ACA Board Nominations Due January 17

Are you full of energy and ideas on how to support the ACA and grow the industry? Perhaps you’d consider running for the ACA Board of Directors? Our annual nomination window is now open. Elections take place during CiderCon–electronically, so all U.S. member cideries may vote (1 vote per cidery). Although it is not required, we strongly encourage candidates to have an ACA volunteer history before running for office.  A couple more things to know about service:

  • To qualify for candidacy, you must be a permanent employee of a bonded cidery producing cider in the U.S. 
  • Each seat has unique requirements. The seats open for elections this year are:
    • Northwest Chair – Open to Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska cideries producing under 1 Million gallons of cider a year
    • Mountain West Chair – Open to cideries producing less than 1 Million gallons of cider a year in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas
    • Pacific Coast Chair – Open to California and Hawaii cideries producing under 1 Million gallons of cider a year
    • At Large – Open to any U.S. cidery regardless of size
    • Large Cidery – Open to any US. cidery producing over 1 Million gallons of cider a year
  • Incumbents may be running for their seats again.
  • Terms are three years. 
  • Candidates will receive further instructions on developing their platforms and what board service includes. 

Have more questions about board service? Schedule a chat with executive director, Michelle by clicking here.

To submit your nomination by the January 17 deadline:

Register Now for CiderCon 2023 and Win a Hotel Stay for CiderCon 2024

Have you been procrastinating on registering for CiderCon® 2023? If you have, now is the time to do so before registration prices rise and the hotel room block deadline arrives. (Registration prices go up on January 10 and the deadline for our hotel room block is January 8!)

As an added incentive for registering ASAP, we are offering a raffle for a five night hotel stay for CiderCon® 2024 (in a TBA location) for anyone who registers between December 20, 2022 and December 31, 2022 at 11:59pm Pacific Time for CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago.

Ready to register and enter for your chance to win this awesome prize?

Press Then Press Offers Certified Pommelier™ Study Kits

Still studying up for the Certified Pommelier® exam?

The owners of Press then Press, Erik & Storie Madrid, have put together two study kits for those studying for the Certified Pommelier™ exam at CiderCon® 2023. Erike & Storie received their Certified Pommelier™ designations in June of 2022 and have put their expertise to good use by creating these two study kits, including a digital copy of completed sensory analysis forms for each cider so you can compare your answers.

The Minor Kit features 4 cans and the Major Kit features 6 bottles and cans that can be delivered to your door in most states. And Press then Press is offering discounts in case you want to fill up your box with more of their wide-ranging selection of ciders. Do make sure you verify that orders can be shipped to your state before purchasing.

You can download blank sensory analysis forms here so you can take notes as you taste the ciders and then compare to the included digital forms from Press then Press. You can register for the Certified Pommelier™ exam to take place at CiderCon® 2023 on February 1 here.

5 Actionable Strategies to Create a More Profitable Taproom Webinar

In this rapid fire session, the American Cider Association is excited to introduce you to Andrew Coplon and Kary Shumway (Taproom Success). Over just 30 minutes, you will walk away with actionable strategies you can put in place to see greater success in your taproom. Join Andrew & Kary for proven methods to build deeper relationships with guests, increase revenue, and have better financial control. Numbers can be fun! Andrew and Kary will be joined by Megan MacLean (Director of Hospitality at Artifact Cider Project) to share their success from these strategies. Get excited for this pre-CiderCon® webinar and then sign up for the half-day course at CiderCon® 2023.

Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Two Broads Ciderworks

Join our Certified Pommelier™ panel in a live practice sensory webinar featuring cider from Two Broads Ciderworks on December 8 from 4-6pm Pacific. This will be your last chance to participate in a live sensory analysis webinar prior to the Certified Pommelier™ exam at CiderCon® 2023, so sign up now!

This webinar is also available to rewatch and practice as a prerecorded event.

Order cider to participate along with the webinar here. Please make sure the ciders can be shipped to your state before registering for this event.

CiderCon® Scholarships Continue for 2023 Conference

Yonder Cider, Beer Kulture and the American Cider Association have partnered to continue CiderCon® scholarship opportunities this year. These scholarships are designed to bring new BIPOC individuals into the cider industry. The scholarship includes: registration to CiderCon®; travel and lodging; Certified Cider Professional Level 1 bundle (including the exam); two Certified Cider Professional Sensory Webinars; and the registration fee for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam. Applications can be found here and the deadline to apply is December 10, 2022. Recipients will be contacted to schedule a brief interview and winners of the scholarship will be notified on December 21, 2022. CiderCon® 2023 takes place January 31 – February 3, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

ACA Welcomes Wine Industry Professional Sunny Gandara as CiderCon® 2023 Keynote Speaker

The American Cider Association welcomes wine industry professional Sunny Gandara, DipWSET, CWE as the featured keynote speaker for CiderCon® 2023. Sunny is the former Global Wine Director for the Mathew Kenney Restaurant Group and the founder and owner of The Plant Curious Table, a digital dual-purpose education and wine consulting company. Sunny has nearly 20 years of experience in the food and wine industry with a focus on plant-based foods. Her expertise is connecting with “plant curious” clientele over her wine knowledge. She is a Certified Wine Educator and Specialist of Spirits through the Society of Wine Educators and a holder of the WSET Diploma. She is a professionally trained chef through the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in New York and a Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador.

According to the Plant Based Foods Association, “one-third of Americans are actively reducing their meat and dairy consumption. While a small number of Americans identify as vegetarian or vegan, flexitarians represent the largest growth opportunity for plant-based foods.” 60% of Gen-Z wants to eat more plant-based foods and 79% eat plant-based 1-2 times a week. This is where Sunny’s “plant curious” lens can help open new markets up for cider.

 As the keynote speaker, Sunny will explore vegan market growth and trends, who plant-based consumers are, why cider is perfect for this growing group, and how to market to these consumers.

CiderCon® 2023 will take place in Chicago from January 31 to February 3, 2023, at the beautiful Hilton Chicago. Early registration closes November 9. Learn more about all our fantastic speakers at www.ciderassocation.org.

Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Ploughman’s Cider

Looking to up your sensory analysis skills? Studying for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam at CiderCon® 2023? Join our Certified Pommelier™ panel in a live practice sensory webinar featuring cider from Ploughman’s Cider on November 17 from 4-6pm Pacific. Cost to attend the workshop is $15 for ACA members and $30 for non-members.

This webinar will also be available to rewatch and practice as a prerecorded event.

Ploughman’s has generously created a limited time Sensory Analysis Bundle for this webinar. You can purchase the cider bundle here.

ACA Announces Registration is Now Open for CiderCon® 2023!

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that CiderCon® 2023 will take place in Chicago, Illinois from January 31 – February 3, 2023. With tours, tastings, educational workshops, demos and more, CiderCon®’s Chicago homecoming is set to be an educational celebration of all things cider. Registration opened on September 29, 2022.

After a four year hiatus, the return of CiderCon® to Chicago has been much anticipated and the ACA has been working with folks on the ground in the Windy City to make the homecoming spectacular. This includes four exciting tour options: a look at Chicago’s history through the lens of taverns, a tour of the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago’s historical south side, a tour visiting three unique Chicago-based cideries, and a cider and architecture tour featuring the stunning works of world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

A full range of educational sessions will cover topics of cider production, marketing, sales, branding, sensory evaluation, compliance, business strategy, orcharding and more. Speakers include Claude Jolicoeur (author of Cider Planet), Yann Gilles (cider and wine consultant from France), Lester Jones (Chief Economist from NBWA), Julie Rhodes (Not Your Hobby Marketing), Mary Mills (3 Tier Beverage), Dr. J Nikol Jackson-Beckham (Brewer’s Association and Crafted for All), Elizabeth Ryan (Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider), Bryan Roth (Good Beer Hunting), Liz Garibay (Chicago Brewseum), Elizabeth Garofalo (Red Tomato Food Hub) and many more, plus new presenters joining every day. 

“We have so many amazing sessions already lined up and others in the works, “ said ACA Executive Director, Michelle McGrath. “We’re emphasizing cider quality, terroir and retail strategy this year. It’s been rewarding to think about the impact of CiderCon® on the industry, and to rise to the challenge of deepening that. CiderCon® is very special and we’re committed to improving it every year.” 

The extensive trade show, presented by longstanding ACA partner FruitSmart, will feature many beloved vendors excited for the return of CiderCon® to Chicago and welcome several first time vendors eager to join the cider community and meet conference attendees. 

Tickets to CiderCon® are just $425 for for ACA members if booked by October 22. After October 22, member registration rates become $475. Public tickets are $725 for early registration and $775 after October 22. 

More information about the wide array of events and educational sessions being offered and registration can be found on the CiderCon® website and you can follow @cidercon on Twitter for the latest news. CiderCon® is an ACA event produced with the generous support of our members and ACA’s premier sponsor, FruitSmart

###