Niagara College’s ‘cider house’ rules again, with second gold win at U.S. Open Cider Championships


There’s a new reason to raise a glass to the Niagara College’s Teaching Winery’s Cider 101.

For the second consecutive year, the hard cider has scooped up a gold medal in the New World Cider category at the United States Open Cider Championships.

” Cider 101 won back to back gold medals at the 2016 and 2017 U.S. Open Cider Championship in the New World Cider Category. This category is the most popular category in the competition,” said Dow Scoggins, director of the U.S. Open Cider Championship.

A spin-off from the renowned U.S. Open Beer Championships, the third annual cider championship drew 240 cider entries from cideries, breweries, and wineries across North America and the United Kingdom. Medal winners in 20 categories were announced on November 20, after the final round of judging was held at the Big Ditch Brewing Company in Buffalo, New York.

Since the College’s award-winning Teaching Winery introduced the hard cider two years ago,, Cider 101 won gold at the U.S. Open in 2016 as well as a bronze at the Ontario Cider Awards that same year.

Cider 101 is a blend of Ontario apples made New World style, marked by fruit-forward fresh floral notes, a vibrant acid backbone and a hint of sweetness to balance it out. Robertson noted that the New World style of Ontario ciders contrasts the earthier, tannic, often still (not sparkling) ciders made traditionally in England and France – a natural consequence due to differences in apple varieties and growing seasons.


The College has strong ties to the U.S. Open cider and beer championships; College Brewmaster Jon Downing is the director of judging for the competitions, and students from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program regularly volunteer to participate as judges for the events. Judging for the U.S. Open competitions are blind; judges do not know what they are tasting.

For info about the competition visit


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