Home Industry News Releases Eight Scholarships Awarded to BIPOC Recipients Across the Country for CiderCon® 2023

Eight Scholarships Awarded to BIPOC Recipients Across the Country for CiderCon® 2023


Sponsored by Yonder Cider, in collaboration with American Cider Association and Beer Kulture, the CiderCon® scholarship program returns for its second year with more applicants and awardees than ever to bring new people of color from historically marginalized groups

CHICAGO (January 12, 2023) – Yonder Cider®, Beer Kulture and the American Cider Association (ACA) are excited to announce the awardees of the 2023 CiderCon® BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Scholarship. Eight individuals – including six cider passionate individuals and two media attendees – received scholarships to attend the annual conference, taking place January 31 – February 2 in Chicago, Illinois. This scholarship is designed to bring people of color from historically marginalized groups to CiderCon® to increase the accessibility of cider education and jump-start the careers of these cider professionals. Receiving more applicants than the previous year, the scholarship – now in its second year – has grown from three scholarships to eight, with awardees from seven different states across the country.

2023 Scholarship Awardees

“This scholarship is really a gift for the cider industry as a whole,” said Caitlin Braam, founder of Yonder Cider and founding chair of the ACA’s Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee. “Diversity brings more ideas, new creativity, and broader perspectives, ultimately making a stronger and better cider community. It’s encouraging to see the efforts of this committee continue to grow and it’s truly a privilege for Yonder to be able to fund this important initiative.”

Each scholarship includes registration, travel and lodging to attend CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago. Additionally, scholarship recipients are offered training materials and waived exam fees to pursue becoming a Certified Cider Professional and Certified Pommelier™.

This year’s awardees include:

Scholarship Awardees

  • Monique Gray, California
  • Anthony Lopez, California       
  • Gabriela Muñoz, Minnesota
  • Olivia Pener, Missouri
  • LaShanda Poteat, North Carolina
  • Chanell Williams, Washington

Media Sponsorship Awardees

  • Adrian Luna-Verduga, New Jersey
  • Ruvani de Silva, Texas

This scholarship is part of a broader effort by the ACA to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2019 the ACA launched the Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion committee which recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an important and necessary part of present and future successes of the cider industry. This committee structures its work around a belief that existing structures of power, privilege and discrimination must be actively questioned and evaluated in order to create equitable opportunities in an environment that embraces and values our differences. They strive to create events, opportunities and organizational policies that embody these values, and to continue evaluating these practices for sustained growth and improvement.

The ACA first partnered with Beer Kulture in 2021. Beer Kulture works in the broader craft beverage space to support professional opportunities for people of color. “By bringing more people of color into the craft beverage industry at every level, we aim to create new possibilities, not just as workers, but as founders, too. This is our hope for cider and why we’re excited about these scholarships,” said Latiesha Cook, CEO and President, Beer Kulture.

Attendees at CiderCon 2020 in Oakland California. Photo by Brandon Buza.

“This scholarship is one of many ACA initiatives to create a more diverse cider industry,” says Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the ACA. “The scholarship needs to work in lock step with our efforts to create a more inclusive industry so that, as we have more diverse CiderCon attendees, they are surrounded by a welcoming community and equitable environment.”

CiderCon® is the world’s premier networking and educational event for the professional cidermaking community. CiderCon® 2023 will take place in Chicago, Illinois from January 31 – February 3, 2023 at the Hilton Chicago. Registration is now open and available at ciderassociation.org/cidercon2023. Individuals interested in applying for the CiderCon® Scholarship next year are encouraged to sign up for notifications here.

About Yonder Cider

Best Enjoyed Anywhere. Yonder Cider was started to bring full-flavored, delicious cider to every occasion. Picked and pressed in Wenatchee, Washington – the heart of Apple Country – we create cider that’s as balanced, bright and complex as the land itself. Crafted using a blend of bittersweet cider apples and juicy dessert apples, our ciders are hardly simple, and never straightforward, but you can always count on them being interesting. Founded August 2020, Yonder Cider is available in 16-ounce cans and on draft throughout Washington state and online at yondercider.com. For more information, follow Yonder Cider on Instagram and Facebook (@yondercider).

About the American Cider Association

The American Cider Association is an organization of cider and perry producers in the United States.  It gathers and shares information about cider production, regulations and cider apple growing to help members improve their operations, raise awareness and advance cider in the market.  The organization was founded in February 2013. Learn more at ciderassociation.org.

About Beer Kulture

Beer Kulture is a nonprofit advancing opportunities that foster diversity, equity and inclusion within the craft beverage space. Since 2017, Beer Kulture has been a community resource and has demonstrated commitment to the work necessary to advance the Kulture forward. Learn more at beerkulture.com.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.