Entry Fees and Requirements
March 6 – March 20: $75 per entry
March 21 – April 21: $85 per entry
March 6 – March 20: $20 per entry
March 21 – April 21: $25 per entry
To accommodate “in planning” entrants who may wish to become commercially licensed, 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.
Entrants who request a refund of their entry fees while the registration window is open are entitled to a 100% refund. Entrants who request a refund after the registration window is closed are entitled to a 75% refund.
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.
Please submit three (3) cans or bottles for each entry. Cans or bottles less than 330ml (11.1 ounces) can only be accepted with prior approval of the Competition Director.
Note that two (2) 750ml bottles are not sufficient to meet the above requirements. Entries that advance to Best in Class Finals are judged at three different sessions, so three (3) 750ml bottles are required.
For Ice Cider and Fortified Cider entries in bottles that are 375ml or larger, please submit two (2) of each bottle.
For Ice Cider and Fortified Cider entries in bottles that are at least 187ml but less than 375ml, please submit three (3) of each bottle.
For Spirits entries, the total volume submitted must be at least 375ml. One (1) bottle is sufficient if it is at least 375ml.
Please submit two (2) cans or bottles for each entry. Cans or bottles less than 330ml (11.1 ounces) can only be accepted with prior approval of the Competition Director.
Ice Cider entries may be submitted in bottles as small as 187ml. Two (2) bottles per entry are required, regardless of volume.
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 processes used in production.
Commercial Division entries will be poured out of sight of judges and identified only by a random registration number. Noncommercial Division entries will also be poured out of sight of judges and identified only by a random registration number; in the event of a shortage of stewards, judges will pour samples for themselves. The bottles will have no identifying marks aside from the random registration number assigned to that entry.
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.
Dry: Below 0.9% RS (Below 1.004 SG)
Semi-Dry: 0.9%-1.8% RS (1.004-1.007 SG)
Semi-Sweet: 1.8-4.5% RS (1.007-1.017 SG)
Sweet: Above 4.5% RS (Above 1.017 SG)
Low: <0.75 volumes of CO₂ (Still / Perlant)
Medium: 0.75 to 2 volumes of CO₂ (Petillant)
High: >2 volumes of CO₂ (Sparkling)
Best in Class Awards
The top three entries in each Primary judging flight (typically 10-12 entries) will advance to Best in Class judging. These are the award classes for 2023:
Commercial Division — 20 Classes
Modern Cider – Dry
Modern Cider – Sweet
Heritage Cider – Dry
Heritage Cider – Sweet
Traditional Cider – Dry
Traditional Cider – Sweet
Wood Aged Cider
Wood Aged Specialty Cider
Specialty Cider and Perry
Unlimited Cider and Perry
Noncommercial Division — 6 Classes
Traditional Cider, Natural Cider, or Rosé Cider
Perry (Modern Perry or Traditional Perry)
Specialty Cider (all Specialty Styles plus Ice Cider)
Judges will award a First Place, Second Place, and Third Place in each class at their discretion. Any entry that earns a Best in Class award is also awarded a Gold Medal, regardless of the medal score assigned by the Primary judge panel.
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.
Producer of the Year Awards
These are the six award classes for 2023:
Micro Cidermaker of the Year (5,000 gallons or less)
Small Cidermaker of the Year (5,001 to 25,000 gallons)
Midsize Cidermaker of the Year (25,001 to 500,000 gallons)
Large Cidermaker of the Year (500,001 gallons or more)
International Cidermaker of the Year
Amateur Cidermaker of the Year
Commercial Division entrants based in the United States are eligible for the Micro, Small, Midsize, and Large awards. The gallon thresholds are based on cider production volume for the 2022 calendar year.
The International award is only open to Commercial Division entrants from outside the United States.
Producers-in-Planning are ineligible for any Commercial Division award.
All Noncommercial Division entrants are eligible for the Amateur award, regardless of country of origin.
Points are calculated based on Primary Round medal results:
9 points for each Gold Medal
3 points for each Silver Medal
1 point for each Bronze Medal
The entrant with the most total points in each award class is declared the winner. In case of a tie, the following tiebreaking procedure will be used:
Most Best in Class 1st Place Awards
Most Best in Class 2nd Place Awards
Most Best in Class 3rd Place Awards
If two or more entrants in a given award class are still tied, the award will be shared.
Use of Competition Awards in Marketing
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.
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. Feedback from judges may not 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 given 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 1% of total production—whichever represents the greater volume—or batches that are not available for sale to the public.