Victoria’s Gurneys Cidery wins big in Cider Australia’s inaugural prize for venues with the best menu of cider.

Cider Australia announced the winners of its first-ever Australia’s Best Cider Selection Awards on January 12.

Gurneys Cidery, found in Gippsland, Victoria, took home the top gong of National Winner, while also winning in the Best Cidery category. The judges were reportedly impressed by the cidery’s “cutting edge cider selection that pushes the bounds on experimentation, collaboration and education while retaining a ‘super serious intent’.”

Warwick Billings, President of Cider Australia, was delighted by the quality of entrants: “The high standard of entries received from across Australia was really encouraging and shows us that the competition has a bright future.”

The awards were not without their difficulties, as Billings explains: “Launching a new competition in the midst of a pandemic came had its challenges, not least that the judges were constrained to a virtual assessment of entries, but we still have plenty of learnings and ideas for next steps.”

Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, found in Tasmania’s Huon Valley won the award for Best Cider and Food Venue in Australia. The judging panel designated the venue as a ‘must visit’, with an excellent range of ciders matching up to a well crafted restaurant menu.

2021’s panel included three independent judges: drinks writers Max Allen and Mike Bennie, alongside Master Sommelier, Sebastian Crowther.

Alongside the category and national awards, the panel highly commended Daylesford Cidery, Napoleone Orchard Bar & Cidery, Small Acres Cyder and Willie Smith’s Apple Shed.

The Australia’s Best Cider Selection awards complement Cider Australia’s existing Australian Cider Awards, and form part of the organisation’s wider work evaluating and promoting Australia’s cider industry.

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