We are now accepting submissions for the 11th  Annual Sip Magazine Best of the Northwest!  After hosting the competition for 10 years, we thought it time to do a deep dive into the competition process and give it a refresh based on learned experiences and feedback from producers and judges.  So NEW this year:

  • No more waiting months to find out the results. The Best of the Northwest for each specific beverage category will be digitally released within 30 days of the competition to our 40,000+ followers and opt-in subscribers. The quick turnaround should allow for product inventory to be more readily available for Sip Magazine readers to try. Additionally, the full list of the winners will be featured in the annual print issue of Sip out in January.
  • Tasting Notes will be provided for each product submitted; this will give you feedback from the judging team that blindly tasted your product. 

As in year’s past, all submissions will be tasted blind, by a panel of the Northwest’s top palates made up of writers, producers, beverage buyers, distributors, etc.  The top four from each category will be awarded Platinum, Double Gold, Gold or Silver.  The larger categories will have Judges’ Picks which are the next highest-ranking beverages after the four medalists (platinum, double gold, gold and silver).  At the end of the competition readers will gain further insight to the Pacific Northwest craft beverage scene and an expertly curated shopping list of what to drink for the next year. 

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To submit ciders to the 2022 Best of the NW, please use the below rules for entry:

1) Cost of entry is $55 for each individual product submission. Payment is accepted via credit card by clicking HERE (or by copying the link below into your browser*), as well as by check via mail to 1335 N. Northlake Way, Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98103. All applicable submission fees must be paid in full by Tuesday, September 6th to be entered in the judging. 

2) Please fill out the linked submission form by clicking HERE (or by copying the link below into your browser**). Each form provides for up to five (5) submissions. If you are submitting more than five (5) products, submit one form and start a second (or third) until you are finished. The submission will not be entered in the judging if the form is not included.

3) For 750-milliliter bottles, send two (2) samples each. For 64-ounce growlers, send one (1) sample each. For everything else, send four (4) samples of each.

4) List the price of the product based on the suggested retail price before taxes. For example, if the cider you are submitting comes in 4-packs, please provide that price.

5) All products must be produced in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana or British Columbia.

6) Submission receiving deadline is Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Note: if you do not currently package your product and will be sending a growler, please email Melissa Miller at melissa@sippublishing.com to coordinate.

*Payment link: https://sipmagazine.com/product/2022-cider-submission/

**Submission form link: https://forms.gle/onz8JCxYSRJ5Nug79

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THE CATEGORIES* ARE:

  • BERRY: Cider base infused with any combination of berries.
  • BOTANICAL: Cider base infused with any combination of herbs, nectars, leaves, tea, etc.
  • DESSERT/FORTIFIED: Ice cider, late harvest, pommeau-style or other styles with spirits added.
  • FRUIT: Cider base infused or co-fermented with other fruits, such as pear, berry, tropical fruit, etc.  Stone Fruit ciders have their own category.
  • HOPPED: Cider base that has hops added.
  • HIGH TANNIN – DRY – up to 2% RS Apple- only, focused on the specific apple used, Old World-influenced. Typically made with multi-use apples (such as Russets, Baldwin, Gravenstein) or cider-specific fruit, resulting higher in tannin and/or acid. Please specify in the “adjunct or style descriptor” section the type of apple(s) used in the cider. This was previously the Heritage category. Please note in the description section what type of apples(s) are used.
  • HIGH TANNIN – Sweet – >2.0% RS Apple- only, focused on the specific apple used, Old World-influenced. Typically made with multi-use apples (such as Russets, Baldwin, Gravenstein) or cider-specific fruit, resulting higher in tannin and/or acid. Please specify in the “adjunct or style descriptor” section the type of apple(s) used in the cider. This was previously the Heritage category. Please note in the description section what type of apples(s) are used.
  • MODERN – Dry — up to 2% RS: Apple only, can be focused on specific apples, dessert or culinary/table apples; fresh, New World-style. Little or no tannins.
  • MODERN – Sweet — >2.0% RSApple only, can be focused on specific apples, dessert or culinary/table apples; fresh, New World-style.  Little or no tannins.
  • NATURAL: This category should be for natural ‘style’ ciders -which include Spanish sidra style ciders and other ciders with significant wild yeast/ bacterial characteristics. Also includes ‘low intervention’ winemaking style ciders. These ciders do not have significant bittersweet characteristics.  
  • PÉT NAT: The pét nat process involves achieving carbonation through the fermentation process rather than infusing CO2 into the beverage. These ciders may be spontaneously fermented or pitched, but must be bottle finished. Apple and/or pear only, apples used may be dessert/culinary or cider-specific.
  • PERRY: 100% fermented pear, made from pear varieties grown specifically for perry production, as well as those made from culinary/table pears. Can be labeled as pear cider as long as it is exclusively pear juice. Blended pear and apple ciders go in the Fruit category.
  • ROSÉ (Red-Fleshed Varieties): Cider with a pinkish hue made heritage cider apples, including red-fleshed varieties. A cider may be pinkish in color and the cidermaker may choose not to use the rosé cider nomenclature, but all rosé ciders are pinkish in color. 
  • ROSÉ (Culinary Apples with Adjuncts): Cider with a pinkish hue made with culinary apples made pink with added adjuncts (such as berries, hibiscus). A cider may be pinkish in color and the cidermaker may choose not to use the rosé cider nomenclature, but all rosé ciders are pinkish in color. 
  • SINGLE VARIETAL: A showcase of one varietal; must be 80% varietal and apple only.
  • SOUR: Ciders made intentionally sour using non-standard yeast, mixed fermentation and/or bacterial fermentation.
  • SPECIALTY: A catchall category for unique blends, a cider base infused with any specialty ingredients such as squash, coffee, rhubarb, New England-style, etc. Also including cysers.
  • SPICED: Cider base infused with any combination of spices or spicy vegetables, such as baking spices, habaneros, ginger, etc.
  • STONE FRUIT: Cider base infused or co-fermented with stone fruit, such as cherry, apricot, plum, etc. 
  • WOOD-AGED: Ciders aged in or with wood, such as barrels, oak cubes, chips, staves, etc.

*Though unlikely for most, all categories are subject to change if submissions are too low or too high. In the case of lower submissions, cider would be merged into an appropriately fitting category; for higher submissions, a category of its own would be created.

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SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Carefully package all glass-format ciders, especially growlers, as shipping companies are not always gentle.

2) Please do not use packing peanuts or popcorn.

3) Ship all entries to the following address:

Sip Magazine c/o Seattle Wine Storage
ATTN: Best of Cider
9401 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

For personal delivery, please email Melissa Miller at melissa@sippublishing.com.

Sip Magazine is an award-winning publication covering the wine, beer, spirits and cider of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.