PACIFIC NORTHWEST — The Northwest Cider Association (NWCA) announced the release of their first annual report. This 2018 summary of the work and accomplishments details how almost 100 cidermaker members working together can accelerate the establishment of a new regional industry.
“The report really tells the story of our region and shows what we’re accomplishing together,” says NWCA’s Executive Director Emily Ritchie. “By collectively investing minimal resources, we have been able to increase the awareness, reach, and quality of Northwest ciders as evidenced by a 30 percent growth in sales.”
In 2018, NWCA raised the bar on trade education in order to create more demand for the great ciders being made in the northwest. They held five trade tastings for 160 media and influencers such as distributors, restaurateurs, and writers to taste local cider and meet the makers. Media attention and events in four regional cider weeks reached 340,000 consumers last year.
NWCA continued their emphasis on northwest cider as a premium product and one that has a reputation for quality. They increased the amount of professionally trained cider judges to give feedback during their strict cider competition called the Portland International Cider Cup. Additionally, they continued emphasis on education for regional makers, particularly on keeving cider, an old-world technique to naturally ferment a cider to a semi-sweet result without having to back-sweeten.
The report details statistics such as the 31 million pounds of fruit grown for cider, the $238,000 donated to good causes, and the number of members who have their own orchard. “I think that the contents of this report demonstrate a simple truth: this is a great time to be a part of the NW Cider Industry,” says NWCA Board President Eric Jorgensen, co-owner of Finnriver Farm and Cidery in Washington.
About the NWCA
NWCA’s mission is to raise the PNW cider industry from a niche market into mainstream. Collectively they work to increase demand for cider while constantly increasing the quality of cider made within the region. NWCA’s members can be found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.