Eric West - Cider Guide

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

I directed the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 2015 to 2023. GLINTCAP is the world’s largest cider judging, with a record 1,585 entries in 2019. I was a judge (2012) and registrar (2013-2014) prior to becoming competition director.

I judged at the British Cider Championships in 2016. It is Europe’s largest cider judging, held as part of the Royal Bath & West Show in Somerset, England. I judged the Single Variety class alongside English cider expert Gabe Cook. I was also the Guest International Judge for the Australian Cider Awards in 2018. Few Americans have judged at either competition. I have also judged cider at domestic competitions including the Virginia Governor’s Cup.

I received a Significant Contribution to the Cider Industry award from the American Cider Association in 2017. At the time, only three people—Ben Watson, Alan Shapiro, and Peter Mitchell—had been so honored.

I served as Interim Director of the Certified Cider Professional program in 2015-2016 and sat on the CCP Advisory Board in 2017-2018. I am currently a volunteer member of the ACA Data Insights Committee (2021-present).

I am a Certified Cicerone and a BJCP Judge. I was a craft beer enthusiast before falling in love with cider, and am very much at ease explaining the world of cider to beer enthusiasts.

I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Reach out via email at eric@ciderguide.com or connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear from you!

Print Articles

Cidercraft Magazine – Issue 9 (August 2017)
The Many Faces of the Apple
(w/ Eric Lewandowski)

Cidercraft Magazine – Issue 8 (May 2017)
The Path to Commercial Success

Cidercraft Magazine – Issue 6 (August 2016)
Cider’s Sweet Spot

Cidercraft Magazine – Issue 4 (November 2015)
How to Make Cider at Home

Cidercraft Magazine – Issue 3 (May 2015)
Heirloom Cider Apples

Cidercraft Magazine – Issue 2 (November 2014)
Tradition in a Bottle

Presentations and Guided Tastings

October 2018
Australian Cider Forum
The Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition

September 2018
Australian Cider Awards
US Cider Masterclass

February 2018
CiderCON Baltimore
Orchard-Based Cider Dryness Scale (Moderator)

November 2017
Franklin County CiderDays
How to Taste Hard Cider (w/ Nicole Leibon)

February 2017
CiderCON Chicago
The Importance of 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
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