The results of this year’s International Cider Challenge have been announced and the Supreme Champion for 2019 is Karlau’s Sxollie Pink Lady.

The competition, run by Drinks Retailing News magazine, is now in its tenth year and judges praised the consistent quality of the record number of 281 entries this time around. The panel of judges comprised supermarket buyers, independent retailers, cider experts, journalists and cider makers. 

The event attracted a record number of entrants from around the world, and the judges awarded 12 gold medals, 75 silvers and 96 bronzes. From among the golds, eight trophies were awarded. Many of the entries came from the more traditional cider nations, such as the UK, Ireland and France, but entries also arrived from as far afield as Germany, Canada, Spain, Austria, South Africa, Slovakia, USA< Taiwan, Estonia and Poland; reflecting the truly international reach cider now enjoys. 

In addition to the Supreme Champion, additional trophy success went out to: Blushing Lady Sparkling Fruit Fusion by Winemaking Tasmania; L’Authentique French Cider Ginger Lemon, and Mont Saint Michel Pear, both by Les Celliers Associés; Bizi-Goxo 2015 by Zapiain SAT; Abavas Apple Wine Apple Pie by Abavas Winery and Sheppy’s 2017 Vintage Reserve Cider by Sheppy’s Cider. 

Chairman Gabe Cook said: “The first thing to note is that at the judging event there was a really amazing atmosphere in the room and a wonderful feeling of positivity.

“Yes, there were cidermakers among the judges, but this year we introduced a greater number of people from across the trade, which is great as they are the really crucial connection to the customer.

“We awarded more golds than last year and we could see some really interesting innovation coming through. Flavoured ciders are popular and we had all sorts coming through, particularly from our international entries.”

There were also awards for Best Design Packaging, with judges handing out 3 Gold medals, 2 Silver medals and 6 Bronzes. There were 21 entries to this competition overall and the Design & Packaging Supreme Champion trophy went to Hawkes Core Range by Roberto Basilico.

Samantha Halliday, commercial director at competition organiser Drinks Retailing News, said: “The International Cider Challenge has become recognised as one of the world’s most respected competitions. It is by far the world’s most hotly contested cider competition and winning any medal is a fantastic achievement.

“The broad range of ciders entered this year demonstrated the skill and innovation within this vibrant category. As such, the standards in both the taste and design and packaging sides of the competition were extremely high – and the real winner is the cider consumer, who has never had such a wonderful array of exceptional drinks to choose from.”

The full list of medal winners can be viewed here. The list has also been published in The Buyers’ Guide to Cider, which accompanies the June issue of Drinks Retailing News.