2023 NW Cider Cup Is Now Accepting Competition Entries

As the cider competition enters its tenth year, the former Portland International Cider Cup will now be known as the NW Cider Cup. The renamed cider competition is now accepting entries through May 15, 2023, with judging taking place on June 12, 2023 in Portland, Oregon at McMenamins Kennedy School.

The NW Cider 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 take place on June 12th and a public awards ceremony will be hosted on Thursday, June 15th at Polaris Hall in Portland, Oregon. Entry fee is $75 for each entry for NWCA members and $105 for non-members.

This Northwest regional cider competition as founded a decade ago by regional cidermakers. Then in 2016, non-profit member organization, Northwest Cider Association  began organizing the cup. 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, who 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.

NW Cider Cup holistically evaluates regional cider and perry for excellence, keeping NW producers on the cutting edge of a dynamic industry. In 2023, the competition offers updated categories accepted, the result of months of rigorous industry professional review. Categories accepted, judge evaluation forms and judge training continuously evolve, with the aim of staying current with cider professional standards. This competition coalesces the cider community around a shared language/understanding of what quality cider smells and tastes like.

On June 12th a blind judging, conducted by trained professionals, will be hosted at McMenamins Kennedy School. On June 15th, the winners will be announced at a public NW Cider Cup Awards ceremony celebration hosted 6-9pm at Polaris Hall  in Portland, OR. Tickets will be available at a future date.

Cider Judging

Competition judges are trained to thoughtfully review key elements – appearance, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel – of each entry, noting how they contribute to the cider or perry overall. Competition organizers group like ciders/perries to be evaluated together. Judges are asked to evaluate a reasonable number of entries with adequate time to ensure a quality evaluation and lessen the impacts of palate fatigue.

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.

To enter please log onto the new competition website at www.nwccidercup.com.

Questions about NW Cider Cup? Please email MJ Harris, NW Cider Cup Coordinator, at nwcidercup@nwcider.com.