The results of the International Cider Challenge (ICC) have been announced, with NeRø Issider being crowned Supreme Champion in the tasting competition. This marks the second year running that a Norwegian producer has won this accolade.
ICC chairman James Finch described the supreme champion as “a well-balanced, beautiful drink with a wonderful expression of the fruit”.
A further five ciders were awarded taste trophies, including Jake’s Cider from Balfour Winery, Cidrerie Beaupré Raspberry/Rhubarb from Groupe de Courtage Omni, Lille Ville from NeRø Sider, Sur Pointe from On Point Cider Company and The General from Sandford Orchards.
In the Design & Packaging category, Tālava’s range was awarded a trophy and gold medal, alongside Showerings,which won a gold medal for an individual product. FH Prager Ciders followed with a silver medal for its product range.
“It was another fantastic year for the International Cider Challenge,” said Finch.
“The category trophies and supreme champion judging were especially difficult this year with so many deserving winners. While we must celebrate the medal winners, I also have to acknowledge the number receiving no medals, which was the lowest I’ve seen this year.
“One of the judges commented as we were finishing the day that ‘the standard of entries this year was exceptional’, so huge congratulations to all the makers.”
Entries for this year’s competition spanned 20 countries across five continents, including first-time entries from Vietnam and South Africa. This year also saw an increase in entries compared to 2022.
The judging panel included cidermakers, drinks writers, wholesalers, on- and off-trade owners and buyers. With a range of categories including flavoured, wood aged, low/no and ice cider, the ICC saw a total of 16 golds, 53 silvers and 70 bronzes.
Finch also confirmed that next year’s ICC will see the return of in-person judging rather than the current virtual format.