licensed alcohol for commerce just like FedEex or UPS. Additionally, the USPS Shipping Equity Act gives rural producers access to another option for shipping alcoholic beverages. This bill is critical in leveling the playing field and increasing consumer and manufacturer choice while bringing in millions of dollars in revenue per year that will support small businesses, rural communities, agricultural enterprises and the US Postal Service.
We encourage you to email your Congressional representatives and urge them to cosponsor the USPS Shipping Equity Act. We have set up a campaign with an email template that you can use. Click the button below to be taken to the campaign. After you’ve emailed your reps, we encourage you to take a moment to share your actions on social media and via email to inspire others to reach out to their representatives as well.
Have questions? Please email ACA CEO Michelle McGrath.
Celebrate World Cider Day on June 3!
Saturday, June 3, 2023 is World Cider Day! We hope you’ll join us in the international declaration of love for the beverage we all hold dear. Whether you’re sipping on a crisp apple driven cider or a unique botanical cider, take a moment to snap a photo and share it on your social channels this Saturday. Posting about your favorite cider can help raise awareness about this beautiful beverage and also gives you a chance to connect with other cider enthusiasts and cidermakers around the globe. Show your support for cidermakers and small businesses, and join the conversation using the hashtags #WorldCiderDay and #WCD2023 and tag us @pickcider. Let’s raise a glass to cider and cheers to a great day!
A Little History on World Cider Day
World Cider Day was launched by the members of the Association of Apple Wine and Fruit Juice Press Houses in Hesse, Germany in 2013 to promote cider and the meadow orchards in the region. Since then it has been embraced by cideries, bars, restaurants, cider associations and cider lovers all over the world. Learn more and find resources on the World Cider Day website.
New ACA Member Benefits!
We’re excited to share some new ACA member benefits with you this spring. Read on to learn more about our brand new resource hub, the new 3 Tier Beverages dashboard just released with Nielsen Q1 2023 data, and a free Crafted for All account now available to all members.
We’re so excited to share that our new digital Resource Hub is now live! The resource hub is exclusively for ACA members and is filled with items useful for cider businesses of all sizes. The resource hub already includes a wealth of information and members can expect a quarterly release of new resources and will be notified via email when these updates occur.
Nielsen Q1 2023 Data on New 3 Tier Beverages Dashboard
3 Tier Beverages, in partnership with NielsenIQ, is proud to be the official data supplier of the American Cider Association. Part of this partnership brings you quarterly dashboards with key market data and insights to help you drive your business forward. The first dashboard is now available with data through Q1 2023 (3/25/23).
Crafted for All Account
We’ve had the privilege of working with Dr. J Nikol Jackson-Beckham and her organization Crafted for All for several years now and we’re so pleased to be able to expand our partnership and offer all ACA members the opportunity to create an account with Crafted for All where you’ll find a wealth of resources.
We’re Looking for Vendors for CiderCon® 2024
Did you know that the largest gathering of cider producers in the world is coming to Portland, Oregon next January for CiderCon® 2024? In addition to a wide range of educational sessions and events for cider producers, we also host an extensive trade show where our attendees can meet vendors with products and services that can help them thrive. CiderCon® 2024 will be held at the Oregon Convention Center from January 17-19 and the trade show will be right in the middle of it all. We haven’t been back to Portland since 2016, so we’re anticipating a great turn out!
If you haven’t been a vendor at CiderCon® before, now is the time to get involved and showcase your products and services to the rapidly growing cider industry. Our attendees always appreciate the chance to meet new vendors.
Have you already been a vendor at CiderCon®? Then you already know how much our attendees love the trade show and seek it out to connect with you!
Booth prices for CiderCon® 2024 are $3000 for a 10’ x 10’ space – and that includes 3 passes to the conference as well as lunch on Thursday and Friday!
Interested in joining us? Email our Trade Show Coordinator Ellen Husch for more information!
Know a company that you think would be a great fit? Send their contact information to Ellen.
There are also numerous sponsorship opportunities available for vendors. Supporting the American Cider Association is a great way to gain brand visibility at CiderCon® and beyond. There are a myriad of reasons why sponsoring the ACA works in your favor. We shout out our appreciation for our sponsors far and wide at CiderCon®, on our website, on social media and our members hear us. Our Executive Director Michelle McGrath is eager to work with you on creating a custom sponsorship experience that meets your brand’s personality and needs. Email Michelle to schedule a meeting.
Webinar: How Cideries Like Santa Cruz Cider Are Preventing Catastrophic Climate Change
There are a significant number of reasons why cideries like Santa Cruz Cider are looking to become more sustainable. Agriculture health, ingredient accessibility, customer engagement, preserving the bottom line, and protecting the planet are all driving cideries to focus on sustainability.
Join Jenny Morgan from Tradewater and Nicole Todd of Santa Cruz Cider Co. on June 6 at 10:00 AM Pacific for a discussion of the ways that Santa Cruz Cider committed themselves to sustainable action and how they came to partner with Tradewater.
We will also dive deeper into the high-impact climate projects that Tradewater leads and how each cidery can do their part to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Interested in learning how you can take action on sustainability in your cidery? Download this PDF with suggestions from Tradewater.
Jenny Morgan joined Tradewater in 2022 as the Market Development Manager. In her role, she partners with organizations to help achieve carbon neutrality through sustainability consultation, emissions reduction, and the purchase of carbon credits. She operates under the belief that our most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone – it requires a collective effort. She is passionate in changing the way we view business and industry to be both profitable and purposeful. Prior to joining Tradewater, Jenny has worked within the technology and hospitality sectors, and comes with 15+ years of experience in Business Operations, Market Development, Events, and Community Engagement. Outside of work, Jenny enjoys spending time with her family and friends hiking, running, swimming, and planning themed celebrations.
Nicole’s love for cider started with a truck bed full of ‘found’ apples in a nearby orchard. Having a passion for fermenting anything she could get her hands on, she started Santa Cruz Cider Co. in 2013 with the help of her husband and her sister. They have built the company from the ground up on a shoestring budget with a hands on approach. Nicole lives on a historic apple orchard in Santa Cruz county with her husband and two dogs.
Certified Pommelier™ Exam to Be Held in San Francisco August 13
TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA!
Are you ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? Already passed the Certified Cider Professional Level 1 Certification and looking for that next challenge? Now’s your chance!
The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that the next Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held in San Francisco, California! The exam will take place Sunday, August 13, 2023 at Barebottle Brewing, 1525 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110.
After the exam you can stick around for a tour and tasting at Barebottle Brewing too!
PREPARING FOR THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM
The Certified Pommelier™ Exam is our second tier of certification and requires in depth study. You must have passed our CCP Level One Certification prior to taking the Certified Pommelier™ Exam. You can purchase a CCP Level One bundle here. (ACA members can find a discount code to purchase the bundle here). The bundle includes an on demand training webinar, a study guide, and two exam attempts.
The ACA has also recently released a Certified Pommelier™ Study Guide that covers the information needed for the theory portion of the exam. It can be purchased here on Amazon.
In addition, several pre-recorded sensory webinars are also available for purchase and can be found here. Please be aware that cider must be purchased separately. Also, be aware that key sensory elements of these ciders may vary from year to year.
Stay tuned for the option to participate in a live sensory analysis webinar this summer prior to the exam in San Francisco. You can check our certification page for the latest news.
WHILE YOU’RE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Why not make it a weekend (or longer) since you’ll be heading to the beautiful Bay Area of California anyway, especially since it’s the weekend of the Gravenstein Apple Fair, which will be celebrating it’s 50th year!
Resource Hub Now Available to ACA Members
The American Cider Association is pleased to announce the launch of a new digital Resource Hub. This resource hub is exclusively for ACA members and is filled with items useful for cider businesses of all sizes. There are several categories available to help members locate the resources they need. These categories include:
- Compliance & Taxes
- Market Data
- Making Cider
- Human Resources
- Cider Pairing & Evaluation
- Apple Growing
The resource hub already includes a wealth of information and ACA staff will be continuing to add already created resources in the near future. In addition, members can expect a quarterly release of new resources and will be notified via email when these updates occur.
The resource hub also features a contact us button so that members can reach out to the ACA with suggestions for new resources they think would be helpful to them and fellow members.
You must be an active ACA member to access the Resource Hub. Click here to learn more about becoming a member today. Need to renew your membership? Login here to renew.