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One of the world’s leading cider makers, Tom Oliver from multi-award winning UK cider company Oliver’s Cider & Perry, has landed in Australia and is preparing to critique hundreds of ciders in Australia’s largest cider show.
The judging of the 2019 Australian Cider Awards will take place this week in Melbourne as record entries signal the start of a bumper summer for fans of authentic, craft cider.
Warwick Billings, chief steward of the Australian Cider Awards and Vice President of industry body Cider Australia commented that within the 276 entries received there are some interesting but not unexpected trends.
“The number of entries in standard cider and perry classes is stable overall but there is a shift towards the drier classes, reflecting the continuing evolution of consumer palates and preferences”, said Warwick.
“Growth in entries is largely driven by the specialty classes with a 50 per cent jump in entries in the cider with fruit class and 20 per cent more experimental products. We have responded to this development by introducing a new Best Specialty Cider/Perry trophy”.
“Each year we are seeing an improvement in the quality of entries, making the task of narrowing the field of stand-out products even more challenging. But our world-class team of judges is well qualified for the task”, said Warwick.
President of Cider Australia Sam Reid added, “The Australian cider industry is proud of what it has achieved in a relatively short timeframe in terms of diversifying the range of styles produced and making consistently high quality ciders”.
“Over the past week the Australian cider community has enjoyed showing Tom around the cider producing regions of Victoria and Tasmania and learning a lot along the way”, Sam said.
“After judging, Tom will venture over to Western Australia to explore parts of the newly established WA Cider Trail”, Mr Reid said.
Award winners will be announced on Friday 8 November at the industry’s annual gala dinner at The Craft & Co in Collingwood, Victoria.
Tickets to the Australian Cider Awards Dinner are $135 and available through Eventbrite.