Cider Corner: Feedback the Key for Alma in GLINTCAP Win

The honor of the trophy was a nice touch, but for Alma Cider‘s Dave Klawer, the reviews and insights were much more meaningful.

The winner of the GLINTCAP Best in Class for Wood-Aged Ciders at the 2021 event, Klawer told Brewer at the 2022 CiderCon presentation that getting judging feedback was just as important as winning an award for the small Washington State cidery.

“GLINTCAP was well known for providing feedback,” he said. “I just wanted to make the best cider and so I really wanted expert judges to give me good feedback.

“It’s so sad when you give your cider to someone and all they say is ‘It’s good, or it’s great.’ I was like, ‘Oh, that’s so nice. But tell me more, you know?”

The Great Lakes International Cider And Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) is scheduled to be held for its 16th annual event in Grand Rapids, Michigan from May 18-20 with registration for professional and amateur cidermakers open until April 15.

READ MORE: Cider Corner: How The GLINTCAP Has Helped Industry Grow

Klawer said he doesn’t enter many contests and the Alma Wood Age cider that captured Best in Class Gold was limited to 100 gallons total. Yet, it and the other medals won at GLINTCAP will be used for marketing efforts to help establish the brand to not just locals but Direct-to-Consumer buyers as well.

Made two seasons ago, the winning batch of Wood Aged came about using Gravensteins aged in five-year-old Bourbon barrels that Klawer was given by a local distillery.

“My cider already ​had ​aged for two months, then I put it in the Bourbon Barrel,” he said. “Five months later, I took it out. The Gravenstein by itself is delicious. But the notes that imparted from the barrel: releasing Bourbon, caramel, vanilla notes were intense. The wood itself changed it in a nice way.”

​Klawer said he grafted 1,000 trees at his ​Bitters and Sharps Orchard last year but expects to increase that threefold this year to help boost production.

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