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Cider and Perry Competition Judges

Meet the 2018 Judges!


Mark Gryska, Northampton, MA

Mark Gryska is the organizer of Franklin County Cider Days Amateur Cider Competition now entering it's 7th year. He has judges Beer and Cider Competitions for more than 15 years and is a ranked BJCP Certified Judge.

Emily Kovach, Havertown, PA
Emily Kovach is a writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She mostly writes about food and drink, and is currently the editor of Cider Culture, an online cider publication, and The Town Dish, a food and restaurant news site covering the Greater Philadelphia area and Central PA.

Charlie Olchowski, Greenfield, MA
Charlie has been a judge of alcoholic beverages since the inception of the Beer Judge Certification Program in 1985. He is the ninth judge to be certified in an international program that has over six thousand judges. In organizing one of the competitions for the New England Homebrewer of the Year Award, he and others included ciders and meads in the judging. It was the first real forum for judging ciders. Charlie has judged ciders at many events. He actively works in cider education. He is a panelist in several forums at Cider Days held in Franklin County, Massachusetts each November, which he co-founded with Paul Correnty in 1994. He has been a judge of ciders at the last two years of cider competitions at The Big E. He has judged ciders regularly in the New England region and most recently judged at GLINTCAP in Grand Rapids, MI, the largest cider and perry competition in the world.

Curt Sherrer, Turners Falls, MA
Earned a BS from UC Davis in Fermentation Science in 1986, was a consulting winemaker for 10 years in Maryland and Virginia. Earned another BS from Univ. of Maryland in Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Biochemical Engineering in 1993. Worked 12 years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examining the alcoholic beverage patent applications. Started Millstone Cellars, a winery/cidery in Maryland in 2011 where I managed and produced hard ciders and meads until today. Have recently partnered with April Woodard to start Wild Child Cellars, a winery/cidery to be located in Turners Falls, MA that is expected to open in June of 2018.

Ria Windcaller, Shutesbury, MA
Ria Windcaller is the Producer and Host of Cider Chat, a weekly podcast interviewing makers, cider enthusiasts, and people in the cider trade from around the world. The Cider Journal calls Cider Chat “America’s premier cider podcast”.She has won awards for her own home made cider and has helped many participants over the course of the first 17 years of CiderDays, the oldest cider fest in the US learn “How to make cider”. In 2018, Ria launched Totally Cider Tours - offering all inclusive cider tours to world-wide.

April Woodard, Shutesbury, MA

My cider adventure began fourteen years ago as a home cider maker. I have been teaching/presenting for many years at Franklin County Cider Days, and enjoy being a member of the committee as well. In the last years, I have been working as a consultant with various Cider companies in and out of Massachusetts with my expertise in marketing, sales, social media and stragegy. I have most recently partnered with Curt Sherrer in a new Cider/Event space, Wild Child Cellars, in Turners Falls Ma slated to be open this summer. We will be producing barrel aged cider, cider pantry products and hosting a Cider Bar and Event Space.

Contact Us!
If you have any questions please email us at aginfo@TheBigE.com or call us at (413) 205 - 5011.

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