By Andrew Starke
Henney’s Dry Cider and Dirty Granny were the two major winners at the Australian Cider Awards 2011 that took place late last week at the Orange Agricultural Institute.
The competition saw a total of 93 ciders and perrys entered.
Henney’s Dry Cider, from Henney’s Cider Co of Herefordshire UK and entered by Phoenix Beers of Perth, was placed first in Class 1 – Dry Cider SG up to 1005 – and was adjudged the Best in Show.
Carlton United Brewers (CUB) and Matilda Bay offering, Dirty Granny, may be a new addition to the category but was placed first in Class 2 – Medium Cider SG 1005 – 1012 – and was adjudged the Best Australian Cider.
The evening proved highly successful for cider maker; Mike Henney, with all three entries from his stable picking up medals, including Silvers for both Henney’s Vintage Cider and Henney’s Sweet Cider.
But it was the Henney’s Dry Cider that stole the show securing a gold medal, and with it, the Best in Show Trophy.
Based in Herefordshire UK, Mike Henney began making cider as a hobby in 1996 with the sole intent of producing top quality, traditional styled “Herefordshire” ciders that are made entirely form locally grown produce.
With the cider category exploding in Australia over the past couple of years, this summer will test the growing sophistication of consumers, who will face an unprecedented amount of choice at the bar or bottleshop.
Scott Vincent, Matilda Bay’s head brewer and cider-maker extraordinaire, was proud of the brewery’s first foray into cider-making and the recognition of the award.
“Dirty Granny is a Matilda Bay-style cider through and through, we knew it was a ripper of a cider and we’re all chuffed that it’s come up trumps as the best in Australia,” he said.
“We do things our own way when it comes to craft brewing so we used the same approach when it came to making Dirty Granny.”
David Pickering, spokesperson for the Australian Cider Awards 2011, said competition for top honours was tough.
“The judges were really pleased with the quality of ciders in the competition,” he said.
“Cider’s popularity is definitely on the up so the Awards are a chance to educate the public about the high quality of cider Australia is producing.”
For a comprehensive list of classes, entrants and winners, click here.