While certainly late, CiderScene has been hard at work determining the winners of the 2019 CiderScene Awards. As we have in the past, cider fans from across the US voted on their favorite ciders, cideries, and cider peeps to win one of our eight categories this year. Now, take your seat while we announce our winners. Winners, please come up to claim your trophy. *We don’t have trophies?* *We have commemorative digital pins you can use!* Claim your online badge?!?
While there are many exciting flavors in the flavored or modern cider world, we think Overgrown Orchard has a special product. Tilt is a coffee cider in collaboration with the legendary Dark Matter Coffee. This is kind of a rare breed of cider because it is heirloom apple-based, aged in French oak and finished with a cold brew made from Machete coffee. That is just the pick me up you need balanced dry cider with a light and tasty coffee kick! As the world of cider expands, these types of collaborations are key to the expansion of the industry. We see you, Overgrown Orchard!
It is nearly impossible to pick just one of artist William Mullan's apple photos for the best social media photo this year. Also known as pomme_queen on Instagram, Will has been taking gorgeous shots of the fruit that is at the core of any quality cider. His minimalist posts that highlight the color, shape, texture, and surprises under the skin give us a major appreciation for his skills. Oh, and this guy has been featured on the New York Times. No big deal. We have an exclusive interview with him here.
Blake’s Hard Cider Co. continues to push the boundaries of cider and charitable work. While they have had a focus on lighter ciders this year and a push for more health conscience drinking they continue to work on their Kinder cider series. This year they continue their efforts with a cider called Saint Cheri. This cherry barrel-aged product is made in support of the Empowerment Plan, which is a non-profit helping the homeless through employment opportunities. This is already their third project in the series and we take our hats off to their team and they continue to be large influencers in the market.
As the world of cider expands, so does the use of it in consumer products. Candles, nutritional gummies, and soap are just a few products available in the market. One product that truly reigns supreme is Nine Pin’s Cider Syrup. This apple cider reduction syrup is in collaboration with Riverside Maple Farms and is great for many uses. They recommend using this as a spread, marinade, sauce, or in cocktails. We used it to top some pancakes and it transported the flavors, taking it out of the cosmos!
Another day, another dollar; another year, another new cidery. While new cideries do not pop up quite as breweries do, there are always new locations to explore. Exploration is one of the cornerstones of Lost Boy’s brand, bringing artisanal hard cider sourced from exceptional apples. Every since they opened there has been a great buzz about their ciders and modern industrial digs. If you are in the Virginia area, make sure to stop over and grab their ciders for the sake of cider love!
New to the cider scene is Forward Cider Co. out of Wisconsin. Alec is making french style ciders that are bone dry, tannic, and, dare we say, delicious? All of this culminates in eye-catching bottles with a wax-sealed top. We are a classy breed of cider drinkers! Pinkies up!
It can be difficult to put your finger on the best cidery in the US, particularly because of the sheer size of our country. That being said teams like Stem Cider have started to spread their wings across their country and have been adding additional locations. Although open in 2018, their Acreage location continued to flourish in 2019 and bring together the idea of high-quality food and cider in a single location. Stem also acquired the Black Twig Cider House in Durham, NC and re-branded it as The Northern Spy. This also happened to be their 5 year anniversary and, with moves like this, we give the 2019 crown to the Stem Cider team. Congrats!
Of all the annual cider events in the US, there is something special about CiderCon. Industry experts, cider makers, media and the like meeting in a central location just talking all things cider. 2019 was nothing short of epic in the Chicagoland area even with below zero temperatures. The featured cider guests were from Canada as well as keeping the North American cider scene growth at the forefront. The pomme boots held its first-ever meeting while the second level CCP was offered for the first time, too!