Portland, Oregon
– The Pacific Northwest’s premier cider competition is back with a new name – “NW Cider Cup,” formerly the Portland International Cider Cup – and new categories, just in time to celebrate 10 years in a rapidly growing industry.

“Our region’s cider industry is evolving and so are we,” says Emily Ritchie, Executive Director of the Northwest Cider Association, a trade non-profit that represents OR, WA, ID, MT, and British Columbia and that hosts the NW Cider Cup. “Cider sales in the Pacific Northwest increased 8% last year while other craft beverage sectors declined. As more people choose cider they look to our awards for guidance around quality and language.”

NW Cider Cup judges are trained to thoughtfully review key elements – appearance, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel – in order to identify exemplary ciders in each of the categories. This year, categories have shifted toward styles like high or low tannins, oak aging, low alcohol, and apple compositions, rather than based on terms like ‘heirloom’ or ‘modern’ based on apple varieties.

“As drinkers become savvier and the Northwest style becomes more distinct, we realized the descriptive language and categories were ready to evolve as well,” continues Ritchie. “This competition coalesces the cider community around a shared language and understanding of what is quality cider.”

The cup’s new website nwcidercup.com is live, welcoming commercial cider and perry entries from OR, WA, MT, ID and British Columbia. The entry registration is April 3 – May 15, 2023 with options for shipping and in person drop off. Judging will happen June 12th and a public awards ceremony will be hosted June 15th at Polaris Hall in Portland, Oregon.

Founded a decade ago by regional cidermakers, non-profit member organization, Northwest Cider Association began organizing the cup in 2016. NW Cider Cup works to inspire quality, provide constructive maker feedback, educate cider drinkers and generally amplify the category.

Keeping pace with cider as a growing market segment, the competition trained more judges and saw more entries in 2022 than any year before (up nearly 60% from entries in 2021). The Northwest Cider Association, which directs the cup anticipates receiving around 300 unique cider and perry submissions in 2023 and evaluating these entries with a world-class grouping of cider judges, including cider professionals from across the nation and abroad.

The cup’s evaluation process is a progressive review of individual elements concluding with judges’ final evaluation/overall impression and scoring. As individuals and as a table cohort, judges identify (gold, silver, bronze) exemplary ciders in each of the identified categories. Each entry awarded a gold medal will then be judged in the Best in Show finals. Recognizing and celebrating cider excellence is at the heart of the NW Cider Cup. The 2023 Cup will award bronze, silver, and gold medals in 18 updated categories.

About Northwest Cider Association
Founded in 2010, the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA) brings cideries and cider lovers together to learn, experience and enjoy the Northwest cider culture. Representing more than 90 commercial cidermakers from throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia, the group is dedicated to supporting, promoting and growing its thriving industry. For more information, visit NWCider.com and follow @nwcider on social media.

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