The international cider industry has grown at an incredible rate over the past few years. In the United States, cider sales grew by 90% in 2012, 89% in 2013, 71% in 2014 and 11% in 2015!
These extraordinary sales figures have come about because of greater consumer awareness of cider, new cider manufacturers entering the market and some creative cider products being released. The cider industry has also benefited from a boom in the popularity of craft beer. The exposure to craft beer has encouraged consumers to try other kinds of beverages including cider.
The success of the cider industry has dramatically increased demand for workers. There are now some incredible employment opportunities available and it is a great time to get started in the industry. To help you begin your cider career, The Carling Partnership has reviewed the best cider industry courses and qualifications available.
The Cider & Perry Academy offer a range of cider courses in both the United Kingdom and the Unites States. Most of the courses are led by international cider master Peter Mitchell, who is highly respected in the industry. The courses include:
• Cider & Perry — Make and Enjoy
A one-day practical beginners course.
• Cider & Perry Production — Principles & Practice
A 4-day course in cider & perry production
• Cider & Perry Production — Fruit Processing and Fermentation Control
An advanced course for experienced cider makers
• Cider & Perry Product Development & Processing in the Marketplace
A course to help side makers develop new products
The UK courses are held in Gloucestershire while the courses run in the United States are held at Cornell University in New York and the Northwest Agricultural Business Center in Mount Vernon, Washington.
This course was established to meet the growing demand for workers in the cider industry. It is conducted both online and offline, with students congregating in Portland for a 4-day period. The course was developed in conjunction with Washington-based Snowdrift Cider, who crafts many delicious artisan ciders. The course is led by Aaron Brodniak, who formerly worked at Pyramid Brewery.
The course provides practical information on growing cider combined with useful business knowledge. This year, the course will cost $1,275 plus a $50 non-refundable registration fee. It runs June 12-16 in Portland.
Alongside its work with the Cider & Perry Academy, the Northwest Agricultural Business also runs some cider courses in partnership with the Washington State University. The courses focus on orchard management, sustainable food growing practices, food marketing, and business.
This informative website is an excellent resource for cider makers who are interested in learning more about their craft. It also contains a Google group called the Cider Workshop, where cider makers congregate to discuss everything relating to cider. While this is not a course or qualification, it is a fantastic educational and knowledge-sharing resource.
Vermont Tech runs a 2-day hard cider making course which teaches students the fundamentals of the cider making process. The course takes place at the Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury, Vermont. It is a hands-on course with students creating their first batch of cider over the 2days. They will perform all of the tasks related to cider-making including picking fruit, pressing, and fermentation. The course costs $425 which includes the supplies necessary to make 6 gallons of hard cider.
The School of Artisan Food offers a wide range of courses covering topics including bread making, cheese making, brewing, and preserving. The school is based in Nottinghamshire and runs a mixture of diploma courses and short courses.
They offer a 2-day “introduction to cider making” course led by an experienced cider maker named Simon Reed. The course covers a variety of topics including the history of cider making, choosing and using equipment, milling and pressing fruit, fermentation and maturation, and how to bottle your cider.
The Warwickshire College Group has six colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the UK. They run a number of food manufacturing courses including a cider making course through Pershore College — a part of Warwickshire College. The college makes award winning ciders and sells its own brand of cider.
This apprenticeship focuses on producing high-quality fruit suitable for cider production and creating cider. It is a 2-year course that is based in Herefordshire, a location with many developed cider orchards already in place.
Information by The Carling Partnership. The Carling Partnership works successfully with domestic and international cider manufacturers by matching professional and talented individuals to jobs in the cider industry.