Uncovering Authenticity in the American Cider Marketplace

With the recent completion of the Dan Berger International Cider Competition and the announcement of medals, I am very excited to announce that the Sea Cider “Bittersweet” took the Sweepstakes Award for the top cider of the Competition.

As the director of such a competition, you worry that the results won’t honor the best of the best or that some judges won’t take proper care of their palate throughout the judging in order to provide a careful enough evaluation of the numerous ciders with which they are confronted. But when I saw the Sea Cider Bittersweet come out on top my worries were abated.

The Sea Cider Bittersweet is unquestionably a cider of prodigious pedigree. The authentic bittersweet apples that were used in its production are grown in Sea Cider’s own orchards British Columbia with the specific intent of producing a classic English style cider. They succeeded and I’m proud of the Dan Berger International Cider Competition judges for honoring the effort.

The estate-grown theme extended to another Best of Class winner at the competition, the 2015 Eve’s Cidery Darling Creek — awarded best of class in the Traditional Cider — Dry category. Sixty-five percent of the apples used to produce this blend were grown in Eve’s own orchards, while the rest were foraged from the region in and around their Van Etten, New York locale.

The Best of Class Winners at the Competiton included:

Common Cider —Sweet
BROOKLYN CIDER HOUSE KINDA DRY

Traditional Cider—Dry
EVE’S CIDERY 2015 DARLING CREEK

Spanish Style Cider
BEREZIATUA GOURMET EDITION

Herbed/Hopped/Spiced Cider
MARCH FIRST BREWING DRY HOPPED CIDER

Fruit Cider
FOXCRAFT HARD CIDER BLOOD ORANGE

Pear Cider
FOX CRAFT HARD CIDER PEAR

Dessert/Iced/Pommeau
2 TOWNS CIDERHOUSE 2014 POMMEAU

The goal of the Dan Berger International Cider Competition is to expose as many people as possible (cider lovers, cider newbies, restaurant and retail buyers and the media) to the remarkable development of the American craft cider marketplace. Over the course of the next few weeks, The Cider Journal will be highlighting the top ciders of the competition, drawing attention to the beautiful and diverse range of ciders entered into this new competition and represented in the marketplace.

We believe that even while as the renewed cider industry in America is well into its resurgence, it is education that is required in order for that resurgence to continue and take a strong hold in this country. As long as craft ciders of true character and authenticity are being produced and successfully sold this rising category of craft beverage will continue to flourish. We hope through this Journal and through this competition to help the flourishing of committed cider lovers and the ciders they love.

 

3 Responses to “Uncovering Authenticity in the American Cider Marketplace”

  1. Peggy Haine

    Thanks for honoring an honest, English-style cider — no hops, blueberries, or fingernail clippings — just good cider apples, estate grown or not, carefully fermented and blended to bring out the rich flavors and fragrances of the apples, and put up for market in attractive packaging. Three cheers for you and your judges, and for British Columbia’s Sea Cider and our own Eve’s Cider, here in upstate New York. It is such a joy to see traditional ciders taking hold, and the hard work of Autumn Stoscheck and others recognized.

    Reply
  2. tomwark

    Peggy,
    Thanks for reading and your comment. Indeed, the traditional ciders seem to be and deserve to be thriving…surely a result of the trend toward authenticity among the tip-of-the-spear consumers. In general, the diversity of ciders in the marketplace continues to expand with traditional carving out a real niche.

    Reply
  3. Kate (CiderSays)

    Awesome! I’m really liking the way the industry is going, with more availability of ciders from cider apples. Even the quality of the lower end craft ciders is improving.

    Reply

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