To complement the inclusion of cider in this year’s International Brewing Awards, six specialist cider judges have been brought on board.

The cider-makers will join a panel of 33 beer judges to help select the winners from an expected 1,000 or more entries from brewers and cider makers in next years competition.

Bill Taylor, Chair of Judges, expressed his pleasure at being able to secure known and respected judges. “Given that this is the first time in many decades that ciders have been included, the fact that we have recruited such high calibre judges is a testament to the profile of the International Brewing Awards within the global drinks industry,” he says. “Setting up a dedicated judging panel for cider is a significant investment. However, we know that one of the main strengths of the Awards is the quality of the judging, so we felt it was important to focus carefully on this for the cider competition.”

Both the beer and cider judges are recruited by Taylor and are drawn from a broad spectrum of the beer and cider world: craft and regional brewers and cider-makers will be represented as well as national and global companies.

Nick Bradstock, of the UK’s National Association of Cider Makers, is pleased that cider has made a comeback at the IBA. “We’re impressed with their commitment to developing the new cider categories,” he says. “The ciders entered into the competition will clearly be judged with the same robustness and integrity as the beers.”

Bradstock also iterated the importance of an international competition at which cider-makers can test their product against others from all over the world.

The two cider categories for the 2013 competition are for: cider or flavoured cider. Perry (pear cider) is not being incorporated at this time, however there is opportunity for inclusion in the future.

The International Brewing Awards are open for entries until the closing date of 31st December. Entry costs £150 (+VAT at UK rate) per beer or cider – the same as in 2011 – with no duty payable. More information and an entry form are available at www.brewingawards.org

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