Western Cider Wins Big!

Montana Cidery Takes Portland International Cider Cup’s Top Awards

MISSOULA, Mont. - Western Cider is honored to announce their award for Best New Cidery and Best In Show at the Portland International Cider Cup. Their McIntosh Cider was awarded a GOLD MEDAL in the Heritage Dry category and took the Best In Show honors out of 168 cider entries.

Western Cider’s McIntosh is a perfectly crafted single varietal cider renown for its vivid apple aromatics and quintessential apple flavor. Golden in color it is rich with tannins giving complexity and lingering flavor. The heirloom apples were grown on gnarled eighty-year-old trees from one of the last plantings of Montana’s historic Bitterroot Valley apple era.

For the second year running, a cidery from Montana, took home the competition’s highest honor and Cup-- the Best In Show Award. The party, hosted at Portland Cider Company’s Clackamas event space, drew 150 cidermakers, industry press and cider fans. The event was also a celebration of ciders crafted in the Pacific Northwest, the largest cider market in the United States for consumption and home to a quarter of the country’s cidermakers.  

“In our first year of operation, it is truly an honor to receive such recognition from the PICC. From planting the orchard in 2010 - to working on Western Cider for the last two years, this has been a vision that has taken many years to realize. We are grateful to be part of a world-class cider making community and look forward to many years ahead as stewards of great cider” said Western Cider Co. founder Michael Billingsley.

About Portland International Cider Cup

The Portland International Cider Cup was formed in 2013 by members of the NW Cider Association.  There were 168 ciders entered in 2017 from over 40 cideries in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, an increase of 150% from the prior year. This competition is held with the utmost regard and judges are asked to score only deserving ciders. There were 48 experienced industry judges tasting ciders in 14 different categories.  A maximum of one gold, one silver and one bronze may be awarded per category. Gold medals from each category will advance to the Best of Show competition for which a single winner will be selected by the lead judges from each judging group.

About Western Cider Co.

WESTERN CIDER’S story began in 2012 when Michael Billingsley planted a cider apple orchard in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. This unique orchard is comprised of rare, heritage cultivars grown specifically for making cider. Michael continued to plant trees every year and currently has over 4,500 trees in his orchard with more than 50 varieties. Now, Western Cider is using those apples, as well as fruit from Pacific Northwest orchards, to produce a diverse range of easy going and traditional ciders, including their Poor Farmer canned line. Western Cider’s tasting room and production facility are located on the banks of the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana. Currently you can find Western Cider in the Missoula, Butte, Kalispell, Whitefish and Bozeman, Montana markets.

Matthew LaRubbio

Western Cider Company, 501 North California Street, Missoula, MT, 59802