Australian Cider Awards an Orange-first

Article from ABC Central West NSW.

There's a real buzz in the Central West about the apple ale at the moment, as the Australian Cider Awards have just been held in Orange. The event attracted over 90 entrants from every state in Australia, and international competitors from France, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.

The judges included wine columnist Max Allen, freelance writer Willie Simpson, brewer Neal Cameron, and Australia's First Lady of beer, Kirrily 'beer diva' Waldhorn.

While the cider industry in Australia has been around since the gold rush, there is only one established, and one emerging producer in the Central West.

But the ciders producers in the region are hoping to form a producers group.

NSW Department of Primary Industries [DPI] technical officer and cider enthusiast, David Pickering, says there is a great opportunity for local apple growers to get involved in this growing industry.

"We have a total of 30 cider apple varieties which the grower can find locally without importing budstock form overseas," he says.

"With names like Antoinette, Belle Cauchoise, Blanchet, Clozette, and French Crab we clearly have a good representation of French varieties for those who want to explore French cider styles."

Kirrily Waldon says that as a judge she is "looking for balance in the cider."

"There is a difference in the taste of the French and English ciders, and the colour is determined by the type of apples used," she says.

And it's not all just about your standard bitter and sweet varieties, according to Mr Pickering says.

"We now have cider varieties which could be used to expand the traditional range of sweet, bittersweet, sharp and bitter sharp flavours as well as filing gaps in the harvest calendar.

He says, "Tannin levels vary and there are choices of varietal ciders and blends, oaked and unoaked ciders - it really depends on what the markets wants."

The Australian Cider Awards winners were:

BEST IN SHOW:

Henney's Cider Co of Herefordshire UK for 'Henney's Dry Cider' [entered by Phoenix Beers of Perth, West Australia]

BEST AUSTRALIAN CIDER:

CUB Matilda Bay - for 'Dirty Granny' [entered via Liquid Ideas, Sydney]


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