CiderCon® 2024 Olympic Peninsula Tour

The Olympic Peninsula Tour will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Washington State. While enjoying the stunning natural beauty, the rugged mountains, lush rainforests, pristine coastline and orchards, you will visit award winning cideries, an event space, a new cider education facility and spend the night at Fort Worden State Park. Led by Andrew Byers, head cidermaker and co-owner of Finnriver Farm & Cidery, we’ll taste our way across the Peninsula. 

The Locations:

  • Eaglemount Cider’s Palindrome – Eaglemount is located on 12 acres of mixed farm and woodlands known as Arcadia, just outside beautiful Port Townsend in Washington State. We’ll feast together and taste ciders in this historic barn.
  • Alpenfire Cider – Shaped by the maritime climate’s mild summers and tempered by the foggy mist rolling off of Discovery Bay, Alpenfire Cider creates truly unique ciders from apples grown in their organic orchards.  On the tour, we’ll visit both the cidery and orchard.
  • Finnriver Farm & Cidery – Finnriver is an organic farm, orchard and craft cidery located along a salmon stream in the Chimacum Valley on the north Olympic Peninsula of Washington— the traditional and contemporary territories of the S’Klallam (Nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕) and the Chemakum (Aqokúlo or Čə́məq̓əm).
    Craft Brewing & Distilling Center – Part of a community college, the Craft Brewing & Distilling Center (which also teaches cidermaking) exists to build flourishing, connected communities, entrepreneurs, educators, farmers, and cities are convening around growing the craft beer, cider, and spirits movement. Located just outside Olympia, Washington next to the historic Olympia Brewing Company, the tour will stop here to visit the classrooms and labs on our way up to the Peninsula.
  • Fort Worden Historical State Park – Fort Worden State Park and its gorgeous natural setting of Port Townsend is the kind of destination that stays with you forever. Originally designed as a military base to protect Puget Sound, Fort Worden has evolved into an iconic and cherished state park and lifelong learning center.

The tour will depart from the Hyatt Regency – Oregon Convention Center at 12:00 PM on Monday, January 15, 2024 and will return on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 6:00 PM. Dinner on Monday and breakfast and lunch on Tuesday will be provided, as well as accommodations at Fort Worden State Park in historic officers’ rooms, and cider tastings at Eaglemount Cidery, Alpenfire Cider, and Finnriver Farm & Cidery.

Cost: $295

If you’d like to join this tour, be sure to add it on during the registration process. The deadline to be included in this tour is December 11 so we have adequate time to book necessary accommodations.

Introducing Certified Pommelier™ Chapters

We were so excited to share the news of our 12 new Certified Pommeliers™ last week, but that’s not all we have to share; we’re not just about numbers (although they are fun) – we’re also about community, education, and advocacy. That’s why we’re also thrilled to announce the launch of the Certified Pommelier™ Chapters program. 

Picture this: a network of educated cider enthusiasts spreading an understanding of the beverage across the globe. With leaders appointed in all six current ACA regions and Canada, the chapters are set to redefine the regional cider experience.

Meet Your Chapter Leaders:

  • East: CT, MA,ME, PA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT- Paige Flori
  • Midwest: IA,IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI, KY- Sean Niemisto
  • South: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV, MD, DE, DC- Josh Corl
  • Mtn West: AZ, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY, SD, ND, KS, NE, OK, TX- Matthew Ostrander
  • Northwest: OR, WA, ID, MT, AK- Storie Madrid
  • Pacific Coast CA, HI- Brandon Buza
  • Canada- Sara Boyd

How Do We Plan to Redefine the Regional Cider Experience?

  • Community building: Our chapters, meetings and events will be more than just gatherings, they will help ignite a spark in the heart of local cider communities. Imagine sharing stories, clinking glasses, and forging friendships with like minded individuals who appreciate the art of cider. Chapters will play a pivotal role in nurturing these connections creating regional cider centric hubs.
  • Education: Certified Pommelier™ chapters will be the epicenter of knowledge-sharing and skills development. From cider tastings to hands-on workshops, we hope to bring these educational events down to the local level and make them accessible for any cider lover.
  • Advocacy: We’re not just sitting in the wings; we’re raising our glass high and advocating for the value of cider education. Certified Pommelier™ chapters will champion the industry in their respective regions aspiring to advance consumer understanding of the beverage and how it is made.

So, whether you’re a seasoned cider aficionado or just starting to dip your toes into the world of cider there’s a place for you in the Certified Cider Professional education community.

ACA Welcomes 12 New Certified Pommeliers™ After October Exams

The American Cider Association is proud to announce that twelve individuals successfully passed the Certified Pommelier™ examination in October 2023. The new Certified Pommeliers™ are Ann Bliss of Mullers Cider House, Bryan Barry, Christian Rodriguez, and Tom Hansen of Angry Orchard, Katie Black of DSSOLVR, Johnny Rice of Orchard Hill Cider Mill, Don Whitaker of Castle Hill Cider, Henry Johnson of Bold Rock Hard Cider, Chris Jackson of Treasury Cider at Fishkill Farms, Aaron Gore of Fresh Pitch Beverage Consulting, and cider enthusiasts Sabrina Nencetti and David Lindsey.

The rigorous exam, held in both New York and North Carolina last month, tested candidates on their understanding of cider production, history, and sensory evaluation. As a result, these newly Certified Pommeliers™ are now equipped with advanced skills to guide consumers through the wide variety of ciders available and to help elevate the cider industry at the point of sale.

Early on, the American Cider Association recognized the need to promote specialized knowledge about the cider category. Certifications are increasingly being used to set food and beverage professionals apart. However, most certification programs cover cider in a cursory manner or not at all. With cider being a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements often less understood by food and beverage professionals, the establishment of the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program in 2016 was a strategic maneuver. Today, the CCP program is designed to educate those on the front-line of cider sales, making it the world’s most comprehensive and in-depth cider appreciation program for food and beverage professionals.

The CCP program begins with a Certified Cider Guide (CCG) Level 1 certification to help industry professionals develop a fundamental understanding of cider. The Certified Pommelier™ (CP) Level 2 takes it a step further by encouraging cider professionals to think critically and showcase a higher level of understanding of the elements of cider. The rigorous testing process consists of four types of questions, including short answer, fill in the blank, essay, and blind sensory–which is based on tasting.

The ACA is dedicated to ensuring that all information tested on the exam is made accessible to anyone who desires to learn. To that end, the ACA released a textbook in March of 2023 to help candidates prepare to take the exam with just one comprehensive resource. The textbook is available for purchase through Kindle Direct Publishing. Additionally, the ACA offers sensory analysis practice webinars and a Facebook study group, continuously updated with resources for exam candidates. Interested candidates can find links to all Certified Pommelier™ resources on the ACA’s website.

The next Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held at CiderCon® 2024 in Portland, Oregon on January 17, 2024
Contact the ACA’s Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey if you have questions about the Certified Cider Professional program or are interested in taking either the Level 1 or Certified Pommelier™ exams. You can also learn more at


Check Out the Fun to be Had at the CiderCon® 2024 Trade Show!

The CiderCon® 2024 Trade Show, sponsored by FruitSmart is set to be the best yet! With over 100 vendors already confirmed and more on the way, there will be plenty of chances for you to connect with the companies that have helped your cidery thrive or meet new companies that can help take you to the next level. The CiderCon® Trade Show will be taking place at the Oregon Convention Center on January 18-19, 2024.

But wait, there’s more! Need a pick-me-up? Coffee will be available Thursday and Friday mornings, courtesy of Milne. And when Thursday afternoon rolls around, get ready to cheers with some cider at the Happy Hour sponsored by Hart Print.

But it’s not all about the drinks – there’s plenty of entertainment to go around. Check out the research poster presentations or get competitive with some games of corn hole and ping pong. And if you’re feeling nostalgic, Stern Pinball will have pinball machines available to play.

Now if you’re looking to make a statement, head over to the Ink Bus and get yourself an apple flash tattoo. It’s a fun and unique way to show your love for the fruit that brings us all together.

Don’t forget to stop by the ACA Bookstore to stock up on the latest cider book offerings and to meet our staff and board members. In addition, the TTB staff will be available for one-on-one questions, and folks from CINA will be on hand to provide feedback . With so much to see and do, and more on the way, the CiderCon® Trade Show is not to be missed!

Interested in becoming a CiderCon® vendor? Email our Trade Show Coordinator Ellen for more info!

Now Accepting Nominations for ACA Board of Directors

Do you have a passion for growing the cider industry? Are you looking to find a platform for your ideas, where you will be seen and heard? Would you like to work with a group of like-minded industry leaders to create positive change?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, YOU ARE IN LUCK! The ACA is looking to fill two At Large seats on our Board of Directors. Our annual nomination window is now open, and we want to hear from YOU! Elections will take place electronically during CiderCon® 2024 in Portland, Oregon in January. All U.S. member cideries are eligible to vote (1 vote per cidery).

Although it is not required, we strongly encourage candidates to have an ACA volunteer history before running for office.  

Please see below for more specifics on service and how to apply:

  • Positions are open to any active ACA member cidery in the U.S., regardless of size. 
  • Applications are due by December 8, 2023.
  • To qualify for candidacy, you must be a permanent employee of a bonded cidery, producing cider in the U.S. 
  • Incumbents may be running for their seats again.
  • Terms are three years. 
  • Applicants will be reviewed when the submission window has closed
  • Qualified candidates will receive further instructions on developing their platforms and what board service includes. 

Have more questions about board service? Schedule a chat with ACA CEO Michelle McGrath by clicking here.

To submit your nomination by the December 8 deadline fill out the self-nomination form.

Cider Is For Everyone Scholarship Application Now Open!

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce the continuation of their Cider Is For Everyone Scholarship program for CiderCon® 2024. This scholarship is designed to bring historically marginalized groups to CiderCon® to increase the accessibility of cider education and jump-start the careers and ownership-pathways of these cider professionals.

The scholarship package includes: registration to CiderCon® 2024 (including travel and lodging) and the entire suite of ACA’s Certified Cider Professional educational programming leading up to sitting for the Certified Pommelier™ exam  (Level 1 CCP training and certification exam, two Certified Pommelier™sensory webinars; the Certified Pommelier™ study guide, and the registration fee for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam).

Applications are now being accepted and the deadline to apply is November 27. Those interested in applying can fill out the application form here. Recipients will be contacted to schedule a brief interview and winners of the scholarship will be notified by December 5. CiderCon® 2024 takes place January 16 – January 19, 2024 in Portland, Oregon

This scholarship is part of a broader effort by the ACA to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the cider industry. In 2019 the ACA launched the Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee which recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an important and necessary part of present and future successes of the cider industry. This committee structures its work around a belief that existing structures of power, privilege and discrimination must be actively questioned and evaluated in order to create equitable opportunities in an environment that embraces and values our differences. They strive to create events, opportunities and organizational policies that embody these values, and to continue evaluating these practices for sustained growth and improvement.

“This scholarship is one of our best tools for fostering a more diverse cider industry” says Michelle McGrath, CEO of the ACA. “The scholarship needs to work in lock step with our efforts to create a more inclusive industry so that, as we have more diverse CiderCon® attendees, they are surrounded by a welcoming community and equitable environment.”

Meet Our Scholarship Coordinator

Olivia Pener’s passion for food and drink, and the way they bring people together, was ignited as a small child whose large family always gathered over meals in the kitchen. That flame was stoked by her experiences growing up in her family’s restaurant and being surrounded by multicultural foodways in St. Louis, MO. Now, after almost 20 years in the service industry and the nonprofit world, she brings her fervor for people and palates to the American Cider Association as their “Cider is for Everyone” Scholarship Coordinator. A recipient of the scholarship herself, Olivia was welcomed into the world of cider with open arms. She is excited to contribute to the growth and evolution of the cider industry as a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and dynamic environment for all. She lives in Mid-Missouri with her two cats, Felix and Nermal, and her Chihuahua mix, Swiper.

Have questions about the scholarship? Reach out to Olivia with any questions you might have!

Cider Share at CiderCon® 2024

Get ready to raise a glass and toast to the start of CiderCon® 2024! Join us for our beloved welcoming reception, Cider Share, on Wednesday, January 17 from 5:00 to 7:30pm. Sip on some of the finest ciders while mingling with fellow cider folks from around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned cidermaker or a newbie to the industry, the Cider Share reception is the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and kick off an unforgettable conference.

At Cider Share, attendees will have the chance to sample ciders from a variety of cidermakers from all over. Not only will you get to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and styles, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the ciders from the cidermakers and their staff. Plus, with 600 people in attendance, Cider Share is a great way to connect with other cidermakers from your region and mingle with fellow CiderCon® attendees.

Tickets for Cider Share are only $20, so be sure to add it to your registration process before it’s too late!

And if you’re a cidermaker yourself, consider applying to pour your ciders at Cider Share. Cideries will be chosen through a lottery system, with considerations given to geography and style. Fill out the application form here. Deadline to apply is October 31 or when space has filled up. Two pourers will be allowed per company. All other company employees must purchase tickets to attend Cider Share.

Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Haykin Family Cider

live sensory analysis webinar with Haykin Family Cider

Join our Certified Pommelier™ panel in a live practice sensory webinar on Thursday, November 9 from 4:00-6:00 PM Pacific featuring cider from Haykin Family Cider. This webinar will also be available to watch again and practice as a prerecorded event. ACA Members can register for a discounted rate of $15. The discount code for members can be found here.

Cider must be purchased separately. Please be aware that it may take several days to receive your cider order, so we encourage you to purchase your ciders as soon as possible. Also, please verify that cider can be sent to your state before purchasing ciders. Ciders can be purchased from Haykin Family Cider here.

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email. This email is a placeholder for the event. The evening before the event you will receive an email with a Zoom link to the webinar. Please note this link will be sent to the registered email.

CiderCon® 2024 Tours

From the mountains to the valleys, from the cities to the farms and rural communities, these CiderCon® 2024 tours will explore the diverse natural beauty, apple growing regions, and cider traditions of the Great Northwest.

What to Know Before You Go:

  • Scheduled departure times are subject to change.  Please contact Emily to confirm timing before making travel plans.
  • All tours will involve decent amounts of walking and may involve mud, rough terrain, stairs and/or inclement weather. Please come prepared with sturdy walking shoes and clothing for all weather possibilities.

One Day Tours

Columbia Gorge Cidery & Brewery Tour

Tuesday, January 16, 8:30 AM – 5:45 PM

Cost: $110

Visit three fermentation focused businesses in the scenic Columbia River Gorge that make both cider and beer: Double Mountain, Mt View Orchards, and Working Hands Fermentation. We’ll tour production spaces and tasting rooms to see how these businesses attract both the local community and tourists, both beer and cider drinkers. Tour cost includes tastings, lunch, and transportation.


Portland’s Quirky Culinary Adventure: Exploring Weird and Wonderful Food and Cider Pairings

Tuesday, January 16, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Cost: $100

Indulge your senses in a culinary adventure like no other as we take you on a journey through the heart of Portland, Oregon, where food, cider, and culture collide in a tantalizing fusion of flavors and experiences. This tour features 5 unique locations, with multiple pairings at each location. Don’t miss out on this chance to celebrate the vibrant culinary scene of this beautiful city, known for its diverse and quirky offerings and world-renowned ciders.

Co-Existing & Co-Fermenting in the Willamette Valley Cider & Wine Region

Tuesday, January 16, 8:30 AM – 5:45 PM

Cost: $110

The Willamette Valley, just south of Portland, contains two-thirds of Oregon’s wineries and vineyards. It’s also home to fabulous cideries, many of them using the bounty of the region to make co-ferments. On this tour we’ll visit four cideries and orchards to chat about how they coexist in wine country and taste their ciders. Tour cost includes tastings, lunch, and transportation.


2 Towns Ciderhouse Open House

Wednesday, January 17, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Cost: $20

Catch a ride to 2 Towns Ciderhouse – Oregon’s largest craft cider producer – for a special CiderCon Open House. Tour the 2 Towns production space, meet with cidermakers, and mingle with CiderCon attendees under the big tent. Lunch and snacks from food trucks and more than 20 ciders will be available for purchase.

Overnight Tours

Olympic Peninsula Cider Tour

Monday, January 15, 12:00 PM – Tuesday, January 16, 6:15 PM

Cost: $295

Journey north to discover the beauty and history of the cideries, orchards, and lands of the Olympic Peninsula. This two day tour will visit two cideries, one cidery event space, and a new cider education facility. Tour cost includes tastings at 3 stops, dinner, lunch, breakfast, hotel, and transportation. In addition to the official tour agenda, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Fort Worden Historical Park where we will stay overnight in historic officer’s homes.


Production Tour: Seattle & Surrounds

Overnight Full Tour Cost: $395

Monday, January 15, 9:00 AM – Tuesday, January 16, 6:00 PM

From small DIY to high tech high volume, this tour will visit 4 Seattle area cideries showcasing different production facility scales and styles. On this 2 day tour of production facilities you’ll visit Schilling Cider, Seattle Cider Company, Locust Cider, and Greenwood Cider Company. We’ll also make time for a tasting at Yonder Cider’s taproom and a cider pairing dinner at Capitol Cider. Tour cost includes tastings at each stop, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 hotel night in Seattle, and transportation to and from Portland. In addition to the official tour agenda, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Ballard brewery district and Capitol Hill neighborhood on your own.


Partial Tour Cost: $100

Tuesday, January 16, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Live in the Seattle area? Join the Seattle tour for a cider pairing dinner at Capitol Cider on Monday evening and all activities on Tuesday 1/16. Bring your luggage and meet at the hotel in Seattle on Tuesday morning  You’ll meet the tour and catch a ride to Portland.


CiderCon® 2024 Tasting Sessions

Tasting sessions have long been one of the most popular features of CiderCon®. Attendees can gain a wealth of knowledge while sipping on ciders that delve into the styles, production practices, flavors, and terroir available. Below you will find the CiderCon® 2024 tasting sessions outlined with dates and times as well as cost per session. It is important to note that some of these sessions may overlap, so be sure to check the schedule carefully. Don’t forget to add on any tastings that catch your eye during the registration process, as they are sure to sell out quickly!

An Introduction to Low-ABV & Non-Alcoholic Cider Production

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 10:30-11:45 AM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Dave Takush

Speakers: Ellen Cavalli, Christine Walter, John Berardino, Scott Katsma

This session will provide a basic overview of the various methods that can be used to produce low-ABV and non-alcoholic (NA) ciders, including a brief introduction to the technologies and regulations that may be associated with NA cider production. We will not be covering sparkling juice production, Participants will taste a range of products and should walk away with insight into various methods that might be employed to produce low-ABV and NA products, and the knowledge that there are different regulatory hurdles associated with NA production. Attendees will learn about different methods of low-ABV production, different methods of non-alcoholic production, technologies associated with NA production, and regulatory matters associated with NA production.

Breaking Boundaries: Cider Hybrids with Beer and Grape Wine

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 10:30-11:45 AM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Christine Hardie

Speakers: Ryan Burk, Johan Sjöstedt, Tom Oliver, Kathline Cheri, Tariq Ahmed

An increasing number of cidermakers, winemakers, and brewers are experimenting with hybrids that break down what is typically expected from stand-alone beverages. By crossing boundaries between categories, the outcomes of these blends and co-fermentations offer exciting new flavors. Join this session to hear from producers about different approaches to hybrid products and considerations when unifying cider, wine and beer. Attendees will taste cider/grape wine hybrids from North America and grafts from the U.K. and Sweden, where beer/cider hybrids have been a key to bringing new consumers into the fold of cider.

Comparing the Effect of Yeast Inoculation Rate on Fermentation Kinetics, Chemical and Aroma Compounds in Cider Fermentations

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 2:00-3:15 PM

Cost: $12 SOLD OUT

Speakers: Jocelyn Kuzelka & Andy Hannas

Yeast produce different types and concentrations of aroma compounds as a function of yeast strain type, fermentation conditions, raw ingredients, and juice treatments. The sensory profile of cider is significantly associated with yeast selection and the quality of cider is dependent upon predictable fermentation outcomes. During yeast metabolism subtle changes in yeast cell inoculum level, determine rate of cell division, nitrogen demand, and availability of aroma precursors. It is generally accepted in the wine world, that 106 yeast cells/mL should allow the fermentation to proceed predictably and completely with little to no residual sugar remaining; while under inoculating leads to sluggish and stuck fermentations. However, recent research in wine and beer has suggested that yeast inoculation rate can be used to drive aroma production toward an increase in positive aromas. Speakers in this advanced level sensory session will explore the effect of yeast inoculum size on the production of aroma compounds both positive and negative in a cider fermentation, by decreasing cell count to accommodate the limited carbohydrate and nitrogen present in apple juice destined for fermentation. Attendees will learn more about yeast metabolism and how yeast inoculation rates can be used to drive cider style and quality.

Pear Necessities: The Fruits and Flavours of International Perry

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 PM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Adam Wells

Speakers: Albert Johnson, Natalia Wszelaki, Laura Cherry, Tom Oliver

Riding the wave of the cider revolution, perry – perhaps the world’s best-kept drinks secret – has gradually been ascending too. In the UK, continental Europe, the USA and beyond, makers and drinkers are waking up to the unique qualities of the fermented pear. In this session Adam Wells, founder-editor of Cider Review and currently writing his first book, Perry: A Drinker’s Guide, will lead a panel discussion and tasting of some of the best perries from around the world.

Nordic Approaches to Cidermaking

Date & Time: Thursday, January 18, 3:45-5:00 PM

Cost: $16

Moderator: Gabe Cook

Speaker: Åge Eitungjerde, Arita Åkre, Olav Bleie, Mikael Nypelius, Karl Sjöström, Andreas Sundgren, Magnus Nilsson

This year, we’re excited to welcome a delegation of Nordic cidermakers to CiderCon®. Join this session for a unique opportunity to try ciders from Norway and Sweden and learn about different production styles and techniques used in the region.

The Ancestral Method: Between Science & Art

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 10:00-11:15 AM

Cost: $12 SOLD OUT

Moderator: Nicole LeGrand Leibon

Speakers: Yann Gilles, Levi Danielson

This very traditional method in France makes it possible to produce sparkling ciders, fermented in bottles, while preserving some residual sugars of the apple without adding anti-yeasts or using pasteurization. Willamette Valley is home to some renowned winemakers using this technique, and more and more cidermakers are experimenting with the Ancestral Method. Hear from experts about production considerations, ways to identify the critical points, and keys to success of this demanding method, between science and art. Attendees will walk away having understood the particularities, advantages and disadvantages of the ancestral method compared to other carbonation methods. They will be able to identify the critical points and keys to success of this demanding method, between science and art.

Harvest Harmony: Exploring the Potential of Apple and Stone Fruit Co-Ferments

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 10:00-11:15 AM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Dan Pucci

Speakers: Adam Chinchiolo, Matt Sanford, Susannah Forbes

This session’s goal is to examine the extent of the possibilities of what apples plus+ can do. Co-ferments have been adopted across the fermentation world as a fun and exciting entry point both for producers and consumers alike. This session will focus on two different co-ferment mediums that are added with apples to produce something greater than the sum of their parts. This session will talk about making co-ferments but will focus on how these cider into a portfolio of offerings and how to engage with consumers about their nature, flavor and personality.

Evaluating Ciders for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 11:30-12:30 PM

Ticketed Session: $10

Speakers: Darlene Hayes, Tim Powers

Participants will practice evaluating ciders using the ACA’s Structured Sensory Evaluation process guided by Certified Pommeliers™ Darlene Hayes and Tim Godfrey. This session will teach you how to objectively assess any cider, empowering you in the cidery and in assisting customers to find a cider they love while also helping you to prepare for the Certified Pommelier™ exam.

Foraged Fruit Project: A Discussion of Discovery

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 1:45-3:00 PM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Scott Ramsey

Speakers: Greg Peck, Maria Kennedy, Steve Selin

Cider producers in many parts of the country are foraging apples to use in their commercial products. Some producers do this as an inexpensive way to obtain apples, others are finding unique quality attributes from the foraged fruit, and still others believe that foraging is a way to discover climate resilient genotypes that can be propagated and grown in orchard settings. In this panel discussion, Cornell and Rutgers scientists will share results from a project that interviewed dozens of producers in the Northeastern US about their foraging practices, and then chemically analyzed the foraged fruit, as well as genotyped the trees to learn about the pedigree of the trees. Commercial cider producers will be on the panel to share their stories, as well as their ciders made from foraged apples. Attendees will learn about the scale and scope of foraging, the reasons why producers are foraging, and the quality of cider made from foraged fruit.

New Frontiers in Traditional European Cider Regions

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 1:45-3:00 PM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Abram Goldman-Armstrong

Speakers: Darlene Hayes, Gabe Cook, Yann Gilles, Edu Vazcot

In an increasingly global cider community the exchange of information is leading to truly impressive innovations in both traditional and emerging cider producing regions. This panel of international cider experts will discuss the exciting new developments taking place across Europe. Traditional ciders may have their steadfast supporters, but in order to capture new consumers innovation is essential. This panel of writers, researchers,  judges, and consultants, have a broad understanding of cider in all its forms, and will present some of the most innovative ciders from their regions. 

Using Amphora & Terracotta Vessels in Cider Production

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 3:30-4:45 PM

Cost: $12

Moderator: Christine Walter

Speakers: Dan Rinke, Andrew Beckham, Deborah Heath, Katie Selbee

Clay vessels have been used to ferment, store, and transport beverages since 6000 B.C. and a new wave of producers are rediscovering amphora and terracotta as a breathable, sustainable, and durable option for making cider. Andrew Beckham, the first commercial producer of terra cotta Amphorae for winemaking, cidermaking, and brewing in North America, will walk through the process of making his Novum fermenters and how to use them and care for them. Producers will discuss how they craft their ciders using terracotta, and what considerations to have when fermenting in amphora. This will also include a tasting of their ciders.

The Pasteurization Primer: Starting Out and Scaling Up

Date & Time: Friday, January 19, 3:30-4:45 PM

Cost: $12

Speakers: Aaron Homoya & Joseph Kilbourn

Anyone can pasteurize cider at any size! Learn the science, data tracking, and practical methods to start with test batches and scale up to a hundred cases per day and beyond. We will start with a brief overview of stability concerns, needs, and common methods for cider, then hone in on pasteurization theory, best practices, equipment options, and solutions for small to medium sized cideries. Topics include temperature monitoring, DIY small-scale bath pasteurization, batch pasteurizers, small tunnel pasteurizers, and brief discussion of many interrelated stability and packaging parameters. There will be a sensory tasting of pasteurized cider at different levels. Attendees will learn what a PU is, how to determine target min/max PUs, deciding what equipment options are right for you, and tips for how to scale.