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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

Director at Northwestern Mutual Life – San Francisco, CA

Brandon Buza is a San Francisco-based fermentation geek with a passion for cider, wine and all things sourdough. After years of enjoying and making wine natural 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 United Kingdom. Brandon’s interest in cider extends to all facets of the craft and to this point he is a partner in a 500+ acre organic apple and pear orchard in Yakima, WA, is a member of the orcharding team at Filoli in Woodside, CA, has toured cideries and orchards all over the country and has taught cider education classes at venues including UpCider in San Francisco. Last he has served as a judge for the Portland International Cider Cup as well as Great Lakes International Cider and Perry aka ‘GLINTCAP’. During the fall apple harvest Brandon has been known to hop in his car looking for old forgotten apple trees. This is Brandon’s first year overseeing the Good Food Awards’ Cider category.

Caitlin Braam

Brand Strategist & Cider Educator at Angry Orchard  – Seattle, WA

Caitlin Braam is Angry Orchard’s Brand Strategist & Cider Specialist, responsible for driving education, engagement, and industry relations for the brand, as well as long term strategic recommendations. Previously, Caitlin was president of Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing Co, leading business development, marketing and industry relations for the two companies. Caitlin began her career as a television reporter in Midwest before moving to Seattle to pursue a career in public relations. She eventually opened her own business, managing marketing, branding and PR for local breweries, restaurants and distilleries. Based in Seattle, Caitlin is an avid hiker, skier and travel addict who enjoys exploring the world and meeting new people over a pint (bonus points for bars with foosball tables). Caitlin is a Certified Cider Professional, WSET Wine Level 2 Certified and a Certified Beer Server.

Committee Members

Suzanne Hendricksen, Founder, Crafty Cask
Mike Reis, Owner, Redfield Cider
Lindsay Rose Smolinski, Cider Enthusiast
Therese 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, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system.


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.


Eric Miller

Director of Consumer Packaged Goods, Belcampo

Ian Williamson

Sales Representative, Revel Wine

Storie Madrid

Regulatory Performance Consultant, Kaiser Permanente

Jordan Werner Barry

Food & Beverage WriterWriter/Author/Teacher, Seven Days

Ryan Johnston

Former Cidermaker, Ethic Ciders

Darlene Hayes

Freelance Writer and Cider Educator

Jake Mann

Apple Grower, Five Mile Orchards

Josha Baker

Bay Area Sales Representative, Pizza Port Brewing Company

Sande Friedman

Category Manager, Wine & Beer, Di Bruno Bros.

Sara Stadulis

Research Associate, Berkeley Brewing Science