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 highly respected nationally and internationally.
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, Eduardo Vázquez Coto from Spain and Yann Gilles from France.
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 email@example.com
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 2023 Style Guide has 30 classes in three sections - Standard, Specialty and Intensified/Distilled.
2023 AUSTRALIAN CIDER AWARDS
DOWNLOAD THE 2023 RESULTS HERE
The winners of the 12th Australian Cider Awards were announced on 26 October 2023. Cider Australia congratulates the winners!
Full details on Award classes and rules can be found in the 2023 Style Guide and the 2023 Conditions of Entry and Regulations below.
2023 Conditions of Entry and Regulations
|22 Sep 2023
|Mon 25 Sep – Fri 6 Oct
|Judging (closed to public)
|Mon 16 & Tue 17 Oct
|Thu 26 Oct (Melbourne)
- Compare your product against industry benchmarks
- Receive feedback from independent industry experts
- Market your product with a recognised stamp of quality
How to enter?
- Read these 2023 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2023 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 via https://wineshowpro.azurewebsites.net/views/auth/login
- Deliver entries between 25 September and 6 October 2023. Labels and delivery information will be emailed to entrants from early September.
1) Entrants must comply with the requirements set out in the 2023 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2023 Style Guide. Entries must be received via the online entry system. Entries that do not comply may not be accepted or judged.
2) The competition is open to commercial cider producers and agents authorised, licensed or registered in their country of origin.
3) Entries must be commercially available (ie. on sale in one or more licensed outlets) in their country of origin at the time of judging. International ‘guest’ entries that are not commercially available in Australia will be accepted as part of a 3-year trial commencing in 2023. Guest entries will be eligible for medals and the Best International Cider or Perry Trophy.
4) A product in a particular format (ie. a 330mL bottle) may only be entered into the show once, however other formats of that product (ie. a 355mL can) 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 packaged product in stock per its entered class.
(a) For Classes 1-36, a minimum of 225 litres.
(b) For Classes 41-44, a minimum of 50 litres.
7) Entries in glass, can or plastic/PET containers must be submitted in the commercial package, including labels, used for sale. If the primary language of the country of origin is not English, the exhibitor is required to provide a formal English translation of the information on the label. Flip-top (or swing-top) bottles will not be accepted unless sealed with a commercial tamper evident label. Products packaged especially for the competition that are not ordinarily available in packaged form will not be accepted. Samples without commercial labels will be judged but medals and prizes will not be awarded. 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 by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
8) Entries in kegs will not be accepted in 2023 unless the organisers advise otherwise. There has been insufficient demand for this entry format in recent years. Samples drawn from kegs or other packages will not be accepted.
9) Entrants must specify the residual sugar, ABV and carbonation level of each entry, along with any other information requested in the 2023 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2023 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. A small leeway on sweetness of up to ± 2 grams per litre (g/L) is allowed for products at the intersection of classes.
10) Entrants must pay all customs, duty, and transportation costs to the delivery address in Victoria.
11) Entries become the property of Cider Australia.
12) Entry charges for 2023 are $70 (early-bird)/$80 per entry (plus merchant fees) for 2023-24 financial members of Cider Australia and $105 (early-bird)/$115 per entry (plus merchant fees) for non-members. Early-bird pricing ends at midnight on 4 August 2023 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, 22 September 2023. 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 to Kellybrook Winery (Fulford Rd, Wonga Park VIC 3115, Australia) between 25 September – 6 October 2023.
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 to entrants from early September once entry fees are received and entry information has been validated.
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 – the total volume must be at least 500ml.
19) Judging of the 2023 Australian Cider Awards will be held in Melbourne on 16 & 17 October 2023. Judging is closed to entrants and the public.
20) All judging will be conducted “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 2023 Conditions of Entry and Regulations and the 2023 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. This data will not be available to the judges. It will remain confidential and will not be released to any external organisation or individual. 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).
(d) Additional Information specified in the 2023 Style Guide (see Appendix A).
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:
|92.5 – 100 points (Outstanding example)
|85 – 92 points (Excellent example)
|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) that are commercially available in Australia are eligible for the following Trophies:
- 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 (see clause 33)
- 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 Larger Producer (50,000 litres per annum or more total branded cider sales)
- Best in Show
33) Gold medal winning entries in all classes Except Class 31 (Experimental Cider or Perry) that are not commercially available in Australia are eligible for the Best International Cider or Perry Trophy.
34) A Best Packaging Award may be awarded, voted on by officials present at the Awards judging.
Use of Competition Awards in Marketing
35) 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.
36) 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.
37) 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.
38) Winners of the 2023 Australian Cider Awards will be announced at the Australian Cider Awards Dinner to be held in Melbourne on Thursday 26 October 2023.
39) A selection of entry winning medals and/or best in class will be showcased at the Awards Presentation Dinner. The choices will be made by the organisers with chosen medal winners asked to contribute samples (2 x cartons/9 litres for classes 1-36 and 1.5 litres for classes 41-44). Additional samples, 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.
40) Awards Presentation Dinner tickets will be available on Cider Australia’s website at www.cideraustralia.org.au. For more information please contact Cider Australia at email@example.com.
If you have questions or need to make changes to your entry registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Best of luck to all entrants in the 2023 Australian Cider Awards!
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 competition will be held biennially.
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.
2023 Style Guide
Download the 2023 Style Guide here