Orchardist, Cidermakers Take Center Stage for Keynote Lineup at CiderCon 2024

The American Cider Association (ACA) has announced the keynote speaker lineup for CiderCon® 2024, sharing that apple growers and cider producers will deliver opening remarks for the global industry event. This year’s theme, Connecting to Consumers in an Age of Endless Choice, will highlight the important and historic agricultural roots of cider in the US, and around the world. 

“Our aim for the opening session is to celebrate American apple growers as integral members of the US cider supply chain,” says Michelle McGrath, the ACA’s CEO. “Storytelling is increasingly important in today’s consumer packaged goods industry, and cider’s story is deeply rooted in agriculture. The growers are critical to our industry.” 

CiderCon® is the world’s largest professional hard cider conference, and the event welcomes cidermakers, apple growers, and beverage professionals worldwide to gather in Portland, Oregon, from January 17-19, 2024.

To kick-off the event, multigenerational orchardists Kaitlyn Thornton (Tonasket, Washington) and Randy Kiyokawa (Hood River, Oregon), along with cidery owner Lara Worm (Bivouac Cider in San Diego, California), will dig deeper into the theme for this year’s CiderCon®: Connecting to Consumers in an Age of Endless Choice. Following these three mini-presentations, Zoe Licata of Brewbound will host a panel discussion investigating the state of the hard cider industry with a selection of cidery representatives from around the country: Aaron Sarnoff-Wood (2 Towns Ciderhouse, Oregon), Eleanor Leger (Eden Specialty Ciders, Vermont), Caitlin Braam (Yonder Cider, Washington), Shannon Edgar (Stormalong Cider, Massachusetts), and Casey Baxter (Blake’s Cider, Michigan). McGrath will contribute remarks as well.

The ACA hopes to inspire attendees to hold deeper conversations with fellow conference-goers about how cider can reach new consumers in today’s beverage alcohol environment.

Over three days, CiderCon® attendees can choose from 40 educational sessions about cidermaking and cider business, attend a specialty trade show with over 120 vendors, and sample cider from around the country and the world at the opening reception, called Cider Share

“We’re really excited to host the cider industry in Portland. We know the regional beauty, phenomenal food and plethora of cideries will be remembered by visitors when CiderCon® is over,” says McGrath. “Oregon is true cider country!”

Tickets for CiderCon® are still available through www.ciderassociation.org with discounted tickets offered to ACA members. The ACA reports that registration is outpacing all prior years, and they anticipate they will declare the event sold out in early January. The ACA is a 501C(6) nonprofit dedicated to supporting and protecting the U.S. hard cider industry.

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