National News Update from the USACM

The United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM) is a bit like the PA Cider Guild, except instead of focusing solely on the cider industry in Pennsylvania, it’s focused on the entire country! Its dedicated staff and board of directors has, according to the USACM website, made it their mission “to grow a diverse and successful U.S. cider industry by providing valuable information, resources and services to our members and by advocating on their behalf.”

We’re big fans of the USACM and its promotion and support of the cider industry — with efforts ranging from cider advocacy, to gleaning market datawith Nielsen, LLC, to marketing campaigns. Ever seen the hashtag #pickcider? That’s the USACM’s handiwork. We’re proud to be among the membersof this fine organization.

2018 has been a busy year in the world of U.S. cider, and we’ve got these updates from our friends at the USACM:

• The 2019 CiderConthe annual cider convention, is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, through Friday, February 8, 2019, in Chicago. This is the one time each year that pretty much everyone from across every sector of the cider industry meets to trade ideas, pursue education, meet new people and, of course, enjoy plenty of cider! The 2019 CiderCon promises a bigger trade show, more tasting sessions, modern and heritage cider tracks, samples at the trade show, local Chicago tours, in-depth workshop options, CCP Level 2 pilot exams, new speakers and more.

Registration, which is only available to members of the USACM, is open now! If you’re a cider maker in Pennsylvania who has never been to CiderCon, we cannot stress enough how positive and productive of an experience it is.

• The USACM is the force behind the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) certification, which is essentially like becoming a sommelier or cicerone in the cider world. This accreditation program, which draws heavily from the USACM Style Guide, V1.1., has been designed for distributors, servers and others who are interested in becoming cider experts. If your cidery includes a public-facing tasting room, this can be a great resource for serving staff. It’s an equally great opportunity for sales reps who are out in the field interfacing with wholesalers, bars and restaurants.

USACM has recently announced that the CCP Level 2 exam is in the works, and that it will include sensory analysis (style and flaw identification) and short essay questions, and will delve much deeper into cider styles, including traditional styles. The CCP Level 2 exam will debut at the 2019 CiderCon.

• The USACM has been continually adding resources, like recipes and event listings, to its Pick Ciderwebsite. If you’ve never participated in this campaign, this is a great way to explore creative, seasonal ways of presenting and promoting your products to the public. Whether it’s a cozy winter holiday or a summer celebration, the USACM and Pick Cider are there to help you with your marketing efforts.

Keep up with the USACM on Facebook, and consider becoming a member if you aren’t already!

For more information on the Pennsylvania Cider Guild, visit our website, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our email newsletter for updates.

 Emily Kovach

Photo Credit: Casey Martin Photography for Cider Culture