The judging for the 2019 Australian Cider Awards is taking place in Melbourne this week and the judges are facing a record number of entries into the awards.

Warwick Billings, chief steward of the Australian Cider Awards and Vice President of Cider Australia said that the 276 entries showed some interesting but not unexpected trends.

“The number of entries in standard cider and perry classes is stable overall but there is a shift towards the drier classes, reflecting the continuing evolution of consumer palates and preferences,” Billings said.

“Growth in entries is largely driven by the specialty classes with a 50 per cent jump in entries in the cider with fruit class and 20 per cent more experimental products. We have responded to this development by introducing a new Best Specialty Cider/Perry trophy.”

He added: “Each year we are seeing an improvement in the quality of entries, making the task of narrowing the field of stand-out products even more challenging. But our world-class team of judges is well qualified for the task.”

This year’s judges include one of the world’s leading cider makers, Tom Oliver from multi-award winning UK cider company Oliver’s Cider & Perry, and President of Cider Australia Sam Reid said: “The Australian cider industry is proud of what it has achieved in a relatively short timeframe in terms of diversifying the range of styles produced and making consistently high quality ciders.

“Over the past week the Australian cider community has enjoyed showing Tom around the cider producing regions of Victoria and Tasmania and learning a lot along the way.

“After judging, Tom will venture over to Western Australia to explore parts of the newly established WA Cider Trail,” Reid said.

Award winners will be announced on Friday 8 November at the industry’s annual gala dinner at The Craft & Co in Collingwood, Victoria.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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