Head Thistly-Maker Peter Stuart Announced as GLINTCAP Judge

We all know that Ned Flanders is the font of all kinds of home-spun knowledge on The Simpsons, and we certainly can’t fault his simple definition of cider, “You know, most people don’t know the difference between apple cider and apple juice, but I do. Now here’s a little trick to help you remember. If it’s clear and yella’, you’ve got juice there, fella. If it’s tangy and brown, you’re in cider town…”, but we can only imagine how he’d fare judging over 1000 different types of cider!

Our Head Cider-maker Peter Stuart is about to find out just how challenging that is when he heads off this week to the USA to be a judge at the The 12th Annual Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) in Grand Rapids, Michigan,April 19-22. It’s an honour to be selected for the world’s largest and most respected cider judging, and he’s looking forward to tasting many hundreds, if not thousands, of ciders submitted from commercial and amateur producers across the world.

Alongside a selection of judges from America, he’s been chosen as just 1 of 3 European judges this year alongside Bill Bradshaw (IAMCIDER, and Cider Photographer and Author from Somerset) and Gabe Cook (The Ciderologist and National Association of Cider Makers, from Gloucestershire). The American judges represent a range of talent and experience across the USA. GLINTCAP judges travel from across the world to assess the cider entries, evaluating aroma, flavour, mouthfeel, and looking at carbonation, colour, sweetness, and a whole host of other specifications dependant on category. Only then do they decide on the medal-winners.

Competition submissions, which are already double those from 2015, are organised into 3 style categories: Standard, Speciality, and Intensified & Distilled. These groupings are broken down even further into:

Standard Styles: Modern Cider, Heritage Cider, Traditional Cider, Sour Cider, Modern Perry and Traditional Perry

Speciality Styles: Fruit Cider, Hopped Cider, Spiced Cider, Wood Aged Cider, Speciality Cider and Perry, and Unlimited Cider and Perry

Intensified and Distilled Styles: Ice Cider, Fortified Cider and Spirits

Amidst the packed judges schedule, the event is also a great chance for industry networking, the sharing of knowledge, and discussing what’s happening in cider-making across the globe. Peter will be sharing his experience of being a judge, so we’re looking forward to posting some behind-the-scenes dispatches from GLINTCAP HQ.