US cider expert to visit Australia

28 Mar 2018

The competition director of the world’s largest cider show GLINTCAP will judge at the 2018 Australian Cider Awards.

Cider Australia President Sam Reid today revealed the judging panel for the 8th national cider show.

“I’m pleased to announce that Eric West from the United States will be our guest international judge this year”, said Mr Reid.

Mr West runs the renowned online information and news resource Cider Guide ( and is a leading cider educator with many accolades to his name, including the prized United States Association of Cider Makers’ Significant Contribution to the Cider Industry award.

“Eric has an amazing knowledge of ciders from all corners of the world, impressive judging credentials and a real passion for spreading the good word on cider which fits our guest judge role perfectly”, said Mr Reid.

The independent panel of judges will be chaired by Behn Payten of Payten & Jones Wines and include Mr West, Mike Bennie (freelance writer and journalist), Sebastian Crowther MS (Rockpool Dining Group), Briony Liebich (Lion Co) and Jody Scott (NZ’s Zeffer Cider).

“The remarkable quality and breadth of expertise on the panel is one of the things that sets the Awards apart and we’re proud to be able to put together a panel of this calibre”, Mr Reid said.

Mr West will run workshops while in Australia on the current state of the US cider industry and the organisation and management of GLINTCAP, the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition.

Entries to the 2018 Australian Cider Awards open on 1 June.

Award winners will be announced at a gala industry dinner in Sydney on 5 October.

For further details contact Cider Australia executive officer Jane Anderson at or 0434 559 759 or visit


  • Cider Australia will run the 8th annual Australian Cider Awards in Spring 2018.
  • The Australian Cider Awards is the largest cider competition in Australia. Last year there were 250 entries from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, US, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
  • Judging will be held over 2 days in late September at the William Angliss Institute in central Melbourne. The judging is closed to entrants and the public.
  • The Judging panel comprises 6 judges (including the guest international judge) and 2 associate judges.
  • Products can be entered in one of 28 Award classes covering Traditional and New World cider and perry, specialty and intensified/distilled styles.
  • Key changes to the class structure in 2018 are:
    • the ‘Medium’ cider and perry classes will be split into ‘Medium Dry’ (~ 9 – 35g/L sugar) and ‘Medium Sweet’ (~ 35-40g/L sugar) reflecting the number of products that are being entered in this sweetness range.
    • a new low alcohol cider class for products with an ABV of 1.15-3.5% will be added to the schedule.
    • the apple and pear spirits class will be split into a non-aged (Eau de Vie) and an aged spirits class.
  • Results will be announced at a gala cider industry dinner on Friday 5 October 2018 in Sydney.
  • The Awards is an important precursor to the largest craft cider festival in Australia, the annual Australian Cider Festival, to be held on Saturday 6 October 2018 in Sydney.

Full entry details including the competition rules and 2018 Style Guide will be available soon at

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