It's that time of year again and I am finding myself in downtown Grand Rapids Michigan to be a guest judge at the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. The judging starts Sunday with the judges workshop happening tomorrow evening to prep everyone for the day long judging effort. While it doesn't seem like cider tasting would be hard work, I've got 2 years under my belt and I can tell you wihtout a doubt that this is serious business and it is hard work.
Many cidermakersboth commercial and home cidermakers from around the world have put lots of time, sweat, and possibly even little blood into their efforts and these facts are not taken lightly. It's my hope that I have preppared myself technologically enough to post a bit on the fly and a little each day. Check back here each day and for more frequent posts watch my Oldtimecider Twitter account and Facebook page.
This year the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association has a very special line up of guest judges, with 2 distinguished judges coming from abroad even.
Would a GLINTCAP be complete without Dick Dunn in the house lending his expertise? Not in my book. Dick has been there every year that I have and probably a few more. For those that don't know Dick is the man behind the scenes at Cider Digest.
I am really anxious to meet someone who has become an old friend on the screen and the online cider community. Eduardo Coto has joined from all the way from Spain/Austuria/Germany to help add a little more international flavor to the competition. I met Eduardo a number of years ago and we message frequently about cider happenings. Eduardo is a prolific cider writer in Europe and writes for 2 Spanish cider magaines “La Sidra” and “Vivir La Sidra”, the blog El blog de la sidra, as well as the Apfelwein Blog. Not too very long ago I helped Eduardo out with a article on American Cidermakers. Lookign forward to sippin' a few with this guy.
Former Cider maker at Taunton Cider in England, currently a board member of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) and European Cider & Fruit Wine Association (AICV). I don't know Nick but I've never met a Brit cider guy I didn't like and I have a feeling he'll be a great stand in for my buddy Bill Bradshaw who isn't here this week. Looking forward to tipping a few back with this guy too!
Weidmann & Groh GbR (A cidery and distillery in the Hessian district of Friedberg, north of Frankfurt, Germany). Looking forward to adding a little more knowledge of Apfelwien and the German cider scene to my analog database with the help of Eduardo and Norman.
Cider Maker at Farnum Hill Ciders, New Hampshire. Nicole has also become an old friend. I've had the pleasure of visiting Farnum Hill a couple times. They have the best ciders made by the best people. Nicole is no exception. GLINTCAP is lucky to have her pallate and cidermaking expertise again this year.
Ben is the author of Cider, Hard & Sweet: History, Traditions & Making Your Own (2nd Edition) which is just about everyone's intro to North American Cider. Ben over the year has become an old friend. We've taken a a couple road trips together, one here in Michigan in 2011 and again in the Northeast in November of 2011. At GLINTCAP 2012 he and I had the pleasure and honor of judging Bst of Show for the distilled and high proof (ice cider) categories. Ben has been monumental to cider in North America, besides his book he also helps organize and put on Cider Days in Western Massachusetts. If you haven't been to Cider Days you gotta go. Add it to the bucket list. http://www.ciderdays.org/
I look forward to being in Michigan the ciders are great and the folks uber friendly and very hospitable. Today we begin some of the wee's cider tours.