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Cider and Perry Competition Judges

Meet the 2021 Judges!

Julia Burdick, Williamsburg, MA

Julia is a writer for the cider blog, CiderScene. She has worked in the craft cider industry for 3 years and has recently stepped into the world of cider competitions as an apprentice judge

Mark Gryska, Northamption, MA

Mark Gryska is the organizer of Franklin County Cider Days Amateur Cider Competition, now entering it's 9th year. He has judged beer and cider competitions for more than 20 years, and is a ranked BJCP Certified Judge.

Charlie Olchowski, Greenfield, MA
Charlie Olchowski has been a judge of alcoholic beverages since the inception of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) in 1985. He is the ninth judge to be certified in this international program that has nearly 8,000 active 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 in the U.S. Charlie has judged ciders at many local, regional, and national events. He actively works in cider education and his cider writings have appeared in many periodicals. 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 was a judge in the 2018 competition at The Big E.
Tim Post, Hall, NY

Tim completed his Master's degree in Enology and Viticulture in May 2020. He has worked at various wineries and tasting rooms in the Finger Lakes and currently works at the Domaine LeSeurre tasting room. Tim has been a home wine, beer, and cider maker for many years. Time has judged several wine (and cider and beer) competitions including: 2018-2020 Winemaker Magazine Amateur Wine Competitions, 2019 Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition; Cider and Perry Competition; 2018 and 2019 NYS Fair Amateur Wine Competition; 2017 Rodeo Uncorked Wine Competition in Houston, TX; 2018 Slyboro Amateur Cider Competition; and the Saratoga Thoroughbrews Beer/Cider/Mead Competition.

Ben Watson, Peterborough, NH
Ben Watson is the author of several books, including Cider, Hard and Sweet, 3rd edition (Countryman Press, 2013). He has lectured widely about the history of apples and the re-emergent national and world cider culture. For the past several years Ben has served as a judge for the Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP), held annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2016, he also judged at the Dan Berger International Cider Competition held in Santa Rose, California. In addition, Ben serves on the volunteer committee that organizes Franklin County Cider Days in western Massachusetts, held annually on the first weekend in November. Ben is a longtime senior editor at Chelsea Green Publishing, focusing mainly on books on regenerative agriculture, artisan foods and environmental science.

Photo Credit: Tony Laidig
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