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Cider Styles
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Rules & Requirements
Mendo Fair & Apple Show

Benefits for Entering Your Cider

Why enter your cider?

  • Marketing. Awards give assurance of quality to consumers and buyers

  • Exposure to trade buyers. Distributors, chefs, beverage managers, etc.

  • Exposure to media. Local, regional and national.

  • Online presence. Listed on this site for the year as a public resource.

  • Promoted at events. Grand Tastings, Cider Summit, and additional events.

  • Sales!

There are two competitions: 


1. California Cider Competition: The 5th Annual California Cider Competition. This is an opportunity to explore California's unique terroir, orchard by orchard and glass by glass. Entrants in this competition use 100% California fruit. Non-commercial enthisiasts are welcome to participate.


2. Mendocino International Apple Show Cider Competition The 4th Annual Mendocino Apple Show (now) International Cider Competition (MASICC) for cider made from apples/juice from anywhere. Non-commercial enthisiasts are welcome to participate.

Our goal is to create an opportunity for cidermakers to help one another and advance our technical  skills. These competitions also offer a great opportunity to connect with media, industry buyers and tastemakers, and share the world of cider with them. On top of it all, you can introduce the public to new ciders, new cider styles and the cidermakes who craft them!

2018 Entry Schedule

Friday, June 1, 2018 — Entry form and cider submissions due to shipping location below.

  • Enter:

    • Online at or

    • By mail. Downloadable forms are available on the entry page for each competition. 

    • PLEASE NOTE: Because non-commercial ciders cannot be entered via the online submission form, Enthusiast cidermaker entry forms and fees must arrive by June 1, 2018. 

  • Fees and bottle requirements for:

    • Entrants must pay all customs, duties, and shipping fees.

    • Commercial Divisions: $65 online/$70 paper entry for California Cider Competition or MASICC entry. Early birds save by May 10 at $55 online/$60 paper entry.

      • 6 bottles per entry of 12oz bottles/cans.

      • 3 bottles per entry of 500ml, 22oz, or 750ml bottles/cans. 

      • 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. 

      • Award winners should be prepared to provide a case of cider for the Grand Tasting.

    • Non-commercial Division: $30 per Enthusiast entry.

      • 2 bottles per entry.

      • Non-commercial entries must be sent in bottles free of permanent labels or markings to ensure the blindness of the judging. Failure to abide by this requirement may result in disqualification.

  • Shipments:

    • Include a copy of the entry form.

    • The entrant must pay all shipping fees.

Ship to:

2018 Mendocino Apple Show & International Cider Competition 
c/o Wine Country Shipping
7686 Bell Road
Windsor, CA 95492

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 — Judging.

Open to Judges and Volunteers only. Entrants are welcome to judge, and will be exempt fom evaluating in their own classes. 


Gold and Silver Award Winners will pour during the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show Friday, September 14th through Sunday, September 16th, 2018.

How Ciders are Judged

See the Cider Scorecard

All judging will be conducted using “blind” panels made of 3-5 judges each. 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. Ciders are evaluated individually, and scored using a 21 point scale. 

Commercial entries will be poured out of sight of judges and identified only by registration number. Noncommercial entries must be sent in bottles free of permanent labels or markings to ensure the blindness of the judging. They will be poured at judging tables and identified only by registration number. Failure to abide by this requirement may result in disqualification.

Judges will be a combination of cider industry professionals, cider experts, sensory analysis experts, experienced BJCP and nonBJCP judges, and qualified members of the media. Medals are awarded based on the score assigned by the Primary judging panel.

Gold Medal: 18-21 points

Silver Medal: 14-17 points

Bronze Medal: 11-14 points

All entries that earn a Gold Medal in the Primary judging are eligible for Best of Show judging. The Best of Show judge panels evaluate these top-scoring entries for Best in Class and Honorable Mention honors.

If a Best of Show 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.

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