Cider Australia runs the annual Australian Cider Awards to promote and reward excellence in cider production and bring together cider makers, industry representatives, communicators, retailers, sommeliers and consumers.
As the largest cider show in Australia, the Awards is at the cutting edge of cider judging and is well respected nationally and internationally.
In 2019, 276 local and international cider and perry products entered the show. The 2020 show was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Awards opens in November and will be judged in January 2022.
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 developed 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 past years we have been honoured to host Tom Oliver, 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 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 President of Cider Australia.
On behalf of Cider Australia, the organising committee is responsible for all aspects of the Awards. The organising committee:
- 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
Cider Australia maintains a comprehensive Style Guide as part of the Australian Cider Awards. The Style Guide was developed in consultation with the prestigious Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) and is updated each year.
The 2021 Style Guide has 29 classes including a new Cider or Perry with Herbs/Spices class which acknowledges the growing number of products on the market with added botanicals. The Experimental Cider or Perry class has also been expanded to include zero and low-alcohol (<1.15% ABV) products.
2021 Conditions of Entry and Regulations
|Entries open||Tue 9 Nov 2021|
|Entries close||Fri 3 Dec 2021|
|Delivery window||Mon 6 – Fri 24 Dec 2021|
(closed to public)
|Mon 17 & Tue 18 Jan 2022|
How to Enter
- Read these 2021 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2021 Style Guide in full to confirm eligibility and determine the appropriate class to enter.
- Register your entries through the online entry system and pay the entry fee at myaca.melbourneroyal.com.au
- Deliver entries between 6 - 24 December 2021. The delivery address and labels will be emailed to entrants from late November. Samples delivered early or late will not be accepted and will be returned at the sender’s expense.
Rules for Entry
1) Entries must be received online via the online entry system at myaca.melbourneroyal.com.au
2) Entrants must comply with all requirements set out in the 2021 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2021 Style Guide or an entry may not be accepted or judged.
3) Entries must be available for sale in Australia at the time of judging.
4) A product in a particular format may only be entered into the show once, however other formats of that product (ie. cans) may also be entered into the show. An entrant may enter more than one product into each class.
5) It is the responsibility of the entrant to enter the correct class. Note: In previous years the judges commented that entrants have a better chance of scoring well if ciders are entered in the correct class.
6) At the time of entry, the entrant must have a minimum amount of product in stock per its entered class.
(a) For Classes 1-35, a minimum of 225 litres must be in stock.
(b) For Classes 41-44, a minimum of 100 litres must be in stock.
7) Entries in glass, can or plastic/PET containers will only be accepted in the commercial package, including labels, used for sale. Should commercial labels not be available at the time of submitting samples, a copy of the commercial label must be manually affixed or an electronic copy provided to organisers via the entry portal or by email (email@example.com) otherwise samples will not be accepted. Flip-top (or swing-top) bottles will not be accepted unless sealed with a tamper evident label. Products packaged especially for the competition that are not ordinarily available in packaged form will not be accepted. Samples drawn from kegs or other packages will not be accepted.
8) Entries in kegs will not be accepted in 2021 unless the organisers advise otherwise. There has been insufficient demand for this entry format in recent years.
9) Entrants must specify the residual sugar (glucose + fructose + sucrose), ABV and carbonation level of each entry, along with any other information requested in the 2021 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2021 Style Guide (see Appendix A). Entrants are advised to pay particular attention to sweetness levels when entering as entries may be disqualified or the judging score downgraded if entered incorrectly.
10) Entrants must pay all customs, duty, and transportation costs to the delivery address.
11) Entries become the property of Cider Australia.
12) Entry charges for 2021 are $70 (early-bird)/$80 per entry for financial (2021-22) members of Cider Australia and $105 (early-bird)/$115 per entry for non-members. Early-bird pricing ends 19 November 2021 or other such time as advised by the organisers.
13) Each entry must be accompanied by the correct entry fee and all fees must be received by close of entries, 3 December 2021. Entries will not be judged if fees are outstanding.
14) Entry fees are non-refundable except at the discretion of the organisers.
15) Entries must be delivered between 6 - 24 December 2021 (Mon-Fri: 7am – 5pm) to:
Australian Cider Awards – c/o Liquex Logistics
45-49 Vella Drive
Sunshine West VIC 3020
Liquex contact: (03) 9311 2071 or firstname.lastname@example.org
16) Samples delivered early or late will not be accepted.
17) Entries must have Cider Australia entry labels securely attached to each container and carton (ensure relevant product information on the commercial label such as brand name, product name and ABV remains visible). Labels will be emailed from late November, once entry fees are received and entries have been validated. Entries without labels will not be judged.
18) The following quantities must be submitted (glass, can or plastic/PET containers):
(a) Standard and Speciality classes – four (4) of each container if less than 650ml, or three (3) of each container if 650ml or larger.
(b) Ice Cider or Perry and Pommeau – three (3) of each container if package is less than 375ml, or two (2) of each container if 375ml or larger.
(c) Apple/Pear Spirit – two (2) of each container. The total volume must be at least 375ml.
19) Judging of the 2021 Australian Cider Awards will be held in Melbourne on 18 & 19 January 2022. Judging is closed to entrants and the public.
20) All judging will be conducted using “blind” Each entry will be identified by a randomly-assigned registration number. Judges will see only the number of entries, style and for some classes the additional information provided by entrants.
21) Entries will be assessed and judged on flavour, aroma, appearance and overall impression. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be determined based on merit. More than one medal of each level may be awarded in each class.
22) Judges reserve the right not to award medals, prizes or certificates in any class if the quality of entries does not merit them.
23) Entries that the Chief Steward considers out of class may be moved to more appropriate classes when this is logistically possible:
(a) Where several examples present which may constitute a sub class or new class the Chief Steward may instigate an appropriate class in discussion with the Chief Judge.
(b) Ciders that the Chief Judge determines to be out of class may be pointed and feedback provided at the Judges’ discretion.
24) Cider Australia reserves the right to cancel wrongly completed or incomplete entry forms and to disqualify any entry that does not comply with the requirements in the 2021 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2021 Style Guide.
25) Cider Australia reserves the right to have any of the winning entries analysed by an accredited laboratory and, subject to the results of the analysis, to take whatever action it considers necessary.
26) Cider Australia is the only organisation authorised to settle any disputes.
Force Majeure and Modifications
27) Cider Australia will not be held responsible for any event occurrence beyond their control which disrupts the Australia Cider Awards. Cider Australia reserves the right to cancel, alter dates, and change the conditions and running order of the Awards. Responsibility will not be incurred by Cider Australia and therefore no compensation can be sought by participants.
28) Cider Australia cannot be held responsible for any theft, loss, delay or damage during the transport of entries.
29) Cider Australia gathers data on cider production to use for statistical purposes and will not be available to the judges. This information remains confidential and is de-linked from the entry details so that the producers cannot be identified. As part of the online entry process, entrants are required to declare:
(a) whether the apple or pear content of their product is 100% Australian grown and whether the packaging displays Cider Australia’s 100% Australian Grown trust mark and other mandatory and voluntary labelling elements.
(b) whether sugar, apple juice concentrate or other sugar substitutes are used during production processes specifically to increase alcohol percentage or to adjust sweetness. The use of sugar or substitutes where the sole function is to promote the secondary fermentation process for products entered into ‘MT - method traditional (disgorged)' classes does not need to be advised.
(c) whether more than 5% water (in volume) is used in the production processes of a cider or perry (e.g. to reconstitute concentrate or adjust alcohol percentage).
30) Medals may be awarded in all classes.
31) Medals are based on a score out of a possible 100 points, assigned by the judging panel:
|Gold Medal||92.5 – 100 points (Outstanding example)|
|Silver Medal||85 – 92 points (Excellent example)|
|Bronze Medal||77.5 – 84.5 points (Good example)|
|Note: In previous years the judges identified that to be a Gold medal winner a cider needed a certain “wow” factor, that caused it to shine above its peers.|
32) Gold Medal winning entries in all classes except Class 31 (Experimental Cider or Perry) are eligible for Trophy judging. Trophies may be awarded for:
- Best Traditional Cider
- Best New World Cider
- Best Traditional Perry
- Best New World Perry
- Best Australian Cider or Perry (containing 100% Australian grown fruit)
- Best International Cider or Perry
- Best Specialty Cider or Perry
- Best Intensified/Distilled Cider or Perry
- Most Successful Small Producer (0-49,999 litres per annum total branded cider sales – includes Nano and Micro producers per Cider Australia membership tiers)
- Most Successful Large Producer (over 50,000 litres per annum total branded cider sales)
- Best in Show
33) A Best Packaging Award may be awarded, voted on by officials present at the Awards judging.
Use of Competition Awards in Marketing
34) Vintage cider and perry that earns a medal or trophy may only display the award on cider or perry of the same batch and vintage from which the winning entry was supplied. There is no time limit on use of medals provided they are applied to bottles from the same batch.
35) Brands may not advertise themselves as award winning in reference to this competition without referencing clearly the full competition name, the year, and the style category name in which the award was won. For example, a 2008 Gold Medal winner may advertise winning a 2008 Gold Medal in 2009, but not in a way that implies that the same product won a 2009 Gold Medal (unless it won a 2009 Gold Medal as well). Use of any award in a misleading way may result in that award being rescinded and the offending producer being barred from future competitions. Producers are responsible for ensuring that distributors, retailers, and restaurants use awards in advertising and marketing in accordance with competition rules. Failure to maintain proper control of the use of these awards may also result in the award being rescinded.
36) Feedback is supplied to aid producers in understanding how ciders were perceived by judges and what the relative strengths and weaknesses were perceived to be. Judges’ comments are not to be quoted for marketing purposes without the express prior approval of Cider Australia.
37) Winners of the 2021 Australian Cider Awards will be announced in early 2022 (details to be confirmed).
38) A selection of entry winning medals and/or best in class will be showcased at the Awards Presentation. The choices would be made by the organisers with chosen medal winners asked to contribute 2 x cartons (9L or equivalent). Additional carton/s, if required, must be made available for purchase at wholesale prices by Cider Australia from the producer to ensure there is sufficient stock for serving. We trust that you will agree with this move to publicise the top products and support the Australian Cider Awards.
39) Awards Presentation registration information will be available on Cider Australia’s website at www.cideraustralia.org.au. For more information please contact Cider Australia by email at email@example.com.
2021 AUSTRALIAN CIDER AWARDS
Cider Australia opened entries to the 2021 Australian Cider Awards on 9 November 2021 and closed on Friday 3 December. The judging will take place at the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne on 17 & 18 January and the winners announced on Wednesday 2 February 2022 at a virtual Awards Presentation.
The 2021 Awards has 29 classes including a new Cider or Perry with Herbs/Spices class and provision for low and no-alcohol products to enter in the Experimental Cider or Perry class. Full details on Award classes and rules can be found in the 2021 Style Guide and the 2021 Conditions of Entry and Regulations.
2021 BEST CIDER SELECTION OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Cider Australia launched the inaugural Best Cider Selection of the Year Awards in October 2021. The aim of this competition is to identify and acknowledge the efforts of venue owners, managers and sommeliers around Australia in curating thoughtful and enticing cider selections.
The 2021 winners were announced on 31 December 2021 (see media release here).
WINNERS – 2021 BEST CIDER SELECTION OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Best Cidery: Gurneys Cidery
Best Cider + Food Venue: Willie Smith's Apple Shed
Cidery Category (in alphabetical order):
Napoleone Orchard Bar & Cidery
Small Acres Cyder
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
There are a number of state-based and regional cider shows in Australia. These include:
For cider enthusiasts and commercial producers, this show is based on the Mornington Peninsula of Victoria. Results are announced at the Red Hill Show held in March each year.
Open to cider producers from Australia and New Zealand, this show is held in Adelaide each year.
2021 Style Guide
Download the 2021 Style Guide here