Terry Bradshaw Vermont Calais, VT Orchard-Crafted Hard Cider in the New American Tradition



Juice for cider

Cider Styles

Fermentation Basics

Other Processes


Bottling and Storage


'Round the Cider Barrel

Batch Specifics



Apple Press Blog

Considerations for Operating a Commercial, Non-HACCP Cider Mill in Vermont





Awards and Such

Around the time I was first getting into making cider in 1996-7, the local weekly newspaper in Randolph, VT, The Herald, ran a piece on my father as one of the last dairy farmers in Chelsea.   Given the timing of the piece in my life ( I was just finishing college), the interviewer asked about the next generation, and my pop mentioned my interest in one day running a cidery commercially (an idea I have since abandoned).  I had made a batch or two of farmhouse cider from McIntosh and Liberty culls from my college job, which Dad proclaimed in print as "pretty good stuff." I guess that was my first cider accolade.

I'll admit in hindsight that those first batches were rough; bone-dry, tart, no tannin, and pretty insipid.  In the ensuing years I made some ciders slightly better and some as bad, maybe a few worse.  In 1998 or so I tried to throw my ciders into the homebrew competition ring, and they were judged as they should have been- poor to middling.

Now the topic of organized competitions can be a prickly one in the world of cider, especially since the drink is not well understood.  Thankfully the American Homebrew Association revised their cider guidelines in 2004 to better reflect the ciders that are out there, rather than compare them all to fizzy, sugary, appley dreck like you find in six-packs shelved next to Mike's Hard Lemonade and their ilk.   Starting in 2005 AHA competitions reflected these new guidelines, so that, combined with what I considered my better cidermaking skill, prompted me to enter a couple of competitions.

Listed are Awards I have picked up for my ciders :

2008 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Society Competition

Silver Medal, 'English Cider', 07 Kingston Black Special Reserve
only cider and competition entered this year

2007 Great Lakes Olde World Syder Competition

Bronze Medal, 'English  Cider,' 06 Dry Bittersharp
Medal, 'English  Cider,' 06 Dry Bittersweet
Honorable Mention, 'French Cider,' 06 Bittersweet Semisweet
  (this was last one was an excellent cider, but note to self: when sending a cider off for competition make sure the bottle doesn't have dried up shit in the bottom...it turns the judges off a bit)

2006 Great Lakes Olde World Syder Competition

Silver Medal, 'French Cider'

2006 New England Regional Homebrew Competition

Standard Cider:
1st Place, 'French Cider' 05SQ4K
2nd Place, 'French Cider' 05SQ3K
3rd Place, 'English Cider' 04 Bittersharp

Specialty Cider:
2nd Place, 'New England Cider' 05 NE Style

2006 Green Mountain Homebrew Competition

2nd Place, 'English Cider'  05SQ3

2005 Great Lakes Olde World Syder Competition

1st Place, 'English Cider'  04 Bar
1st Place, 'French Cider'  04 Car

Notice: These were from the same squeeze of juice, only treated differently to make two very different ciders!

2005 Green Mountain Homebrew Competition

1st Place, 'American Common Cider'   03 car
2nd Place, 'English Cider'  03 bar


I told a friend of mine not long ago that I did not feel that I had ever made a truly great cider.  I still stand by that statement, but I will say that my ciders are getting better, well into the 'pretty good stuff' category.


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All material Copyright Terence Bradshaw 2006-2013

terryb at lostmeadowvt dot com