2020 Press Release

The judging for this year’s International Cider Challenge took place a little later in the year than usual, and in a new virtual judging format, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But despite the challenges more than 200 ciders from around the world were tested and a large number of these are now celebrating after impressing the panel of judges and scooping up prestigious medals for their ciders.

The competition, run by Drinks Retailing magazine, is now in its tenth year and judges praised the consistent quality of the 205 entries this time around. The panel of judges comprised supermarket buyers, independent retailers, cider experts, journalists and cidermakers.

Many of the entries came from the more traditional cider nations, such as the UK, Ireland and France, but entries also arrived from other countries, such as Finland, Hungary, Brazil, Japan and Switzerland; reflecting the truly international reach cider now enjoys.

Each cider was blind-tasted by the panel of judges, which awarded 16 Gold medals, 70 Silver and 72 Bronzes. From among the Golds, 9 trophies were awarded.

The Supreme Champion for 2020 was Jake’s Orchard Cider Rosé, a methode traditionelle cider made by Hush Heath Winery in Kent.

Additional trophy success went out to: Aldi’s Storm European Cider; Angry Orchard Edu; Cold Hand Winery’s Malus Danica 2016 and Malus X Feminam 2016; Eclor Boissons’ Ecusson Doux Bio; Hogan’s Cider’s Hogan’s Perry; Pips Medium by Pips Cider; Waitrose Low Alcohol Cider; and Raw Cider – Orange Quince Cider by Ydun Cider.

Chairman of the tasting judges and ciderologist, Gabe Cook, said: “This is the third year I have had the privilege of Chairing the Judging at the ICC and across that time there have been a few notable trends. Firstly, that the overt quality of the products entered seems to improve year on year. I impress upon the judges that if they think a cider really is not of a medal standard, then they should not give a medal. This year, the ‘no medals’ were at their lowest percentage ever.”

“I can’t enough say how joyous and fascinating it is to taste ciders made in wildly different places, with different apples, cultures and consumers. In total seventeen nations were represented – the International Cider Challenge is living up to its name more so than ever before.”

“Innovation is a word that gets bandied about frequently within cider as a tool or a mechanism to create new and exciting brands and in this competition we were privy to some wonderfully innovative ciders: fermented quince, co-fermentations of apples and other fruits, deliberate utilisations of Brettanomyces yeast and the blending of apple eau de vie and cryo-concentrated apple juice are a few that spring to mind.“

A full list of results can be found here

For further information about the 2020 results, contact: Sarah Burnett, Head of Events at Agile Media Sarah.Burnett@agilemedia.co.uk

For information on how to enter the International Cider Challenge 2021 contact Jo Morley, Events Sales Manager Jo.Morley@agilemedia.co.uk

Editor’s Note: Hi-res images of the International Cider Challenge are available on request