By Andy Young

Cider Australia has revealed its judging panel for the 2015 National Cider Awards, as well as two new awards and cider style guidelines.

Respected Canadian cider expert and author, Claude Jolicoeur, will join the panel as a guest judge. Jolicoeur, acclaimed worldwide for his technical knowledge as well as his award winning ciders, said he is thrilled at the opportunity to try the best from Australia's thriving cider industry when the awards are held in Melbourne later this year.

The five person judging panel will be chaired by the director and owner of Wine Network Consulting, Gary Baldwin and he will be joined by Behn Payten, wine/cider maker at Punt Road Wines, and Karina Dambergs the owner of Red Brick Road Cider. The judging panel will be rounded out by a fifth independent panelist who is expected to be confirmed imminently.

Reid said that he is expecting around 200 entries in this year's awards as they continue to move onwards and upwards.

"Cider Australia is releasing style guidelines this year that clearly describe the characteristics you do and don’t want to see in ciders of different classes, and ultimately what a cider maker should aspire to if they want a product to judge well," Reid said.

"We are trying to establish best practice in cider judging across Australia with clear definition of classes and a clear understanding of desired characteristics, to avoid situations where certain positive cider related characters are judged as faults and vice versa.

"The detailed style guidelines should give confidence to exhibitors and consumers that we’re comparing apples with apples, so to speak.

"The judges will be awarding medals in 19 categories with 2 new styles, 'Cider or Perry with fruit' and 'Apple or Pear Spirit', added to the schedule reflecting growth and innovation in the Australian cider market”, Reid added.

The awards will be officially opened for entries early next month and winners will be announced on the evening of Friday 9 October.

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The Shout Team

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