Home Industry News Releases 2023 Northwest Cider Cup Winners Announced!

2023 Northwest Cider Cup Winners Announced!


Gala Celebrates 10 yrs – Top Ciders Awarded at Record-Breaking Event

PORTLAND, OR (June 16, 2023) – The winners are in! Last night, cidermakers from OR, WA, ID, MT and British Columbia took home awards from the region’s most stringent cider competition – NW Cider Cup. Celebrating 10 years, the competition enjoyed a record-breaking number of entries, underscoring cider’s continued growth as a beverage category. 

“Every year the competition offers consumers and buyers a guide for finding quality ciders, and this year really showcased how creative and dynamic this industry has become,” said Emily Ritchie, Executive Director of the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA), the trade non-profit that organizes the NW Cider Cup. “The number of cideries in our region has increased from around 10 to 200 in a little over a decade – that’s nearly a 2,000% increase. To say that we’ve seen some growth would be an understatement.” 

The high energy awards were held at Polaris Hall in Portland as a crowd of nearly 200 makers, industry professionals, and cider enthusiasts donned dress-to-impress attire and cheered wildly for winners. 

“This year was the first time in the competition’s history that a red-fleshed dry cider took Best of Show, which was thrilling,” added Ritchie. “Not only does it show how far both cidermaking practices and consumer palates have come, but the pink apple varietal that won was originally discovered in Oregon. To me, this shows that we are developing unique regional styles that are terroir driven. This is how far we’ve evolved.” 

2023 was a record breaking year, receiving 279 entries from 51 unique commercial cider and perry makers, across the country’s largest apple growing region. Entries compete for one possible gold, silver and bronze per category, though through the strict judging process, medals are never guaranteed. “Something that sets The Cup apart is how competitive it is to win,” Ritchie said. “This year, only 19% of all entries were awarded, so these medals really matter.” 

The Big Winners Are…

  • Best of Show – Alpenfire Cider (WA) I Glow-Airlie RedFlesh single varietal I Red-Fleshed Cider Dry Category
  • Best of Show Runner Up – Yonder Cider (WA) Barrel Aged Perry I High-Tannin Perry Category
  • Best New Cidery *TIE* Empyrical Orchards (WA) and Cidery and Heartland Ciderworks (OR) 
  • Best Small Cidery – Puget Sound Cider Company (WA)
  • Best Medium Cidery – Bauman’s Cider (OR)
  • Best Large Cidery – 2 Towns Ciderhouse (OR)

For a full listing of winners visit www.nwcider.com/nwcc2023

NW Cider Cup is the region’s longest-standing, most competitive blind judging of ciders and perries, and has been organized by NWCA since 2016. The NWCA, is a regional non-profit representing the cider industry in OR, WA, ID, MT and British Columbia, with nearly 100 cidery members. The Cup, founded a decade ago by local cidermakers, aims to inspire and maintain high quality. That purpose remains a priority today. “Cidermakers want to win, but they’re also really rooting for each other.” Ritchie notes. “When NW makers take home gold and cider fans notice, the whole category benefits. This is a collaborative and supportive community.” 

This spring, the competition got a fresh logo and updated name – it was formerly known as the Portland International Cider Cup. Categories and evaluation criteria also got an update. “We’re evolving the competition in a growing category. Local cider sales grew 30% over the last year!” Ritchie added. 

The NW Cider Cup aspires to help cider curious better understand and articulate what they like in ciders, demystify how to select the best. The competition results offer a what to drink guide for anyone excited about NW cider today.

Want to know who won the Fruit categories or who was awarded Best Dressed? A full listing of 2023 winners is at www.nwcider.com/nwcc2023

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 100 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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