Jan 25, 2019
CiderCon 2019 to kick off Feb. 5 in Chicago

More than 900 attendees from across the United States, Canada and Europe and a cider industry trade show with over 100 vendors will meet in downtown Chicago for CiderCon 2019, hosted by The United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM). CiderCon 2019 will be largest gathering of cider professionals since the group met last year in Baltimore, following its most recent visit to Chicago in 2017. This year’s CiderCon event will take place February 5 – 8 at the Hilton Chicago Hotel.

CiderCon is the premier annual opportunity for the cider community to gather, share ideas, collaborate and learn. Discounted registration pricing ends Monday, January 28 for the multi-day event, which is open only to current USACM members. Cider industry professionals can learn more about USACM member benefits and sign up for membership on the USACM website.

CiderCon 2019 is happening during Chicago Cider Week, a series of cider-based entertainment and education events and immediately before Cider Summit Chicago, a public festival at Chicago’s Navy Pier featuring 150+ ciders, cider cocktails and apple spirits (tickets must be pre-purchased for Cider Summit).

Highlights of CiderCon 2019 Include:

Certified Pommelier Pilot Exam. Since 2016, the hard cider industry has had its own Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program, administered by USACM and geared toward cider servers. Next month at CiderCon 2019, USACM will offer the exam for the second level of the CCP program for the first time. Those who pass the test, with its mix of short answer, essay and tasting oriented questions, will earn the title of Certified Pommelier™. The exam is available to members and non-members alike.

Pomme Boots Society Meeting. The Pomme Boots Society will hold its first annual meeting at CiderCon 2019. Established to promote and encourage the involvement of women in the cider industry, the group’s mission is to support positive network connections, education and professional development for women in the dynamic field of cider.

Rare Cider Tastings. One of the best ways to learn about a particular style of cider is to taste it while discussing  its characteristics with others. Natural Style Cider, Spanish-style Sidra Cider, Still Cider and Ice Cider are just some of the cider types that attendees will be able to taste and learn about during focused CiderCon sessions as well as at a gathering of 70 producers pouring samples at the conference welcome reception on Wednesday night. This year CiderCon is pleased to welcome Canada as their featured international guests.,

Cider Specific Trade Show. With over 100 cider-industry specific vendors (including a cider making virtual reality booth!), two trade show floor cider bars and a game lounge, the trade show is alone is worth attending CiderCon. The trade show runs Thursday and Friday of the conference. 

Over 40 Educational Cider Workshops. From technical workshops on cider production to marketing workshops on working with distributors, these workshops help cideries expand their skills and knowledge whether they are established or just starting-up. 

Food & Cider Tours. If you want to learn more about pairing food with cider from some of Chicago’s hottest cider spots, these tours are not to miss. Each spot will feature a flight of cider paired with bites, and each pairing will highlight a different pairing principle. 

“CiderCon is designed to allow cider producers to meet their industry colleagues to exchange ideas on best practices, innovations and trends,” says Michelle McGrath, the executive director of USACM. “The discussions that take place at CiderCon provide a foundation of strength and diversity for the industry. With pre-registration numbers at record levels, CiderCon 2019 promises to be a great event for anyone involved in the cider industry.”

The United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM) is an organization of cider and perry producers in the United States. It gathers and shares information about cider production, regulations and cider apply growing to help members improve their operations, raise awareness and advance cider in the market. The organization was founded in February, 2013 at “CiderCon,” the third annual gathering of Cider Makers from across the United States. For more information, please visit www.ciderassociation.org/.


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