A Cider Among the Faults - $$
Take a good look at this line-up of five suspect ciders and put your detective (and detecting) skills to the test. Only one is innocent, the other four are fatally faulted by the usual (and maybe unusual) suspects. Discussion will include detection and rejection thresholds, their impact on how ciders and faults can be perceived differently, and ways to avoid or fix the faults found in the line-up.
Barrel Programs: A Wine Perspective for Cider
This workshop will cover how to manage an effective barrel program in your cellar that is the perfect blend of art and science. The instructor will cover why a cidermaker might seek to use a barrel in their production, as well as barrel sanitation, barrel choice, barrel sourcing, barrel type, blending and more. The instructor is Jocelyn Kuzelka--an experienced winemaker, cidermaker and technical consultant. She is a technical and sensory expert and will bring that lens to this course.
Best Practices for Producing Ciders with Residual Sugar - $$
The tasting session will explore methods and tips for producing cider with residual sugar. You will hear from cidermakers producing at various scales and with different equipment about how to successfully make sweeter cider. We'll explore downstream processing and safe bottling with a focus on best practices.
Cider Packaging and the Production Decisions That Get You There
Growlers, bottles, kegs and cans, cider is contained in a wide variety of packages. Special considerations must be made for which kind of ciders go into each type of package. We will address changes in production decisions, specifically down-stream processing as well as final cider chemistry based on what the final packaging will be. This session will take a look at the pros and cons of each of these packaging options as well as take a deep dive into the use of cans.
How Chemistry and Sensory Parameters Lead to Style Outcomes
The US cider market has expanded in recent years. However, limited research-based information is available on fermentation management, and consumer perceptions of and preferences for cider remain understudied. Researchers from Virginia Tech will present studies investigating how apple cultivar and yeast inoculation affect the chemical and sensory properties of ciders made in Virginia. They will discuss how chemical parameters including alcohol content, free/total SO2, titratable acidity, volatile acidity, malic acid, pH, and residual sugar lead to sensory attributes and style outcomes and how increasingly popular practices in the industry can produce significantly different ciders. Additional research will be presented to address the knowledge gap between cider's popularity and the understanding of sensory profiles. Presenters will explore how consumer expectations do not align well with product descriptions, discuss the findings of an initial cider lexicon study, and provide results of a qualitative study developed to understand what makes a "good" cider for both consumers and producers.
Fruited Ciders: Beyond the Apple - $$
Fresh, frozen, puréed, essenced? Before, during, after? Answers to all of your questions, plus sourcing ideas and tasty examples to making excellent fruit ciders. This session is designed for cidermakers just getting their start. Featured Cider Makers: TBA
Hunting for Spoilage Microbes
Join us on a quest to discover the spoilage organisms that live in a typical cidery. We’ll explore where they are most likely to be found, what they need to live and grow, and most importantly, how we can control them. We’ll discuss some of the most common spoilage microbes, like Kloekera, Brettanomyces, Acetic Acid bacteria, and Lactic Acid bacteria, as well as some of the products and production strategies that can minimize the chances they’ll end up spoiling your cider.
Survey of Yeast-Derived Characteristics and Hands-on Blending - $$
Take your experience with the possibilities of flavor and aroma contributions of yeast strains to the next level with this tasting panel of cider made from one juice and a range of yeasts. Featured Cider Makers: TBA
Toward Sustainable Cider: Lessons from the Craft Beverage Industry
Sustainability: consumers expect it. Large accounts increasingly demand it. But what does sustainability mean on a day-to-day basis? What defined actions can cider producers take to show commitment to a greener future? How do cider companies draw appropriate attention to these practices? What role can/ should certifications and certifying organizations play? This panel of experts from wine and brewing will share successful practices and opportunities appropriate for companies of every size and type.
Wild, Clean & Free: Harnessing the Beauty of Wild-Fermenting, Without the Flaws - $$
This tasting session will be a deep dive into making the most of traditional and pet-nat processes while producing a cleanly fermented sparkling cider. Featured Cider Makers: TBA
Advanced IPM for Holistic Tree Fruit Growers
In this workshop we’ll take a deep look at common insect and disease issues of apple, pear, and stone fruit orchards as well as dive into the principles and practices of modern integrated pest management (IPM) as they apply to holistic orchard management. We will spend the bulk of the time discussing control measures that include the using standard organic materials, nutrients, biostimulants, plant-based remedies, and biodynamic preparations. All will be presented within a context of growing dynamic, living cider fruit while managing a resilient orchard ecosystem for long term health and vitality.
An Intro to Holistic Orcharding for Novice Growers - $$
In this seminar we will cover the basics of what to look for when you're seeking a site appropriate for your orchard, whether it be in your backyard, on the adjoining hillside, or in the next county. We will discuss climate, land, and soil characteristics as well as horticultural considerations you need to ponder before you plant the first tree. We will also cover the steps for designing and planting your first trees, as well as the first year’s management focus.
Let's Make Trees: Apple Grafting Workshop
Almost all commercial fruit trees are grafted in order to make sure the fruit is consistent. Various rootstocks are hybridized in order to control size, help control diseases, and to better suit the tree to different locations. The desired variety is then attached to the rootstock to make the new tree. In this workshop Mary will discuss the various methods by which trees are grafted and then Raul will show you how to make your own tree to take home.
Climate Change & Apple Disease
For this session we will discuss how regional climates are shifting and the impact that will have on disease management and the pathogens seen in the orchard. Our case study will be bitter rot and powdery mildew increases in Massachusetts.
“We would love to hire more diversity, but candidates from underrepresented groups just don’t apply for our jobs.” Sound familiar? Building a diverse workforce can seem like an insurmountable challenge when your pipeline for employment openings lacks a broad range of candidates. In this seminar, Dr. J will cover a variety of practical pipeline development strategies that will help your business successfully increase the breadth, depth, and diversity of its pool of qualified job applicants and leverage the benefits of doing so.
Creating Consumer Excitement with Food Pairing Suggestions - $$
We all know the “Four C’s” of food pairing, but putting theory into practice can be a little intimidating, especially for members of your tasting room staff that are just beginning their adventure with cider. In this session, cider and food pairing expert Jennie Dorsey will walk you through a pairing framework (with tasting samples!) that you can take back to your business, train your staff, and watch your sales grow.
Introductory Palate Training - $$
When learning the art of evaluating a cider it can be helpful to start by familiarizing your palate with individual structural elements. In this session, you will experience first hand the flavor and texture differences between several types of acids typically found in cider as well as different sugar levels and types of tannin. Give yourself a great foundation from which to take your tasting skills to the next level.
Southern Cider Apples: A Recipe for Complex Flavor & Changing Climate - $$
There is a neglected history of apples that originated or were widely grown in the South for over four hundred years. Many of these old southern apples were selected and propagated exclusively or primarily for cidermaking. All of them flourished in the South’s warm humid climate. Today’s southern cidermakers who use these apples have found that they contribute complex flavor to cider blends, often conferring some of the same flavor characteristics as English bittersweet fruit. CiderCon participants will benefit from learning about old southern apple varieties suited for cider and acclimated to the warm growing conditions we all face today.
Tasting and Terroir of True Crabs Non-Malus Domestica Apples - $$
Malus Domestica is not the only game in town. The Malus genus is diverse with apples native to biomes across the world, wild, feral or bred with intention. Typically valued more for their flowers than fruit, cider is adapting them into its diverse tool box. This talk will look at how these apples perform in a wide range of different growing environments and how they can be used in a wide range of different cider making styles. Featured Cider Makers: TBA
Top of the Mitten: High Latitude Ciders from Northern Michigan - $$
This session will be a guided sensory exploration of ciders from near or north of the 45th parallel. We'll explore the impact of the Great Lakes, the soil, orchard history and more on these ciders from Northern Michigan.
American Ciders Abroad: Export Strategies & Resources
In this presentation, Chris Van Orden - Manager of the International Business Development and Craft Beverage Assistance programs at the Virginia Small Business Development Center - will share information about how American cidermakers can grow their business through international expansion. Attendees will learn how to conduct an export-readiness self-assessment using a framework specifically for craft beverage producers. Craft cidermakers will leave equipped to take advantage of international opportunities by undertaking thoughtful market selection, leveraging state and federal resources, identifying strong partners, and managing documentation.
Distribution Management for Beginners
Making the leap from on site sales to selling your cider products in retail is a big step, so wouldn’t it be helpful if there was some type of guidebook or instruction list for how to make this transition? Yes! Only that doesn’t exist, but lucky for you, this session on Distribution Management for Beginners led by Julie Rhodes of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions does. Learn the ins and outs, ups and downs, and best practices for those that are just getting started creating relationships with their distribution partners.
Distribution Management: Advanced Concepts
If you’ve been selling your cider brand with a distributor or wholesaler for a while, but are feeling a bit lost when it comes to strategic sales planning, this breakout session is right for you. Keeping your brand top of mind with your distributor personnel is vital if you want to succeed in the wholesale channel, but it’s how you accomplish this that seems to be a mystery to most. This session will explore the ways that you can implement strategic sales plans, interactive training, digital marketing, and advanced analytics to ensure that you’re building a long-term, profitable relationship with your distributor partner.
How to Estimate & Use a Simple Price Elasticity
Input prices are rising, and the pressure to raise prices is mounting, but what will raising your prices do to sales volume? In this session you'll learn how to use your own basic sales data to estimate a simple price elasticity and how to apply it, giving you the confidence to adjust your prices as needed. Intended for an only slightly technically minded audience.
The Magic of Subscription Sales: A Tale of Two Wine Clubs
Early Mountain, an award-winning Virginia winery, invests heavily in their wine clubs, customizing their offerings for both a local/regional consumer as well as a more niche collector audience. Aileen will share insights from the wine industry on how to build a compelling club and manage it to increase consumer advocacy and connection. She'll cover both strategic considerations as well as tactical recommendations relevant for cideries looking to start a club or maximize success with their current model.
Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get Started With FB & IG Ads
Social media marketing should be a major component within your strategic business plans. But with organic reach of social media posts declining, that means less eyeballs on your cider brand. Learning how to formulate a paid social media advertising structure to add to your current organic content can help boost visibility, help build brand awareness and allow you to observe the purchase habits of your best customers. Join Julie Rhodes, owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, for an interactive social media advertising presentation and workshop that will get you started with social media advertising.
New Skins: How Brand Positioning & Packaging Design Can Reinvigorate a Category & Connect with New Drinkers
Beyond packaging trends and gimmickry, there's an opportunity for every brand to better understand and communicate a meaningful story. As a brand strategist in the beverage alcohol space, Michael Kiser will share industry analogs and frameworks for aligning brand position, customer experience, and retail strategies that have helped companies new and old connect with their audiences.
Tourism: What American Cideries Can Learn from European Wine
If wine is the lifeblood of European culture, cider should be so for the US. Learn techniques used by Europe’s best wineries to improve branding, profitability, and sustainability. Combining academic research with field visits to over 100 European wineries, Patti Wilcox will share 10 outstanding ideas to help cider stand out in the beverage tourism sector. You'll leave this talk inspired by concrete examples of what's working at famous wineries like Campo Viejo and Chateau LaGrange. You'll discover how to turn your enemies into opportunities for storytelling and community building like they do in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. And you'll take home some of the best tools and tactics (GPS bottle hunt, anyone?) you can implement at even the smallest family cidery!
Insights Into Inclusive Spaces
Day Bracey, founder of Barrel & Flow (formerly Fresh Fest), discusses how he and his team built one of America's most inclusive brew festivals & the initiatives behind it. Barrel & Flow was twice named one of America's best brew fests by the readers of USA Today, and has gained international recognition and following since its inception in 2018. Come for inspiration and lessons learned to apply to your own experience vending at or creating inclusive cider festivals.
Lessons for the 21st Century: The Surprising History of Southern Apples & Cider and What This Means for Modern Growers & Makers
Most students of American apples know the highlights of southern apple history—the whitewashed stories of presidential cidermakers and colonial apple growers, apples that carry indigenous names, and mountain hillbilly brandy makers. Most contemporary cidermakers have read about Thomas Jefferson’s favorite cider apple, Talliafero, now extinct. Or the Junaluska apple named for a Cherokee chief. Those acquainted with cider history know that Ursula Granger and Jupiter, both enslaved at Monticello, likely crafted this Virginia plantation’s famous cider.
Researching a book for the University of North Carolina Press on the history of apples in the South has revealed to Diane Flynt a more complex story, one rich in both agricultural and cultural nuance. The story of southern apples, cider and brandy offers insights that deserve consideration and can inform issues we face today.
400 Years of American Alcohol: Cider, History, Cocktails and More - $$
Alcohol has a tasty history in America. Cider was seen as early as 1622. We are still counting and discovering some of the historical names that helped alcohol become what it is today. With the help of original records from the service industry we are able to explore many stories on alcohol production, service and even cocktail incorporation dating back hundreds of years. To explore this history, Tiffanie Barriere--a renowned mixologist, co-author, speaker and researcher--brings this mash-up session to CiderCon. Her workshop will be one part history and one part inspired cider cocktail creation. She will talk about important names, historical figures, legendary Black bartenders and she will also teach you how to make amazing cider cocktails.
Can I Say That? Health and Nutrition Labeling Restrictions and Requirements
Both the TTB and the FDA regulate what you can, can't and MUST say on your cider packaging and in your promotions. Amidst a consumer-driven health craze, it's important to know how these regulations impact your cidery. In this workshop, beverage-specialist attorney Marybeth Williams will walk you through these regulations when it comes to health claims and nutrition disclosures. She will cover the regulations for ciders both over and under 7% ABV.
Structure Your Business for Scale
If you are hoping to get your cider into the hands of larger and larger numbers of consumers, come hear Sean Bigley, attorney and counselor to numerous beverage, cosmetics, and entertainment startups and established brands (see Ciderlawyer.com), explain how to structure your business to be as inviting as possible to outside capital. Bigley will give you concrete advice on how to choose a corporate entity, how to take on employees and partners, and how to structure your supply chain, sales network, and branding in a way best suited for eventual large scale investment (venture capital), merger, or acquisition. Also, there will be free stickers.
The TTB Cider Bootcamp is comprehensive compliance seminar taught by employees of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The Bootcamp is comprised of four segments that cover all the basics of what a cider producer needs to know about the TTB requirements. The sessions are:
- Introduction to TTB’s Legal Framework for Cider
- TTB Records, Reports, and Returns
- TTB Formula Approvals
- Labeling of Ciders Under TTB Jurisdiction
Whether you are just starting out in the cider industry, or you just want a refresher, there is something for you in this seminar. Plus, this is a great opportunity to meet the TTB employees who review your submissions and to get all of your TTB questions answered.
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American Cider Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.
P.O. Box 66483 Portland, OR 97290