By Andy Young, The Shout

Entries are now open for the 2018 Australian Cider Awards – Australia’s largest cider show which is now in its eighth year and the expectation is that this year will see more than 300 entries.

President of Cider Australia and co-founder of Willie Smith’s Cider Makers in Tasmania Sam Reid said the Awards have become a stamp of quality that producers respect and aspire towards.

“By recognising excellence in production we encourage the cider industry to keep building skills, investing and pushing the boundaries of what consumers expect,” he explains.

“We have introduced a new low alcohol cider and perry class this year in response to growth in this segment of the market, and predict a continued surge in entries of more complex traditional ciders and craft spirits.

“Every year more entries excite and wow the palates of our judges, and we can’t wait to see what emerges this year. This year with the Australian industry beginning to focus on exporting as part of the $500,000 Export and Regional Wine Support package there will be an even greater focus on how Australian ciders perform against their International counterparts, and I for one can’t wait until the Awards dinner.”

This year’s awards will have 28 categories including standard cider and perry as well as speciality, intensified and distilled styles. The winners will be announced on Friday 5 October at the Mercure Sydney, with celebrations following at the Australian Cider Festival on 6 October.

Full details on how to enter, the award classes and rules are available through the Cider Australia website.

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