About

Eric West - Cider Guide

I’m Eric West. I teach the world about cider and perry.

I direct the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GLINTCAP is the world’s largest cider judging, with a record 1,003 entries in 2016. I was a judge (2012) and registrar (2013-2014) prior to becoming competition director in 2015.

I received the Significant Contribution to the Cider Industry award from the United States Association of Cider Makers in February 2017. Only three other people have been so honored in the association’s history.

I write educational features for CIDERCRAFT Magazine:

Issue 6 (August 2016) — Cider’s Sweet Spot
Issue 4 (November 2015) — How to Make Cider at Home
Issue 3 (May 2015) — Heirloom Cider Apples
Issue 2 (November 2014) — Tradition in a Bottle

I judged at the British Cider Championships in 2016. It is Europe’s largest cider judging, and is held as part of the Royal Bath & West Show in Somerset, England. I judged the Single Variety class alongside English cider expert Gabe Cook. Few Americans have ever taken part in this prestigious competition.

I served as Interim Director of the Cider Certification Program (CCP). The program was created by the United States Association of Cider Makers in order to educate and accredit industry professionals who sell cider. The first Level One course was offered on February 6, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

I’ve traveled across North America, England, and Spain, interviewing cidermakers, bar/restaurant owners, importers, event promoters, and other influential people in the cider industry. Perhaps no one else in the United States has tasted more ciders or visited more cideries than I have. (See my United States Cider Map if you’d like to visit a few yourself!) This first-person experience gives me an unrivaled perspective on the modern cider renaissance.

I was a craft beer enthusiast before falling in love with cider. I am a Certified Cicerone and BJCP Judge. I adopted a gluten-free diet in 2014 and no longer drink beer, but I am still at ease explaining the world of cider to beer enthusiasts.

I live with my wife Melissa and son Heron in the Blacksburg, Virginia area. Reach out via email at eric@ciderguide.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Please note: I do not rate or review ciders on this site. See glintcap.org to enter the cider competition I direct.

Presentations and Guided Tastings

February 2017
CiderCON Chicago
Online Branding (w/ Meredith Collins)

December 2016
Great Lakes EXPO
Growing a Successful Orchard-Based Cider Business (w/ Mike Beck, Dan Young, and Andy Sietsema)

November 2016
Franklin County CiderDays
Cider Appreciation 101 (w/ Brian Rutzen and Dan Pucci)

September 2016
Black Twig Txotxfest
The Wide World of Cider

April 2016
UW-Madison Cider Workshop
Exploring the Many Styles of Cider

February 2016
CiderCON Portland
Engaging Your Core Audience Through Writing (w/ Meredith Collins)

December 2015
Great Lakes EXPO
Exploring the Many Styles of Cider (Talk & Tasting)

November 2015
Cider Week NYC
Cider Salon at Jimmy’s No. 43 (Moderator)
Reverend Nat’s Cider Seminary (w/ Nat West)

November 2015
Franklin County CiderDays
Cider Appreciation 101 Tasting

February 2015
CiderCON Chicago
Defining Cider Styles and Competitions

November 2013
Franklin County CiderDays
Spanish Cider Tasting (Panelist)

Radio & Podcast Appearances

December 2016
The Joy Cardin Show
Tell Joy Where To Go For Hard Ciders

November 2015
Beer Sessions Radio
Cider Cocktails

February 2015
Nerdette
Boozy Botany and the Story of Marian Anderson

February 2015
Strange Brews
Guide to Cider with Eric West of Cider Guide

November 2014
Beer Sessions Radio
Past, Present and Future of Cider

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