By Peter Holmstrom
The Pacific Northwest Cider Awards is back for its second year on June 5 and 6 in Seattle, to determine top producers in the young cider region.
Generations of apple and pear production have carved the landscape for the region and it may seem to many that commercial cider must have been here for as long as apple production, yet it hasn’t. The Northwest is still relatively new to the cider front, but nevertheless has been making large strides in the last decade.
The second annual Pacific Northwest Cider Awards is a reflection of this. Two separate events, glorifying the technical and the casual, all in one weekend. With more than 45 different cideries participating, and 30 various ciders on tap, these cider awards are quickly becoming a highlight of the summer season.
The private competition portion of the weekend will be held on June 5 at the Capitol Center in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Judges here will be looking at the variety of attributes, from clarity of appearance to mouthfeel and balance. Ciders are entered into one of 14 different categories, where the best of each will go on to compete in the always-coveted Best of Show round.
The next day is where the fun begins. After the results are posted on the morning of June 6, people from all around are encouraged to gather in the Seattle Cider Company’s tasting room, also known as The Woods, to take in a one-day cider festival. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door. Each ticket receives drink tokens for eight 5-ounce pours, with more being available if desired. Throughout the day visitors will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite cider, votes to be tallied after the event for the Peoples Choice Award.
With ciders coming in from Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia, this truly is one of the best opportunities to take some of the best ciders of the region.