Entry Fees and Requirements

Commercial Division
All Entrants: $60 per entry

Noncommercial Division
All Entrants: $20 per entry

To accommodate “in planning” entrants who may wish to become commercially licensed in the future, any entrant who desires to enter the Commercial Division under an assumed business name may do so.

The entrant must pay all customs, duty, and shipping fees.

All entries become the property of the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. Any portion of the entries remaining after announcement of awards will be disposed of by the Competition.

Entries in the Standard Class must contain a minimum apple or pear juice content of 85%. The Competition reserves the unrestricted right to submit Standard Class entries for laboratory analysis to verify juice content. Standard Class entries found to be made from less than 85% juice will have their awards rescinded. Entries in the Specialty Class—including Unlimited Cider and Perry—are exempt from testing.

Apple juice and pear juice may not be combined in a single entry in the Standard Class. These entries may be entered in Fruit Cider, Specialty Cider and Perry, or Unlimited Cider and Perry as appropriate.

Judging Protocol

All judging will be conducted using “blind” panels. Each entry will be identified by a randomly-assigned registration number. Judges will see only that number along with important information needed to properly evaluate the entry, such as style, level of carbonation, level of sweetness, and any special ingredients or process used in production.

All entries will be poured out of sight of judges and identified only by registration number. This applies to entries in both the Commercial Division and the Noncommercial Division.

Judges will be a combination of cider industry professionals, cider experts, sensory analysis experts, experienced BJCP and non-BJCP judges, and select members of the media.

The 2017 competition will be sanctioned by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The following evaluation forms and judge instructions will be used in this year’s competition:

AHA/BJCP Cider Scoresheet
AHA/BJCP Cover Sheet
AHA/BJCP Judge Instructions

Medals are awarded based on the score assigned by the Primary judging panel:

Gold Medal: 45-50 points
Silver Medal: 38-44 points
Bronze Medal: 30-37 points

All entries that earn a Gold Medal in the Primary judging are eligible for Best in Class judging. The Best in Class judge panels evaluate these top-scoring entries for Best in Class and Highly Commended honors. If a Best in Class judge panel detects a serious flaw during their evaluation (such as mousiness), that entry will be referred to a Secondary judging panel. The Secondary panel will thoroughly re-evaluate the entry, complete a new scoresheet, and assign a new score that takes the place of the score assigned by the Primary panel.

Use of Competition Awards in Marketing

Vintage ciders and perries that earn a Medal or a Best in Class award may use self-adhesive award labels approved and supplied by the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition in accordance with the award earned in the judging. These may only be used on cider or perry of the same batch and vintage from which the winning entry was supplied. There is no time limit on use of these labels provided they are applied to bottles from the same batch.

Non-vintage ciders may reference the award for marketing purposes only by year. For example, a 2017 Gold Medal winner may advertise winning a 2017 Gold Medal in 2018 and beyond, but not in a way that implies that the same product won a 2018 Gold Medal (unless it wins a 2018 Gold Medal as well). Brands may not refer to themselves as award winning in reference to this competition without referencing clearly the full competition name, the year, and the style category name in which the award was won.

Use of any award in a misleading way may result in that award being rescinded and the offending producer being barred from future competitions. Producers are responsible for ensuring that distributors, retailers, and restaurants use awards in advertising and marketing in accordance with competition rules. Failure to maintain proper control of the use of these awards may also result in the award being rescinded and in ineligibility to compete in future competitions.

Feedback is supplied to aid producers in understanding how ciders were perceived by judges and what the relative strengths and weaknesses were perceived to be. Individual judges’ comments are not to be quoted for marketing purposes without the express prior approval of the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition.

The Competition wishes to encourage experimentation and help producers discover their strengths. Consequently, entries from trial batches are permitted. However, awards made to entries from trial batches may not be referenced by the producer or its distributors and retailers for marketing purposes without the express prior approval of the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. Trial batches are defined as those that represent less than 100 gallons (US) or less than 5% of total producer production—whichever represents the greater volume—or batches that are not available for sale to the public.