If you haven’t booked your plane tickets, plotted out your AirBnB or registered for the 2016 Cider Conference in Portland, Oregon, there is still time. Although rates raised on Monday, there is plenty for the cider trade and industry to get in on. For all “inside” CiderCON events, attendees will need to be a member of the United States Association of Cider Makers to register but there is also a growing calendar of “OutsideCON” events. Here are a few highlights of what’s to come.
Tuesday, February 2
Hop on a bus for a tour of Oregon’s nearby cider regions, including trips to the Willamette Valley, Hood River and around Portland. Tours last from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and sit a $65, which includes lunch. The Hood River trip provides an optional overnight stay for an additional cost.
Wednesday, February 3
1) Advanced Cider Orchard Production Workshop: This five-hour seminar is handing out the latest information for commercial apple producers interested in growing cider apples. Presented by the leading cider fruit researchers and current cider apple growers from across the United States, the workshop requires an RSVP plus an additional cost and includes lunch.
2) Sensory Analysis Training: Although little details are provided, CiderCON is sure to bring out the industry’s most elite palates (and noses) to lead a class on how to accurately evaluate the cider in your glass. RSVP required.
3) CiderCON Welcome Reception with Networking Salon/Cider Share: An affair that ended in a few spills and hundreds of card swaps last year, the Cider Share is a free-flow tasting where makers and trade can exchange bottle pours and advice alike.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
1) Opening General Session – Cider Market Review & Outlook & Clicker Survey: This market review and survey shook the CIDERCRAFT team to the core in 2015—moved by the numbers and future projection, our editor got emotional and detailed last year’s market review here. More incredible, industry-changing outlooks are to come in 2016.
2) Annual USACM Cider Industry Awards & 2015 US Apple Crop Update & 2016 Outlook: Congratulate the winners of these awards in person and understand the projections for the upcoming year, both in harvest review and future agriculture reports.
Friday, February 5, 2016
1) Trade Show: Also running on Thursday, the annual CiderCon Trade Show features suppliers of products and services specifically focused to assist the cider industry. Click here for the full list of vendors.
2) CiderCON Commencement/Toast/Cider Share: Close out the event with the whole party and then take to the streets of downtown Portland to tour the foodie, cider-savvy city with new industry friends.
3) The Skimmity Hitchers at Cider Riot!: All the way from England’s West Country, Scrumpy and Western music heroes The Skimmity Hitchers rock out live at Cider Riot!. Local supporting acts and ciders will be present, plus a British cider takeover with Oliver’s Cider and Perry, Cranbourne Chase Cider, New Forest Traditional Cider Co. and Talbot Harris Cider Co.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Cider Certification Program: CiderCON might have closed but the inaugural Sicera program kicks off under the lead of esteemed cider guide, Eric West. Get our take on it here.