The Australian Cider Awards was established in 2011 by CiderOz, led by cider apple expert David Pickering and producers James and Gail Kendell, as a way to encourage quality improvements and educate consumers about the diversity of cider.
The inaugural competition had close to 100 entries, and was judged by a panel of wine and beer experts in Orange, NSW. With 18 medals awarded, the competition proved an excellent opportunity for Australian producers to benchmark their products and learn about cider. Entries to the competition have grown steadily each year since.
In 2014, the organisation of the Awards was handed over to Cider Australia. A committee of volunteers now runs the competition in Melbourne, with the focus moving towards education, improving consistency in cider shows across Australia and building knowledge and experience in judging.
Leading the way
The Awards is leading the standardisation and improvement of cider judging across Australia. In 2015, we released a Style Guide tailored specifically to the Australian market that defines how products in each class should present in terms of aroma and flavour, appearance, mouthfeel and overall impression.
Each year, we bring an international cider expert to Australia to join the judging panel, run technical seminars and add an international perspective to the proceedings. In 2019 we will welcome world-renowned UK cider producer Tom Oliver from Oliver’s Cider & Perry. In past years we have been honoured to host Andrew Lea and Bill Bradshaw from the UK, Gary Awdey and Eric West from the US, Malcolm Reeves from New Zealand, Claude Jolicoeur from Canada and Eduardo Vázquez Coto from Spain.
We also invest substantially in educating and training producers, judges and competition organisers, and share knowledge with regional cider shows across Australia. We are also developing best practice judging and organisational policies and protocols.
The Australian Cider Awards is run by an experienced committee of volunteers led by Warwick Billings, Co-owner of LOBO Cider, Chief Steward of the Australian Cider Awards and Vice President of Cider Australia.
On behalf of Cider Australia, the organising committee is responsible for all aspects of the Awards. It:
- manages the organisation and funding of the Awards
- sets the Award classes and rules
- establishes a highly qualified judging panel comprising 7 judges and 4 associate positions
- undertakes marketing & promotion activities
- manages logistics on the ground prior to, during and after the judging
- runs educational and training seminars in conjunction with the Awards
All queries about the Awards should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org