The 2022 Australian Cider Awards are now open, with industry body Cider Australia resuming its usual spring judging regimen following years of pandemic distribution.
The awards opened on 8 September, and local, imported and speciality ciders are all welcome to enter. Apple and pear spirits, such as Calvados or Applejack, are also able to participate, so long as they are available for sale in Australia. In all, there are 29 award classes, and 11 trophies up for grabs.
Warwick Billings, President of Cider Australia and chair of the competition organising team, suggested a bumper year for the contest, as the industry recovers from the pandemic.
Billings also revealed the identity of a special overseas judge.
“This year’s guest international judge is French cidrologue and cider consultant Yann Gilles who will bring a wealth of experience, expertise and his international perspective to the world-class judging panel,” said Billings.
“Yann will also travel to visit producers in several cider regions during his time in Australia and we are confident he will not only inspire but be inspired by the Australian craft cider community.”
Gilles is the Founder of cider-making consultancy, Malus & Vitis. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the sector, and through his consultancy he partners with cider producers to create apple juice, cider and spirits using different methods. Gilles has previously served as the Scientific Director at the French R&D cider institute IFPC for a decade. He has also previously worked at Chambre d’Agriculture de Normandie for more than ten years, assisting more than 50 cideries.
The 2021 awards were held virtually, due to distribution meaning that the ceremony would coincide with the beginning of the apple harvest.
Entries for the awards close on Friday 14 October, and entrant products must be delivered between 17 and 28 of the same month. Judging (which is closed to the public) will occur on 7 and 8 November at the William Angliss Institute, Melbourne. The awards presentation dinner will be held on 18 November at Lot 100 in Adelaide Hills.
Gala award dinner tickets are available here.