CiderCon® 2021 Fact Sheet

While CiderCon® 2021 may have had a different feel due to the necessity of transitioning to a virtual platform, it was undoubtedly an unparalleled success! 

Ways to CiderCon! Left: Sean of Cider Experience has his lineup ready and a furry companion to boot! Right: Syrah found a beautiful space surrounded by cider inspiration!
  • CiderCon® 2021 took place on the virtual platform Hopin from February 3-5, 2021. The schedule can be downloaded here. Instagram Highlights available here.
  • 793 people attended the conference via their computers from around the world.
  • 41 states and the District of Columbia were represented, with Oregon, New York, California, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia, and Washington having the most attendees.
  • 18 countries were represented, with cider professionals from the US, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Italy all in virtual attendance.
  • 47 vendors took part in the virtual Trade Show, sponsored by Fruitsmart, with resounding success. Many provided live virtual demonstrations of their product offerings and interviewed cidermakers who were using their goods and services.
  • Four keynote speakers graced the virtual main stage, sponsored by Fintech, over the course of the conference. They were: 
    • Anna Nadasdy of Fintech Infosource who opened the conference with a discussion of what consumer trends in 2021 might look like and how businesses can stay agile in a tumultuous climate.
    • Justin Doggett of Kyoto Black Coffee who discussed the need for businesses to support one another during the pandemic and beyond and suggested innovative ways in which to do so.
    • Michael Uhrich of Seventh Point Analytics Consulting who discussed, not only the importance of analytics to businesses, but practicable ways in which cider professionals can do assessments in house.
    • Dr. J Nikol Jackson-Beckham founder of Crafted for All who closed out the main stage presentations with concrete ways in which businesses can create sustainable inclusion, equity, and justice strategies and put them into practice.
  • The Cheers & Chat Networking sessions allowed attendees to be randomly matched with someone for a speed dating style virtual meetup. Hundreds of people took part in Cheers & Chat and new cider professional friends were quickly made.
Left: Speaker Lee Reeve of inCiderJapan shows off one of the Japanese ciders he presented about at CiderCon prior to the cooking demo by acclaimed cookbook author Nancy Singleton Hachisu. Right: Ethan from Appleholic Cider enjoys a bottle while listening to the session “Strategies to Create a Successful Blend” with speakers Darlene Hayes, Chris Condos, Autumn Stoscheck, and Nicole Leibon.
  • The American Cider Association once again partnered with the Cider Institute of North America to develop a range of in-depth, production oriented sessions for cidermakers. Every single session in the production track had more than 100 attendees and several topped 200 people. Sessions included co-fermentation in natural ciders, factors to consider when making sparkling cider, quince fermentation, improving the shelf life of canned ciders and strategies for creating a successful blend. The Cider Institute of North America trains cider makers through their educational programming in partnership with universities like Cornell.
Fermenting with Quince with Steve Selin of South Hill Cider, Ria Windcaller of Cider Chat, James Forbes of Little Pomona, Kim Hamblin & Dan Rinke of Art + Science, and Martin Berkeley of Pilton Cider.
  • VIP packages purchased by attendees raised $1000 for the Cider Institute scholarship fund, whose goal is to offer tuition-free education to Black, Indiginous and People of Color covering the fundamental aspects of cider production through their online training.
  • The Pomme Boots Society once again partnered with the ACA to provide unique content this year, including a session from Samantha Lee, co-founder of Hopewell Brewery, who shared how her progressive craft brewery flipped the script on traditional craft brewery business by putting people over profits. Pomme Boots Society is a volunteer run organization for women working in the cider industry. The Pomme Boots Society annual meeting featured Lee, and speakers from the Pink Boots Society, and had close to 200 people in attendance.
  • Five legal and compliance sessions were also offered. Four of these sessions were led by employees from the TTB, the federal agency responsible for regulating cider taxes and labels. In addition, TTB employees hosted a virtual booth in the Trade Show that saw over 200 attendees stop by to discuss the finer points of legal regulations.
  • The American Cider Associations annual board elections happen concurrently with CiderCon®. Newly elected board members were presented prior to the Grand Toast. Soham Bhatt of Artifact Cider was elected to his first term on the board in an At Large seat, Brooke Glover of Swilled Dog Hard Cider was re-elected as an At Large member, and Ryan Burk of Angry Orchard was re-elected as a Large Cidery member. 
  • In addition, new board officials were installed with Eleanor Leger of Eden Ciders taking the helm as president, Brooke Glover of Swilled Dog Hard Cider as vice-president, Marcus Robert of Tieton Cider as treasurer, and John Behrens of Farmhaus Cider as secretary.

CiderCon® 2022 is scheduled to take place in Richmond, Virginia from February 1-4, 2022.

ICYMI: CiderCon® Starts Tomorrow!

CiderCon® is literally just around the corner! Virtual doors open at 8:00am tomorrow, Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Are you registered yet? If not, there is still time! Click the button above to be directed to our virtual platform, Hopin, where CiderCon is being held this year, and you can still buy your tickets. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on all the amazing sessions we have offered this year, nor the super sweet virtual Trade Show! Plus, if you’re a registered attendee you will have access to the sessions long after CiderCon so you can check out sessions you missed at your leisure. Curious about just how awesome these sessions are: Read on for some recent highlights!

At Hopewell Brewing – one of Chicago’s rising brewery stars – success is not defined by bottom lines. Thanks to co-founder Samantha Lee, the brewery measures its performance against the way it treats its employees, and prioritizes being responsible community members and building a culture of good business practices. In this session, Lee shares how her progressive craft brewery flipped the script on traditional craft brewery business by putting people over profits. Plus, hear about how the brewery has maintained that sense of togetherness and hope during the pandemic — through activism, creative connection, and, of course, brewing damn good beer.

Cider producers are facing several issues which impact successful canned packaging, including overcoming reduced aromas due to formation of H2S which can negatively impact consumer opinion upon consumption. Join this session to hear about research from Cornell University using accelerated aging tests to predict corrosion and H2S formation during long-term storage of wine and cider in aluminum packaging. Producers will discuss preliminary results and observations from current trials with Enartis related to reducing the use of SOand removing copper-bound sulfides to increase shelf stability and minimize the appearance of sulfur off aromas in the can. The panel will discuss solutions and trends to be aware of and continue exploring.

While keeping our distance has become the norm in 2020, everyone who chooses to visit your taproom for on-premise consumption is accepting that some level of interaction will occur. Even during the shortest, COVID-era encounter, you have the ability to build connections with your guests. In this session, we will show the financial value of engaging at a high level and why it is vital even more so during a pandemic.

Why bother with home cidermaking if you are not going to experiment? This session will explore various ways in which cidermakers can experiment on a small-scale. Darlene and Dana will provide advice regarding experimental-control design that will enable you to more objectively evaluate the effect of your “treatment.” The presentation will include examples of successes as well as failures. If you are interested in experimenting with additions from native plants, we will provide tips for investigating previous uses by Native American tribes and emphasize the importance of doing your research to ensure you do not poison anyone. Finally, Dana will share her own experiences using California native plants such as Manzanita (“Little Apple” in Spanish), Elderberry, Toyon, and Pacific Madrone.

Consumers and commercial food buyers are increasingly interested in products with “sustainable” attributes — products that are local, natural, organic, or claim other social or environmental benefits. This session will review consumer and market research on the demand for sustainable products. We will consider some best practices for making sustainability claims and address the differences between first, second and third party claims. We will also discuss the pros and cons of third-party certification and the roles that certification can play improving operations and supporting the brand and product marketing.

This session will detail how cidermakers in the United States are presenting single variety ciders and ciders that specifically call out notable varieties in a blend. We will examine the feedback loop from producer to consumer and chart how this is changing the way producers market their products. We will talk about creating successful tasting notes and how to educate consumers on raw materials.

CiderCon® 2021 Trade Show Word Hunt Game!

Our virtual trade show is 🔥! And to make it sizzle a little bit more, we’ve created a fun word hunt game and a chance for YOU to win awesome prizes.

How to Play: Visit the trade show during the LIVE scheduled hours and ask the vendor for their magic word. Collect the words to complete a phrase. Think you have the phrase solved? Submit your guesses here. Make sure you have collected the magic words from at least these booths before you submit your answer: FruitSmart, Ekos, Fermentis, Fintech, Voran, Juicing Systems, CINA and Cider Culture. All booths have a word—visit them all for our best chance at winning.

The phrase is 4 sentences long, comprised of 44 words. There is a bonus prize for the first person to submit the right answer: a CiderCon hoodie! All correct guesses will be entered into a raffle for 4 nights hotel and 1 conference registration for CiderCon 2022 in Richmond, Virginia.

Submit your words and make your guess here! Game closes at 10:45 AT PST on Friday. Winners are announced during the grand toast. GOOD LUCK!

Hint: Apple Mythology

CiderCon® Mainstage Presentations

We are stoked to have these 4 amazing mainstage speakers join us at CiderCon® 2021! Our mainstage is sponsored by Fintech.

This engaging seminar will consist of a robust presentation of current market trends impacting craft cider sales. How was your business impacted by shifts in consumer behavior in 2020? How well did you adapt to the dramatic changes? We will discuss how craft suppliers are using consumer demand data to stay agile, and what you need to look out for in 2021.

Have you made a commitment and embarked on the journey toward improved diversity and inclusion outcomes but find your efforts to be disjointed and running out of steam? In this talk, Dr. J guides attendees through building a comprehensive strategic plan for inclusion, equity, and justice (IEJ) work; creating a responsibility structure to foster accountability and transparency; and addresses the challenging realities of implementation.

Justin Doggett, owner of Kyoto Black Coffee, will be taking a retrospective look at the effects of the SARS-CoV 2 pandemic on the food industry and offering insights on some of the unique challenges and opportunities to thrive that have been created by this event.

The cider industry is thirsty for analytics, but just like a new cider drinker we’re not all sure which flavor we want to invest in. Beverage alcohol analytics veteran, Michael Uhrich, will give a taste of insights in alcohol competition, pricing, assortment, and more to help your business today and inspire you to up your analytics game.

New CiderCon Session: Fermenting with Quince

Was Aphrodite’s Forbidden Fruit a quince or the apple? She’s not talking, but cidermakers will be at CiderCon®!

Quince a.k.a. Cydonia oblonga is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae. Quince is a ‘pomme’ fruit with the likes of apples, pears, and medlars. This golden pomme is having a renaissance of sorts with makers partly due to it aromatic qualities and tannins.

Kim Hamblin and Dan Rinke of Art + Science in Oregon, Steve Selin of South Hill Cider in New York and UK makers Martin Berkley of Pilton Cider and James Forbes of Little Pomona will discuss fermenting with quince with moderator Ria Windcaller of Cider Chat.

Learn more about this and other CiderCon® sessions HERE!

CiderCon® Session: Labeling of Hard Ciders Under FDA Jurisdiction

Is your hard cider under 7% ABV? If so, do your labels comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling regulations? Join Keller and Heckman food and beverage attorneys Nury Yoo and Arturo Reyes as they discuss the ins and outs of FDA’s labeling requirements for these products. The discussion will also touch on other “labeling” aspects to consider, such as claims on packaging and in advertising/marketing/social media, as well as strategies to help manage the risk of potential consumer class action and competitor challenges.

We’re thrilled to have experienced lawyers, Nury Yoo and Arturo Reyes, of Keller and Heckman join us at CiderCon® to talk about the ins and outs of FDA compliance. Learn more about them below or on our Speaker page.

Nury Yoo

Nury Yoo represents clients in the food, beverage, cosmetics, dietary supplement, personal care, and alcohol beverage industries, as a member of Keller and Heckman’s Tier 1 nationally-ranked Food and Drug Practice. Her areas of expertise include regulatory compliance, labeling, marketing and advertising (including social media), food safety, product recalls, due diligence reviews in connection with private investment, California’s Proposition 65, and the complex federal and state issues surrounding the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and related cannabinoids in consumer products. She also advises clients on litigation risk analysis and avoidance measures, responses to litigation demand letters, and the development and implementation of litigation strategy.

Nury is actively involved with the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) and is a frequent speaker on regulatory compliance and litigation risk issues related to the food industry.

Arturo Reyes

Arturo Reyes advises domestic and foreign clients on compliance with California’s Proposition 65, as well as food and food-contact material requirements, in a host of jurisdictions. He counsels clients on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations relating to food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, and food contact materials.

Arturo assists clients by reviewing food labeling and promotional materials, including suitable common or usual names, ingredient declarations, nutrition labeling, health claims, nutrient content claims, and allergen labeling. He prepares labeling information for food products marketed in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Prior to attending law school, Arturo worked as a litigation paralegal and, before that, as a fellow at the New York City Mayor’s Office, where he worked with numerous city officials, including the Food Policy Coordinator for the City of New York. Arturo is fluent in Spanish and Italian.

New CiderCon® Session: Strategies for Creating a Successful Blend

What does it take to make a successful blend? What’s the best way to do a blend? How can we use blending to create a cider with that perfect aroma and flavor profile?

A finished cider can be a combination of apple varieties that have been fermented separately, a blend of different vintages, or the amalgamation of a multiplicity of fermentation vessels combined to assure consistency in a release. Blending to create the perfect aroma and flavor profile in that cider is an essential skill, but one that takes time and effort to learn. Our panelists will share their many years of blending experience which will help you to jump start a new skill or give you tips that will take your blending game to a new level.

Join Darlene Hayes, Nicole Leibon, Autumn Stoscheck, and Chris Condos as they discuss these questions and more during their session at CiderCon® 2021.

This session is in the Cider Production Track sponsored by CINA.

Bulk Company Discounts for CiderCon® 2021!

There has never been a better time to bring your whole team to CiderCon®!

The best thing about CiderCon® going virtual this year is that it means you can bring more of your team to the party! With lower registration fees, not to mention no airfare, hotel, and travel expenses to limit you, so many more of your team members can enjoy the knowledge, camaraderie, and fun that CiderCon® has to offer, all from the comfort of their home or office.

Not only that, but we are offering some awesome discounts when you register your crew together! Bulk discounts are available to team members working for the same company. Check out the discount table below and then contact Ellen for your discount code!

Still on the fence about how many people to bring? Check out why Mark Ray, owner of Stowe Cider, is bringing his whole team for CiderCon® 2021!

“Since first attending CiderCon in 2016 we haven’t missed one yet. The diverse educational sessions and networking opportunities offer something for every focus and each member of your team. I can safely say we wouldn’t be where we are today without those experiences and are beyond grateful for the community that this conference has created. We are so excited to include the entire team in CiderCon this year and have no doubt that although it will be different, it will be just as beneficial in building the knowledge of our team while raising the cider community up in a time of need.”

Mark Ray, Owner & Cidermaker, Stowe Cider

New CiderCon® Session: Artisan Japanese Cooking with Japanese Craft Cider

Japan is home to centuries old culinary tradition that is still thriving. It is also home to a relatively new but growing cider scene. Join Lee Reeve of inCiderJapan and world renowned cookbook author Nancy Singleton Hachisu for this exploration of cider today in Japan and how it can be incorporated in both traditional and modern Japanese food traditions. Lee will open this session with a review of what’s happening in Japan’s cider scene and it will be followed by a cooking demonstration with Nancy.

Nancy Singleton Hachisu is a native Californian, Stanford graduate who has lived with her Japanese farmer husband in a 90-year-old farmhouse in rural Saitama since 1988. Author of four cookbooks: Japanese Farm Food (Andrews McMeel, Sept. 2012), Preserving the Japanese Way, (Andrews McMeel, Aug. 2015), Japan: The Cookbook (Phaidon, April 2018), and Food Artisans of Japan (Hardie Grant, Nov. 2019). Hachisu’s work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese.

Hachisu appears frequently in Japanese media, documenting her preserving and farm food life as well as visits to artisanal producers in more remote areas of Japan to advocate for Japan’s disappearing food traditions. Recipient of a James Beard award, she has written for The Art of Eating, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Food, BBC Travel, and Fool Magazine.

Hachisu also assisted on and appeared in the Salt episode of Netflix’s runaway hit: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

Lee Reeve is the Owner-operator of inCiderJapan G.K., a marketing & promotion creative consulting company, as well as an importer, retailer, and producer of cider and cider-related goods. He is also the publisher of inCiderJapan, Asia’s first and only bilingual magazine dedicated to all things cider.

Lee is widely regarded as a leading authority on Japan’s cider scene, market, and industry, and is often asked to present seminars on said topics. He has been a keynote speaker for several distinguished conferences including the Australian Cider Festival (2018), Second World Beverage Conference & International Symposium on Beverage Crops in Xi’an, China (2018), and was scheduled to speak at the Global Cider Forum (2020) before its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Lee is the representative for Japan at the international cider tourism network, Ciderlands, as well as co-organizer of the Global Cider Connect project, a world-first six-nation cider collaboration to be held in Japan in 2021.

What’s New for CiderCon® 2021 This Week!

The 11th annual CiderCon is happening during February 3-5, 2021. Ready to grab your tickets? Click here! (Ask us about bulk discounts for your company.)

Each week we’re highlighting a few of our talented speakers and CiderCon® features with you. It’s going to be a virtual cider extravaganza!

Stephanie Hartman 
For more than 20 years, Stephanie Hartman has provided Leader, Team and Organization Effectiveness support to large and small businesses in wide ranging industries such as financial services, technology, B2B professional services, restaurants and home services. Her client experience spans the range of large corporations to small family farms. Through her consulting firm, Catalyst Consulting, Stephanie has adapted planning and team development methods typically used in large corporate settings for practical use by small businesses. Stephanie’s presentation is brought to us by the sponsorship of

Julie Rhodes
Julie Rhodes is an authority on beverage sales, marketing, team management, distributor partnership management, supply chain logistics, and customer service. She is the owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, a consulting company that offers online educational programs and customized coaching services designed specifically to teach business skills to craft beverage professionals. We’re excited to bring Julie to CiderCon as a featured speaker. If you missed her dynamite webinar on managing distributor relationships, check the webinar archives on our member page.

Belinda Kemp, PhD
Belinda is the Senior Staff Scientist in Oenology at CCOVI, Brock University, and Adjunct Professor of the Department of Biological Science, in the Faculty of Math and Science at Brock University, Ontario. As well as a wine scientist, Kemp gained previous practical still and sparkling winemaking experience in commercial wineries in NZ and the UK. Her current research is focused on the Maillard reaction in sparkling wines, wine flavor chemistry, the impact of sugar on wine aroma and flavor, leaf removal strategies according to grape variety and wine style, the influence of sour rot on sparkling and still wine flavors, and phenolic management of sparkling and red wines.

Register for CiderCon® Today!