Mac Ivors Cider scoops three gold medals in International Brewing and Cider Awards
By Eleanor McGillie
IRISH craft cider makers and brewers who have been competing with brewers and cider makers globally have come up trumps with a string of Gold and Silver medals at the 2017 International Brewing and Cider Awards.
Mac Ivors Cider Co, Tempted Cider, Sullivans Brew Co and Porterhouse Brewing Co have all made their mark in the 2017 awards which saw the Irish contingent compete against brewers and cider makers from Europe, Australasia, the Far East and North and South America.
After three days of judging in Burton-upon-Trent three gold medals were awarded to Co Armagh based Mac Ivors Cider Co, one gold for Kilkenny based Sullivans Brew Co, two silvers for Tempted Cider from Lisburn and a bronze for Porterhouse Brewing in Dublin.
Fifth generation apple grower, Greg MacNeice of Mac Ivors Cider Co, said: “After winning overall Champion Cider at the last event two years ago, we were keen to benchmark our ciders again in an international arena. These awards attract a diverse range of high quality ciders and are judged by professional cider makers who command huge respect so we are delighted to win three Gold medals at this year’s competition.
“We are particularly pleased to win a Gold medal for our Plum & Ginger Cider which was just recently launched, alongside two gold medals for our more traditional ciders – Medium and Traditional Dry.
“And with three of our ciders now in the running for Champion Cider, we’ll be hoping for a repeat of our success in 2015.
“One key criteria this year for judges was the product’s commercial worth – a criteria praised by the judges including Oliver Wesselhoh of Kreativ Brewery in Hamburg. He concluded that the winning products are the ones, that, once tasted, you would order again, or recommend to a friend. It’s a different approach to many other competitions.”
The Irish ciders and beers which got Gold, Silver and Bronze will collect their medals at an awards luncheon to be held at London’s Guildhall on April 26, when the 10 overall Championship winners – nine beers and one cider – will be unveiled.
The 45 judges assessed more than 1,100 beers and ciders – an uplift of 15 per cent on the last competition, held in 2015.
The awards are unique in requiring that all judges are currently working as brewers or cider makers, who select the winners through a consensus approach.
Chairman of judges Bill Taylor said: “The list of medal winners reflects both the quality and diversity of beers and ciders entered into the competition.”
CAPTION: Mac Ivors Cider Co Won Champion Cider in 2015 – Greg MacNeice picked up the award and is hoping to have the same success in 2017. With Greg is Patrick Redman, BFBi national chairman.
- For over 150 years the MacNeice family has been growing and nurturing apples in their orchards in County Armagh. With over 100 acres of wonderful apple trees this is no easy task. But cider maker Greg MacNeicelearnt from the best – his dad Sammy, who, like his father before him, has kept this family tradition alive. Greg is now the 5th generation apple grower. Mac Ivors Cider Co is based in the orchards at Ardress where Mac Ivors Traditional Dry, Medium and Plum and Ginger ciders are produced.
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