Style Guidelines

C1: New World Cider

A new world cider is made from culinary/table apples, with wild or crab apples often used for acidity/tannin balance. Compared to other styles in this category, these ciders are generally relatively lower in tannin and higher in acidity. “New World” references the style, not a location.
These ciders are generally relatively lower in tannin and higher in acidity. “New World” references the style, not a location. Sweet or low-alcohol ciders may have apple aroma and flavor. Dry ciders will be more wine-like with some esters. Sugar and acidity should combine to give a refreshing character. Acidity is medium to high, refreshing, but must not be harsh or biting. Appearance is clear to brilliant, pale to medium gold in color. Mouthfeel is medium in body. Some tannin should be present for slight to moderate astringency, but little bitterness.

Original Gravity: 1.045 – 1.065
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.020
Alcohol by Volume: 5 – 8%

C2: Cider with Other Fruit

This is a cider with other fruits or fruit-juices added. This is the correct style to enter for a beverage fermented from a combination of apple and pear or another fruit juice.

The cider character must be present and must fit with the other fruits. It is a fault if the added fruit(s) completely dominate. A fruit cider should not be like an alco-pop. Oxidation is a fault. Appearance should be clear to brilliant. Color appropriate to added fruit, but should not show oxidation characteristics. Mouthfeel is substantial. May be significantly tannic, depending on fruit added. The apple character must marry with the added fruit so that neither one dominates the other.

Original Gravity: 1.045 – 1.070
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.010
Alcohol by Volume: 5 – 9%

C3: Cider with Herbs/Spices

This is a cider with any combination of “botanicals” added. Hopped ciders are included in this category. Other examples are ciders with “apple pie” spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), ginger, lemon grass, herbal tea blends, etc.

The cider character must be present and must fit with the botanicals. As with a fruit cider, it is a fault if the botanicals dominate. The apple character must marry with the botanicals and give a balanced result. Oxidation of either the base cider or the additions is a fault. Appearance is clear to brilliant with color appropriate to added botanicals. Mouthfeel is average or more. Cider may be tannic from effect of botanicals but must not be bitter from over-extraction.

Original Gravity: 1.045 – 1.070
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.010
Alcohol by Volume: 5 – 9%

C4. Specialty Cider

This is an open-ended category for cider or perry in combination with other ingredients such that it does not fit any of the categories above. Examples may include other sweeteners, honey or maple syrup, as long as the cider character remains dominant. Wood-fermented or aged ciders in which the wood/barrel character is a significant part of the overall flavor profile also belong in this category.

The cider character must always be present, and must fit with added ingredients. If a spirit barrel was used, the character of the spirit (rum, whiskey, etc.) must be no more than just recognizable; it must not be a substantial element of the flavor. Appearance is clear to brilliant. Color should be that of a standard cider unless other ingredients are expected to contribute color. Mouthfeel is average body, may show tannic (astringent) or heavy body as determined by other ingredients.

Original Gravity: 1.045 – 1.100
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.020
Alcohol by Volume: 5 – 12%

C5: New World & Traditional Perry

Perry is made from culinary/table pears for eating or cooking, or in a traditional style from pears grown specifically for cider. Pear fruit may range from mild to medium-sweet. Traditional perry will have increased tannic astringency in combination with a perception of sweetness.

There is a pear character, but not obviously fruity. Generally quite pale in appearances, slightly cloudy to clear. Mouthfeel is relatively full, with varying degrees of tannin astringency balanced with perception of sweetness. Only very slight acetification is acceptable. Oily or ropy characteristics are not acceptable.

Original Gravity: 1.050 – 1.070
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 1.000 – 1.020
Alcohol by Volume: 5 – 9%

C6: Ice Cider and Applewine

Ice Cider is full bodied, made from apple juice that is concentrated by freezing method. Fermentation is stopped before reaching dryness. Applewine is a lighter style of cider, using additional sugar to ferment to a higher level of alcohol than in new world cider.

Flavours are distinctively apple, and can range from dry to sweet. Iced cider has a deeper amber to gold in colour, with a sweet-tart flavor with enough acidity to prevent it being cloying. Both are higher in alcohol in comparison to other styles. Carbonation ranges from still to champagne like fine bubbles. In both cases the character of the drink must be distinctive, with Ice Cider having higher acidity to balance the sweet fruit flavor.

Ice Cider:
Original Gravity: 1.130 – 1.180
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 1.060 – 1.085
Alcohol by Volume: 7 – 13%

Applewine:
Original Gravity: 1.070 – 1.100
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.020
Alcohol by Volume: 9 – 12%