It was a lot of cider, but somebody had to taste it. In September, Cidercraft magazine asked nearly 50 cider industry professionals to sit and follow our mantra to drink cider. In a blind analysis, they critiqued, judged and analyzed over 400 ciders from around the globe, with the highest ranking ciders in each category taking the Double Gold medal titles and resulting in Volume 12 of the magazine which hits newsstands next week.
To subscribe to the magazine and pick up this collector’s edition in print — including medalists, Judges’ Picks, producer profiles and trending articles — click here.
Become the ultimate in-cider. This is your comprehensive crash-course on the cream of the crop in cider. Cheers!
Focused on the specific apple(s) and/or orchard used. Typically made with multi-use apples (such as Russets, Baldwin, Gravenstein) or cider-specific fruit (like bittersharp and bittersweet varieties), resulting in higher tannin and acid.
DOUBLE GOLD: Shield Cider Organic Demi-Sec
GOLD: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Cidre Mousseux Rosé
SILVER: Ferme de Romilly Rosé
BRONZE: Alpenfire Cider Ember Estate Bitter-Sweet
Fresh, crisp, carbonated, New World-style and apple-only. Can still be focused on specific apples, although usually with culinary/table apples or juice.
DOUBLE GOLD: Castle Hill Cider 2016 Serendipity
GOLD: Rootwood Cider Co. Lake Effect
SILVER: Washington Gold Cider Golden Delicious
BRONZE: Portland Cider Co. Sorta Sweet
100 percent fermented pear, made with traditional perry pears, culinary pears or both combined.
DOUBLE GOLD: Oliver’s Cider and Perry Classic
GOLD: Pierre Huet Poiré Demi-Sec
SILVER: Portland Cider Co. Pearfect
BRONZE: Dragon’s Head Cider
Cider without any carbonation, natural or forced, texturally akin to white wine.
DOUBLE GOLD: Liberty Ciderworks Porter’s Perfection SV
GOLD (Tie): Alpenfire Cider Discovery Trail; Eden Specialty Ciders Cinderella’s Slipper; Gowan’s Heirloom Ciders Sierra Beauty
SILVER: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Cidre Tranquille Fort Rosé
BRONZE: BlackBird Cider Works Gin Barrel Aged
A showcase of one apple variety; must be at least 80 percent the designated varietal.
DOUBLE GOLD: Alpenfire Cider Glow Aerlie Red
GOLD: Dragon’s Head Cider Kingston Black
SILVER: Alpenfire Cider Foxwhelp Estate
BRONZE (Tie): Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar Broken Hearts Are ForApples; Blue Bee Cider Hewe’s Crab
Ciders made intentionally sour using nonstandard yeasts and/or bacterial fermentation; also including sidra and sidra-style.
DOUBLE GOLD: Cider Creek Hard Cider Dreams of Charlotte Series #1
GOLD: Argus Cidery Ozark Brut
SILVER: Urban Tree Cidery Sidra Urbano
BRONZE: Brooklyn Cider House Raw
Cider base infused or co-fermented with stone fruit, such as cherry, apricot, plum, etc.
DOUBLE GOLD: Ironbound Hard Cider Devil’s Harvest
GOLD (Tie): Bauman’s Cider Peach Raspberry; Snow Capped Cider Sour Cherry
SILVER: Virtue Cider Michigan Cherry
BRONZE: Noble Cider Royal Peach
Cider base infused or co-fermented with other fruits, such as pear, berry, tropical fruit, etc.
DOUBLE GOLD: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Passion Statement
GOLD: Washington Gold Cider Raspberry
SILVER: 2 Towns Ciderhouse Easy Peasy
BRONZE (Tie): Bauman’s Cider Loganberry; Cider Brothers Pacific Coast Ciders Apple with Mango and Muscat; Shoal Hope Ciderworks Little Tart
Cider base that has hops added, typically post-fermentation. Hops in common practice of this cider variation include Citra, Cascade and Mosaic.
DOUBLE GOLD: BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. Broken Ladder Apples & Hops
GOLD: Swift Cider Pineapple Hop
SILVER: Ironbound Hard Cider Woods Folly
BRONZE: Square Mile Cider Co. Hopped
Cider aged in or with oak. Also known as “wood-aged,” the oak or barrel makes a distinguishable mark on the cider, from flavor to texture and overall complexity.
DOUBLE GOLD: Wrangletown Cider Co. Oak Barrel-Aged
GOLD: Seattle Cider Co. Oaked Maple
SILVER: Blake’s Hard Cider Co. Sir Lushington
BRONZE: WildCraft Cider Works Empire
Cider base infused post-fermentation or co-fermented with spices, herbs, flowers or ginger.
DOUBLE GOLD: Brownrigg Hard Cider Fig Leaf
GOLD: Noble Cider Spice Merchant
SILVER: Square Mile Cider Co. Rosé
BRONZE: Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar Grierson’s Ginger
A catch-all for unique blends, ultimately a cider base infused with any specialty ingredients such as squash, coffee, rhubarb, peppers, etc.
DOUBLE GOLD: Kystin Cidres Cuvée XVII Cidre à laChâtaigne
GOLD: Chain Yard Urban Cidery Ginxberry
SILVER: Chain Yard Urban Cidery Rhubee Cyser
BRONZE: Blake’s Hard Cider Co. El Chavo
Sweet, dessert-style cider, typically late harvest or ice cider, which are made by fermenting frozen, concentrated juice.
DOUBLE GOLD: Eden Specialty Ciders Cellar Series #2 The Falstaff
GOLD: The Great Canadian Cider Co. Organic Ice Cider
SILVER: Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Cidre de Glace Rosé
BRONZE: West Avenue Cider House North by West
Pommeau-style or other variations with spirits added to fortify the cider or unfermented apple juice base.
DOUBLE GOLD: 2 Towns Ciderhouse 2015 Pommeau
GOLD: Alpenfire Cider Rosy Pommeau
SILVER: Dragon’s Head Cider Pommeau
BRONZE: Conneaut Cellars Winery Pommeau