Since 2007, Joel VandenBrink has been a very busy man. That’s when he first launched Two Beers Brewing Company in a small 170 square foot space in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Six years later, he founded the first cidery within Seattle in over 90 years: Seattle Cider Company. Now, less than one year after Seattle Cider Company’s wildly successful launch, Joel and Seattle Cider Company, with sponsorship from Washington Beer Blog and Capitol Cider, is ready to kick off a whole new cider event in the Pacific Northwest.
The first annual Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA) are set to take place from June 5th to June 8th, 2014. The event will be privately judged at Capitol Cider on Thursday, June 5th, followed by a three-day festival at Seattle Cider Company’s tasting room: The Woods, from June 6th thru June 8th.
With more than 20 cideries participating and nearly 25 ciders on tap for the festival, the PNWCA and its corresponding events were created with the intention of raising awareness for the amazing ciders being produced throughout Washington, Oregon, Montana and Canada. It’s an event not to be missed with ciders not available anywhere else. Registration for the competition is open to Northwest cideries now through April 7th.
Here is the full press release from the Pacific Northwest Cider Awards:
SEATTLE (March 13, 2014) – Pacific Northwest Cider Awards (PNWCA) is pleased to announce its first annual cider competition and public tasting event, taking place June 5 – 8, 2014! Presented by Seattle Cider Company, sponsored by Washington Beer Blog and Capitol Cider, PNWCA is comprised of a one-day private judging, followed by a three-day festival to be held at The Woods tasting room in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. With more than 20 cideries participating and nearly 25 ciders on tap, PNWCA is intended to raise awareness for the amazing ciders being produced in the area and is an event not to be missed.
“The Pacific Northwest is quickly becoming the cider capitol of the world and this is only the beginning,” Joel VandenBrink, founder of Seattle Cider Committee and committee member for the PNWCA. “Cider was such a forgotten beverage, but it’s making a comeback in a big way thanks to the amazing work our local Northwest cideries are accomplishing. This event helps recognize that hard work while also allowing the public to enjoy a truly unique collection of limited addition ciders in one central location.”
The private judging will take place on Thursday, June 5 at Capitol Cider in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Moderated by Washington Beer Blog Editor Kendall Jones, judging will be comprised of 10 cider categories, developed by the PNWCA planning committee. Each cider will be judged on attributes including clarity, aroma, mouthfeel and overall impression. In addition to awards for each individual category, the gold medal winner of each category will go on to compete in a “Best in Show” judging round. Winners of the private judging will be announced the morning of Friday, June 6 at PNWCA.com and via PNWCA social media.
As a compliment to the private judging, a three-day festival will be held Friday, June 6 – Sunday, June 8 at Seattle Cider Company’s tasting room, The Woods, in SoDo (4700 Ohio Ave S). Open to the public, this festival will feature an estimated 25 ciders on tap, giving Seattle-area cider lovers the chance to enjoy specialty and limited edition ciders from producers throughout Washington, Oregon, Montana and Canada. Additionally, as part of the festival, each cider or tasting flight purchased will be accompanied by a voting slip, allowing for one vote per purchase. The cider with the most votes at the end of the festival will be awarded the People Choice Award, to be announced Monday, June 9 via PNWCA.com and PNWCA social media.
The Woods will be open Friday from 3-10pm, Saturday from 1-10pm and Sunday from 1-6pm for the event, with food available from popular food truck Where Ya at Matt all three days. Tastings flights and pints will be available. Representatives from participating cideries will be present at various times throughout the event.
Cideries interested in participating must be members of the Northwest Cider Association, encompassing Oregon, Washington, Montana and Canada. For more information on registration, fees, sample submission and more, cideries are encouraged to visit www.pnwca.com/enteryourcider. Intent to participate is due April 7, with cider samples needed by May 9.
Since a few months before Seattle Cider Company’s launch, I’ve been trying to get more into craft ciders myself. It can be difficult to tear myself away from craft beers long enough to really appreciate the great ciders the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you’re the same way, this event presents a wonderful opportunity for you (and I) to really have the chance to try something new. With more than 25 different ciders set to be on tap at The Woods from June 6th to 8th, you’ll have the chance sample from a diverse selection of ciders you may not have had the opportunity to try before.
Drink responsibly and stay save out there.