This Aussie cider has been crowned the world’s best

South Australia’s Sidewood Estate has picked up The International Flavoured Cider Trophy for its Strawberry Apple Cider at the International Brewing & Cider Awards.

Sidewood’s hand-crafted ciders are sourced only from orchards in the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills. Sidewood has made the conscious decision to make its product as natural as possible, and no sugar is added.

“We do it slightly differently in terms of the way we make it,” said Darryl Catlin, “which means there is no need for excessive sweetening of the final product.”

Sidewood’s Pear Cider also picked up a Bronze medal.

A total of 138 medal and trophy winners were announced at the world’s most historic international beer and cider competition, which took place this week at the National Brewery Centre in Burton-upon-Trent. 

Judging took place on November 16-18 and comprised working professionals in the brewing and cider-making industries from across the globe, led by Chair of Beer Judging, Rob McCaig and Chair of Cider Judging, Gabe Cook.    

The competition, which dates back to 1886, has a long history of championing the world’s best brewers and cider-makers, and the competition’s unique approach to the judging process sets it apart from other awards, earning it the reputation as the ‘Oscars of the brewing and cider world’.   

Gabe Cook, Chair of Cider Judging, said: “It has been a privilege to be able to chair the most important and prestigious competition of its kind for the cider industry.  

“We have welcomed international judges, including representatives from America, Ireland and Japan and the UK, to preside over world-class entries from across the world.  

“Consumers’ palettes are becoming more discerning and, as we have seen other drinks categories expand and diversify, the same is true for cider. Cider-makers are expanding their offer and we have seen some remarkable examples these last three days.  

“To crown winning ciders from the likes of Canada, China, Luxembourg and Switzerland – nations not widely known for their cider production – shows how the category is increasing its international footprint and growing in popularity.”  

Nine beer Trophy winners were announced which included winners from Japan and Malta. Tokyo-based Spring Valley Brewery’s Juicy Hop won Speciality Beer, while Ise Kadoya Beer, also from Japan, won the Strong Beer award for its Nou ga Trokeru Ultra Heaven 3xIPA. 

Malta-based Simonds Farsons Cisk won the Non & Low Alcohol category for its Cisk 0.0, whilst other Trophy winners included Yorkshire’s Elvington Brewery (Keg Lager) and Jersey’s Liberation Brewing Company (Cask Conditioned Ale). 

Melbourne’s Brick Lane Brewing scored two medals – Silver for Baba Yoga and Bronze for Someday Sour Blood Orange; while Hahn Ultra Crisp and Bentspoke Brewing RedNut scored Silver.

The panel was chosen to reflect the current expertise in the tasting and commercial evaluation of beers and ciders going into the market and judges blind tasted many hundreds of beers and ciders submitted by brewers and cider-makers from around the world.     

Ruth Evans MBE, Director of the International Brewing & Cider Awards, said: “It’s been an honour to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary beers and ciders that both brewers and cider-makers have worked so hard to produce during what has been such a difficult 18 months for the industry.  

“Despite being forced to postpone the Awards due to the pandemic, our brewing and cider community across the globe rallied together and continued to produce outstanding and innovative produce and it’s this determination and success that’s worth celebrating.  

“I’d like to personally thank all the judges as well as all the brewers and cider-makers who entered their products and make this year’s Awards one to remember, and we’re delighted to reward the best of them with the recognition they so truly deserve.”  

Rob McCaig, Chair of Beer Judging, said: “For three days, we have seen and tasted some of the very best beers from around the world, crowning winners from all corners of the globe. 

“Despite what has been probably the most challenging period in recent memory for the brewing industry, producers from around the world have presented some exceptional beers, ales and lagers. 

“It has made the job of our judging panel extremely difficult because of the quality of the beers.  Japan is proving itself as an evolving brewing nation producing quality products across the beer spectrum.” 

This year, new categories were announced to reflect key trends that have emerged in the markets since the last event in 2019. In the beer competition, a new Zero Alcohol category was added to reflect the growth and interest in this market segment and in the cider competition a Rosé category has been added to reflect the growing trend for ‘pink’ ciders.  

A full list of all 2021 medal and trophy winners can be found on International Brewing & Cider Awards’ website: 

The gold, silver and bronze winners will collect their medals and trophies at an Awards luncheon to be held in April 2022. 

The awards are supported by headline sponsors; Barth-Haas Group, Krones, LANXESS and Lallemand. Trophy sponsors include; All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, The British Guild of Beer Writers, IBD, Drinkworld Technology + Marketing, The Morning Advertiser, BrauWelt, BFBI, Barth-Haas, Cider Academy and Cider Manual.  

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