In September, 20 cider industry aces — from writers and certified professionals to restaurant buyers and tenured judges — sat to analyze over 300 North American-made ciders across 13 different categories. Eighteen states and three provinces were represented and judged blind over the course of two days, with the top of each class making it into the pages of this inaugural Cidercraft Awards issue.
Experts versed in cider destinations, restaurants, bars and trends also offered assurance as to why these locales and statistics are worth paying attention to, further validating cider as the fastest growing beverage segment in America.
To subscribe to the magazine and pick up this collector’s edition in print, including medalists and Judges’ Picks, click here.
Become the ultimate in-cider. This is your comprehensive crash-course in the cream of the crop North American ciders: drink up!
*All prices are in USD unless otherwise noted.
Orchard-based, focused on the specific apple(s) used and Old World-influenced. Typically made with multi-use apples (such as Russets, Baldwin, Gravenstein) or cider-specific fruit, resulting higher in tannin and acid.
Double Gold: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Cidre Mousseux Rosé | $17 CAD/750ml
Gold: Dragon’s Head Cider Traditional Cider | $17/750ml
Silver: Snowdrift Cider Co. Cliffbreaks Blend | $15/750ml
Bronze: Liberty Ciderworks McIntosh SV | $13/750ml
Fresh, crisp, carbonated, New World-style, apple-only. Can still be focused on specific apples, although usually with culinary/table apples or juice.
Double Gold: C Squared Ciders Alma | $11/12oz 4-pack
Gold: Gowan’s Heirloom Ciders Estate 1876 Heirloom Cider | $10/500ml
Silver: FoxCraft Hard Cider Apple Blossom | $8/22oz
Bronze: 2 Towns Ciderhouse OutCider | $8/500ml
100 percent fermented pear, either traditional perry fruit or culinary pears.
Double Gold: Portland Cider Co. Pearfect Perry | $6/22oz
Gold: Dragon’s Head Cider Perry | $18/750ml
Silver: Eden Valley Orchards Pear House Cider | $28/750ml
Bronze: Tieton Cider Works Sparkling Perry | $7/500ml
Cider without any carbonation, natural or forced; texturally akin to white wine.
Double Gold: Liberty Ciderworks Porter’s Perfection SV | $17/750ml
Gold: Angry Orchard Understood in Motion 01 | $25/750ml
Silver: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Rosalie Tranquille Rosé | $12 CAD/750ml
Bronze: Gowan’s Heirloom Ciders Estate Sierra Beauty | $20/750ml
A showcase of one varietal; must be at least 80 percent the designated varietal.
Double Gold: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Cidre Mousseux Rosé | $17/750ml
Gold: Dragon’s Head Cider Kingston Black | $18/750ml
Silver: Montana CiderWorks McIntosh | $9/750ml
Bronze: Citizen Cider Northern Spy | $6/22oz
Cider base infused or co-fermented with stone fruit, such as cherry, apricot, plum, etc.
Double Gold: Gypsy Circus Cider Co. Vaudevillian | $10/12oz 4-pack
Gold: Noble Cider The Village Tart | $10/12oz 4-pack
Silver: Mercier Orchards Just Peachy | $12/12oz 4-pack
Bronze: Summit Cider Uncrushable Apricot | $5/500ml
Cider base infused or co-fermented with other fruits, such as pear, berry, tropical fruit, etc.
Double Gold: Gumption Hard Cider Citrus Freak | $10/12oz 6-pack
Gold: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Two Thorns | $7/500ml
Silver: Portland Cider Co. Strawberry | $6/22oz
Bronze: Portland Cider Co. Pineapple | $6/22oz
Cider base that has hops added, typically post-fermentation. Commonly used hop varieties include Citra, Cascade and Mosaic.
Double Gold: Square Mile Cider Co. Hopped Apple Cider | $9/12oz 4-pack
Gold: BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. Broken Ladder Apples & Hops | $11 CAD/16oz 4-pack
Silver: Tieton Cider Works Yakima Valley Dry Hopped | $7/500ml
Bronze: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Hop & Stalk | $6/500ml
Cider aged in or with oak. Also referred to as “wood-aged,” the oak or barrel makes a distinguishable mark on the cider, adding flavors and complexity.
Double Gold: Blake’s Hard Cider Sir Lushington | $8/12oz draft
Gold: Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Oaked Dry |$9/500ml
Silver: Seattle Cider Co. Oaked Maple | $11/16oz 4-pack
Bronze: Vermont Cider Co. Cerise | $11/12oz 4-pack
Cider base infused post-fermentation or co-fermented with spices, herbs, flowers or roots, such as ginger.
Double Gold: Portland Cider Co. Pumpkin Spice | $6/22oz
Gold: Summit Cider Sundance | $5/500ml
Silver: Seattle Cider Co. Basil Mint | $11/22oz
Bronze: Lonetree Cider Co. Ginger Apple | $11 CAD/12oz 6-pack
A catch-all for unique blends, ultimately a cider base infused with any specialty ingredients such as squash, coffee, rhubarb, peppers, etc.
Double Gold: Seattle Cider Co. Three Pepper | $9/22oz
Gold: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Hollow Jack | $7/500ml
Silver: Swilled Dog Hard Cider Co. Caramel Apple | $14/750ml
Bronze: Seattle Cider Co. Cold Brew | $6/12oz draft
Sweet, dessert-style cider, typically late harvest or ice cider, which are made by fermenting frozen, concentrated juice.
Double Gold: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Cidre de Glace Rosé | $33/375ml
Gold: Northern Natural Cider House & Winery Iced Apple Cider | $30/375ml
Silver: Eden Specialty Ciders 2014 Brandy Barrel-Aged Heirloom Blend | $30/375ml
Bronze: Eden Specialty Ciders 2014 Honeycrisp | $30/375ml
Pommeau-style or other styles with spirits added to the cider or unfermented apple juice base.
Double Gold: Big B’s Hard Cider Bourbon Barrel Aged Pommeau | $25/375ml
Gold: Colorado Cider Co. Descuido | $18/375ml
Silver: Seattle Cider Co. Pommeau | $8/3oz draft
Bronze: Snowdrift Cider Co. Pommeau | $20/375ml