The James Beard Awards have long been the most prestigious food/drink journalism and restaurant awards in the country. For beverage professionals, the most prestigious of these awards is the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. The award is given to “A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.”
For this reason, it was very exciting to see Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider in Virginia nominated for this important award. Flynt has been an inspiration to numerous cidermakers, cideries and writers like myself. The Foggy Ridge ciders are among the best in the country and the most consistent in their high quality.
Flynt is not the first cidermaker to obtain a nomination for this important award. In 2014, Steve Wood of Farnum Hill was also nominated. That Flynt was nominated for the Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional award is one more indication that serious ciders have taken their place in the hearts and minds of those who think about artisan beverages in a serious way.
This is not the first time we’ve written about Diane Flynt. She was kind enough to do an interview with The Cider Journal, which you can read here.
I’m never one to handicap an awards process. However, I can say that were Ms. Flynt to win the James Beard award it would go a long way toward further legitimizing the amazing work that not only she has done at Foggy Ridge, but that is also being done at the proliferating number of artisan cideries across the United States. Suffice to say, we at The Cider Journal have our fingers crossed for Diane Flynt and Foggy Ridge. The announcement of the winners will be announced on April 25th in New York City.