Ontario Craft Cider Competition

Ontario Craft Cider Competition

OFVC is pleased to present the 9th Annual Craft Cider Competition featuring Ontario cider businesses from across the province. A commercial producer for the purpose of this competition is considered a producer with a manufacturer's license issued by Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

When: Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Where: Niagara Falls Convention Center, 6815 Stanley Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3Y9

REGISTER NOW: Click here to enter


  1. Modern Cider

    Modern Ciders are made from 100% Ontario apples only with no other fruits permitted. Sweet ciders must not be cloying. Dry ciders must not be too austere.

    Entry specifications:
    • Carbonated (either naturally or artificially will be accepted)
    • Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.020
    • ABV: 5 – 8%
    • Residual sugar between 10 – 50 grams/litre
    • PH 3.3 – 3.8

  2. Specialty Cider

    Specialty Cider includes:

    1. Fruit Ciders: made from 100% Ontario apples with other fruits or fruit juices.
    2. Hopped Ciders: made from 100% Ontario apples infused with hops.
    3. Botanical Ciders: made from 100% Ontario apples with spices, herbs, and vegetables.
    4. Barrel Aged Ciders: made from 100% Ontario apple ciders where the wood barrel ageing or fermenting imparts a significant flavour contribution/character to the cider.

    Entry specifications:
    • Carbonated (either naturally or artificially will be accepted)
    • Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.020
    • ABV: 5 – 10%
    • Residual sugar between 10 – 50 grams/litre
    • PH 3.3 – 3.8

  3. Traditional/Heritage Cider
  4. Cider made using bittersweet/bittersharp apple varieties, often referred to as Heirloom Varieties, that are now grown in Ontario. These apples are often only used to make cider. These ‘old world’ apples often have higher tannins and more acidity which add more complexity to cider. Flavour profile has complex aromas, funky apple flavour with good mouthfeel, some astringency and long aftertaste. May be spicy/smoky, phenolic, with farmyard/old-horse characters. These flavour notes are positive but not required. If present, they must not dominate; in particular, the phenolic and farmyard notes should not be heavy.

    1. May include wild/crab apples locally sourced for added acidity/tannin balance.
    2. May or may not be made by spontaneous fermentation.
    3. May commonly have gone through malo-lactic (MLF) fermentation.
    4. May be single varietal.

    Entry specifications:
    • Carbonation range from still to sparkling. (either naturally or artificially)
    • Final Gravity: 0.995 – 1.020
    • ABV 6 – 10%
    • Residual Sugar between 1-35 grams/litre
    • PH 2.95 – 3.5
    • Typically medium yellow to amber in colour
    • Clarity may be slightly hazy to brilliant

Cider Delivery

Entries must be 1500 mL (or equivalent) and shipped or dropped off to:

Ontario Apple Growers
Attn: Kelle Neufeld
1634 South Service Road
St. Catharines, ON L2R 6P9
905-688-0990 x 236

Cider MUST be received by Friday, February 16 at 12:00 pm. Late entries will be disqualified.


2023 Winners

Modern Craft Cider
1st - Thornbury Craft Company, Premium Apple Cider
2nd - Niagara Cider Company, No. 1 Dry Apple Cider
3rd - Ernest Cider Company, Ernest Cider Dry

Specialty Craft Cider
1st - Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery, Forbidden Hopped
2nd - Loch Mor Cider Company, Sour Cherry
3rd - Shiny Apple Cider, Shiny Apple Cider Pineapple Mango

Heritage/Traditional Craft Cider
1st - Loch Mor Cider Company, Kingston Black
2nd - West Avenue Cider Ltd, Heritage Dry
3rd - Georgian Hills Vineyards, Ardiel Apple Dry Cider

The 2024 winners will be announced at the cider session on Wednesday, February 21 at OFVC taking place at the Niagara Falls Convention Center.