Chicago is most certainly becoming a powerful cider city after a strong showing in early 2017 with the conclusion of CiderCon and Cider Summit. Being full-time captives to 9-5 jobs, we were unable to visit CiderCon, but there was coverage of cider happenings in every nook & cranny of the windy city. Beyond the cider sharing, informative industry-related conversation, there were awards given out to regional cideries, cider event, and distributors. To make life as simple as pie, we collected the list right here:
Distributor of the Year – Columbia Distributing
Establishment of the Year – Schilling Cider House
Event of the Year – Cider Summit Seattle
Distributor of the Year – Haw River Wine Man
Establishment of the Year – Urban Orchard
Event of the Year – Westside Fest
Distributor of the Year – Windy City Distributing
Establishment of the Year – Vander Mill
Event of the Year – GLINTCAP
Distributor of the Year – Atlantic Importing, Inc.
Establishment of the Year – Wassail
Event of the Year – Pour the Core: Philly
Mountain West Region:
Distributor of the Year – Half Pint
Establishment of the Year – Stem Ciders
Event of the Year – The Pressed Conference
Significant Contribution to the Cider Industry – Eric West
We were also able to co-host an event with CiderCulture and Drinking Cider at Corridor Brewery & Provisions, in which there were specialty ciders on pour and cider food specials. This had a great turnout and you can see us all crammed into a booth discussing the ins and outs of our cider lives. After that event, we met up with Anthem Cider at Headquarters and threw back a few ciders while playing some vintage videogames.
The true pinnacle of our week was at Cider Summit in Navy Pier that Saturday. This was our opportunity to meet with some industry experts and cidermakers that we have yet to meet with. One in particular, Stem Cider, had their Off-Dry Cider on pour. After discussing & covering their new Chicago distribution deal, we enjoyed speaking with their team & tasting their crisp, refreshing cider that was receiving good hype in the Midwest region. There were a lot of other players out there, too, including: Citizen Cider, Anthem Cider, Portland Cider, B Nektar, Farmhaus Cider, Sea Cider, and more, of course! There were about 53 booths at the event most with multiple choices to drink downs from the typical offerings to the stranger and more sophisticated.
We also had the opportunity to meet with the owner of Wild Alchemy Cider before we left, who was working with the Cidr Box representative. His endeavor is quite interesting as he scavenges for local apples from trees in Northern Illinois. As we took a last look at the event it was jam packed with people bustling around with little charcuterie boards, Binny’s branded tasting glasses, and smiles on their faces. The perfect end to a week full of cider in the city we love. Until next time, Chicago!