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As interest in this centuries-old craft grows and cideries continue to emerge across the country, we are proud to give cider a category all its own. With the increased use of dry-farmed fruit and heirloom varieties, the beauty of the apple (and the pear) find expression in both our Apple-Centric and Flavored & Fortified subcategories.


The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the cider community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the cider standard are and who will be judging this year.



Brandon Buza

Freelance Photographer

Brandon is a San Francisco-based fermentation geek with a passion for cider, wine and all things sourdough. After many years of making wine with the help of long-time friend and natural wine making legend Tony Coturri he was introduced to craft cider and soon found himself enrolled in Peter Mitchell’s Cider & Perry Academy in the U.K. Brandon’s interest in cider extends to all facets of the craft. He is a partner in a 500+ acre organic apple and pear orchard in Yakima, WA, member of the orcharding team at the Historic Filoli Estate in Woodside, CA, has visited the top cider makers from coast to coast and won awards for his own cider. He has also served as a judge for the Portland International Cider Cup as well as the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition aka ‘GLINTCAP’. During the fall Brandon has been known to hop in his car looking for old forgotten apple trees to harvest for cider. This is Brandon’s third year overseeing the Good Food Awards’ Cider category.

Caitlin Braam

President/Founder at Yonder Cider and C0-Founder at The Source Cider

Caitlin Braam has worked in the beverage industry for more than 10 years. Passionate about helping businesses grow, she spends her days working with producers and introducing consumers to the world of craft beverages. She is the founder of Yonder Cider and co-founder of The Source Cider.

Committee Members

Chris McKenna
Lindsay Smolinski, Cider Enthusiast
Theresa Salcedo, Program Director, 18 Reasons


In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, cider entries must meet the following standards:

  • Made in the USA or US territories.
  • Made with ingredients that are grown or produced with practices that promote resource conservation and minimize synthetic inputs, including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers
  • Made with fruit and other ingredients that are grown locally and with respect to seasonality as a top priority.
  • Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Does not use fruit juice concentrates as a primary source of fermentable sugar (may not exceed 25%).
  • Made by a producer that demonstrates a commitment to relationships with suppliers and customers in order to support and promote sustainability.
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,* as exemplified through integrating these  practices:
    • Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
    • Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
    • For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.*

****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.


Additionally, cider entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

  • Unadulterated Ciders: Ciders made to showcase everything the apple can do when fermented, without the addition of prominent flavoring agents. Chaptalized ciders can be included here, but those made with sugars that have a significant impact on flavor should be entered into the Spiced & Hopped category.
  • Unadulterated Perry: Perries made to showcase everything the pear can do when fermented, without the addition of prominent flavoring agents. Apple-based ciders with added pear should be entered into the Fruited category.
  • Wood-Aged: Ciders and perries aged or fermented in barrels or on wood to take on significant barrel/wood character or the flavor of the barrel’s previous contents as a key flavor component. Please specify the barrel/wood type with your submission.
  • Fruited: Ciders and perries made with added non-apple/pear fruits. Apple-based ciders with added pear and pear-based drinks with added apples should also be entered here.
  • Spiced, Hopped & Other Flavored: Ciders and perries made with spices, hops, herbs, or sugars with significant flavor contributions (such as maple syrup or honey).
  • Fortified & Ice Ciders: Ciders and perries fortified with spirits, pommeaus, and ice ciders.

2022 Judges

Darlene Hayes


Jake Mann

Apple Grower, Five Mile Orchards, LLC

Maggie Przybylski

Co-founder and Daily Operations Manager, Two Broads Ciderworks

Jeff Baccus

Assistant Vineyard Manager, Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Mario Benjamin

Co-Founder/Co-Owner, Hella Coastal LLC