When Imbibe went to CiderCon: The top trends for 2018

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Drinks: Ciders
Location: USA

Last month, 1,000 cider professionals gathered in Baltimore for CiderCon, the globe’s largest cider conference, Nielsen stats showed that regional/local ciders continue to enjoy growth north of 30% in the US compared with a slow decline for national cider brands.


Welcome gesture

Want to find out what incomers’ cider tastes are? Offer them small pours of your house cider as they arrive. Brian Rutzen, cider director of The Northman in Chicago, told CiderCon that this allows you to gauge their palate in terms of sweetness, depth and desire for authenticity while also avoiding the need for numerous samples.

Cool and constant
‘Our two main enemies are time and temperature,’ Jennie Dorsey told CiderCon. With 50 cider taps under her control at Schilling Cider House in Portland, she maintains her keg cooler at 3.3°C at all times, and keeps every keg on its own CO₂ regulator to limit factors that could potentially harm the cider. ‘Ideally for most ciders, you’re looking at 10-12 psi,’ she said.

Led by the senses
Sam Fitz, co-founder of Anxo in Washington DC, structures his peerless cider menu by sensory characteristics rather than region of origin, using headings such as ‘bright’, ‘fruit-forward’ and ‘rustic. ‘Guests become excited when they finally nail down their own preferences and wind-up trying more ciders than they would when facing an ocean of unknowns,’ he told Imbibe.

About Author

Susanna Forbes

Journalist, editor and drinks judge, Susanna Forbes specialises in beer, cider, English wine and drinks tourism. Regularly to be found on Twitter @DrinkBritain, she’s recently bought an orchard in Herefordshire with her husband, James, to start their own cider business.

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