Eric West - Cider Guide

I’m Eric West. I teach the world about cider and perry.

I direct the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GLINTCAP is the world’s largest cider judging, with a record 1,585 entries in 2019. I was a judge (2012) and registrar (2013-2014) prior to becoming competition director in 2015.

I received a Significant Contribution to the Cider Industry award from the American Cider Association in February 2017. At the time, only three other people—Ben Watson, Alan Shapiro, and Peter Mitchell—had been so honored.

I judged at the British Cider Championships in 2016. It is Europe’s largest cider judging, held as part of the Royal Bath & West Show in Somerset, England. I judged the Single Variety class alongside English cider expert Gabe Cook. I was also the guest international judge for the Australian Cider Awards in 2018. Few Americans have ever taken part in either competition.

I served as Interim Director of the Certified Cider Professional program in 2015-2016 and sat on the CCP Advisory Board in 2017-2018. I currently serve as a volunteer member on the ACA Data Quality Initiative committee.

I’ve written educational features for CIDERCRAFT Magazine:

Issue 9 (August 2017) — The Many Faces of the Apple (w/ Eric Lewandowski)
Issue 8 (May 2017) — The Path to Commercial Success
Issue 6 (August 2016) — Cider’s Sweet Spot
Issue 4 (November 2015) — How to Make Cider at Home
Issue 3 (May 2015) — Heirloom Cider Apples
Issue 2 (November 2014) — Tradition in a Bottle

I’ve traveled across North America, England, Spain, and Australia, interviewing cidermakers, bar/restaurant owners, importers, event promoters, and other influential people in the cider industry. Perhaps no one in the United States has sampled more ciders or visited more cideries than I have. (See my United States Cider Map if you’d like to visit a few yourself!) This first-person experience gives me an unrivaled perspective on the modern cider renaissance.

I am a Certified Cicerone and a BJCP Judge. I was a craft beer enthusiast before falling in love with cider, and I am very much at ease explaining the world of cider to beer enthusiasts.

I live in the Appalachian Mountains outside Blacksburg, Virginia. Reach out via email at eric@ciderguide.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Please note: I do not rate or review ciders. See glintcap.org to enter the cider competition I direct.

Presentations and Guided Tastings

October 2018
Australian Cider Forum
The Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition

September 2018
Australian Cider Awards
US Cider Masterclass

February 2018
CiderCON Baltimore
Orchard-Based Cider Dryness Scale (Moderator)

November 2017
Franklin County CiderDays
How to Taste Hard Cider (w/ Nicole Leibon)

February 2017
CiderCON Chicago
The Importance of Online Branding (w/ Meredith Collins)

December 2016
Great Lakes EXPO
Growing a Successful Orchard-Based Cider Business (w/ Mike Beck, Dan Young, and Andy Sietsema)

November 2016
Franklin County CiderDays
Cider Appreciation 101 (w/ Brian Rutzen and Dan Pucci)

September 2016
Black Twig Txotxfest
The Wide World of Cider

April 2016
UW-Madison Cider Workshop
Exploring the Many Styles of Cider

February 2016
CiderCON Portland
Engaging Your Core Audience Through Writing (w/ Meredith Collins)

December 2015
Great Lakes EXPO
Exploring the Many Styles of Cider (Talk & Tasting)

November 2015
Cider Week NYC
Cider Salon at Jimmy’s No. 43 (Moderator)
Reverend Nat’s Cider Seminary (w/ Nat West)

November 2015
Franklin County CiderDays
Cider Appreciation 101 Tasting

February 2015
CiderCON Chicago
Defining Cider Styles and Competitions

November 2013
Franklin County CiderDays
Spanish Cider Tasting (Panelist)

Radio & Podcast Appearances

December 2016
The Joy Cardin Show
Tell Joy Where To Go For Hard Ciders

November 2015
Beer Sessions Radio
Cider Cocktails

February 2015
Boozy Botany and the Story of Marian Anderson

February 2015
Strange Brews
Guide to Cider with Eric West of Cider Guide

November 2014
Beer Sessions Radio
Past, Present and Future of Cider