Brewers and cider makers from across the world gathered at London’s Guildhall for the unveiling of the Championship winners in the International Brewing & Cider Awards 2017. Trophies were awarded to only nine brewers and one cider maker – New Zealand craft cider makers Zeffer Cider Co.
It was Zeffer’s Cidre Demi–Sec cider that saw the cider makers take out the trophy title and named International Cider Award Champion for 2017. The traditional French-style cider faced a tasting panel of 45 judges who judged more than 1,100 beer and ciders from 21 countries.
Chair of judging Bill Taylor said, “It’s a tremendous achievement to come through that process to win firstly a medal and then one of just 10 Championship trophies – especially with only one trophy awarded for cider”.
Head cider maker Jody Scott said he was proud their New Zealand craft cider had been acknowledged on an international stage and at such a significant event.
“This is a cider we make once a year with select heritage cider apple varieties and wild fermentation. We’ve been doing very well on the awards front here in New Zealand but really wanted to test this cider on the world stage (and especially in the UK as the home of cider) to see how it would stack up. To find out we’d taken out the trophy at an event with such strong heritage and long international standing is the pinnacle for us,” he said.
The team were unable to attend the Award’s ceremony and tasked London-based fellow Kiwis Jen Ferguson and Glenn Williams of Hop, Burns & Black to accept the award on their behalf.
“We are such proud proponents of New Zealand craft and Zeffer really showed what New Zealand cider is capable of,” said Williams. “We lost count of how many people approached us asking how they can get their hands on this cider”.
Adding to the praise was judge Gabe Cook (aka The Ciderologist) who said Zeffer’s trophy win was testament to the skills of their cider makers and to the standard of New Zealand’s burgeoning craft cider industry.
The International Brewing and Cider Awards is one of the longest standing beer and cider competitions in the world, with the first competition run in 1888.