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New York Cider Association Partners with Raise a Glass Foundation to Produce Inaugural New York Cider Competition.

May 13, 2019

16 Double Gold and 3 Gold Medals Awarded from a Field of 150 Entries

Henrietta, NY, May 13, 2019 - As a part of Raise a Glass Foundation’s Great American International Competitions, the inaugural New York Cider Competition brought 11 hard cider experts together to evaluate 150 ciders from New York cider makers using 100% New York apples and pears.

Categories included Traditional (vintage-based ciders made with traditional cider fruit), Modern (ciders made primarily from culinary apples), Specialty (ciders made with additional flavoring elements, including non-pome fruits, hops, botanical ingredients, and assertive wood aging), and Dessert (which is composed of Pommeaux, Ice Ciders, and Royal Ciders).

Entries came from cideries located in New York’s primary apple growing regions, including the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes, and Western New York. Additional entries came from the Catskills and the North Country. The competition’s 11 judges included cider makers, writers, retailers, and educators from New York and Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C.’s Anxo Cider owner Sam Fitz said,

“Judging cider at the Great American International Competitions was a great opportunity to experience the best of New York cider. I
was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the entrees as well as the professionalism of the competition. I look forward to judging next year in Rochester.”

The Best in Show winner of the Governor’s Cider Cup was Kite & String’s 2017 Pioneer Pippin, a Traditional Method, fruit-forward cider highlighting Pioneer Crab and Newtown Pippin apples. This marks the second consecutive vintage of this cider to be identified as the best cider being made in New York State, on the heels of the 2018 Governor’s Cider Cup win for the 2016 vintage. This year, Kite & String also won a Double Gold medal for 2017 Goldrush.

Other cider makers to win Double Gold include:

  • Black Diamond Farm, Trumansburg, NY (Golden Russet/Porter’s Perfection and Hickster)
  • Country Pickins, Hannibal, NY (Growers Blend)
  • Embark Craft Ciderworks, Williamson, NY (Crab Series #2 and Imperial Blizzard)
  • Empire Cider Company, Geneva, NY (Empire Golden)
  • Eve's Cidery, Van Etten, NY (2017 Autumn's Gold)
  • Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Hector, NY (Cider Tree with Citra Hops)
  • Kite & String Cider, Interlaken, NY (2017 Goldrush)
  • Lake Drum Brewing, Geneva, NY (Rhode Island Greening)
  • New York Cider Company, Ithaca, NY (Barn Swallow)
  • Redbyrd Orchard Cider, Trumansburg, NY (2015 Celeste Sur Lie)
  • Rootstock Ciderworks, Williamson, NY (Rootstock Hopped)
  • Slyboro Cider House, Granville, NY (Rose and Sky)
  • 1911 Hard Cider, Lafayette, NY (Cranberry and Pommeau)

New York Cider Association Executive Director Jenn Smith said, “Partnering with Raise a Glass Foundation to produce the first competition focused on the diverse range of ciders being made from New York apples accomplished two goals: it put a spotlight on the excellence of the cider being made across categories and regions in our state, and it contributes to Raise a Glass’ important charitable work.”

Raise a Glass Foundation Director Peter Parts said,

“Including cider in the Great American International portfolio of competitions was a natural evolution, and focusing on New York in the inaugural year sets a high bar for quality as we look forward to expanding the competition in 2020 to include national and international entries.”

To see the full list of medal winners from this year’s competition and learn more about the New York Cider Association, visit

To learn more about Raise a Glass Foundation, visit

Jenn Smith
Executive Director, New York Cider Association


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  • Hashtags: #newyorkcider

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