Alan Shapiro wasn’t looking to get involved in cider, being a craft beer enthusiast, one sip at the right time changed his mind and he isn’t looking back. He is founder of the widely popular Cider Summit that takes place currently in 4 major US cities (with a 5th city expected to come on board soon). His roots in libations began taking stock while working as one of the first sales representative for Pete’s Brewing Company ( does Pete’s Wicked Ale sound familar?) which helped him cultivate a relationship with Mark Browner, whom he credits with planting the seed for today’s Cider Summit.
In 2003 he founded SBS Imports and secured the rights to import Aspall Cyder of Suffolk, England . He says after a visit to this legendary cidery in Suffolk, “I had what I call a ‘Wow Moment’ when I realized that cider has more to offer than what I had expected.
In 2012 Artisanal Imports of Austin acquired SBS Imports. The first Cider Summit in Seattle had already taken place two years earlier in 2010. From the start that first Summit was a hit. Alan says he scrambled to get 40 cider products and wasn’t sure what to exactly to expect for crowd size, but when nearly 500 people showed up, it was an obvious success. Since, the locations where this cider festival takes place has expanded to locations in Portland, Chicago and San Francisco.
This chat covers the beginnings of Alan’s journey to founding Cider Summit, what to expect at the Summit and his take on the current cider market.
What to expect at a Cider Summit
- Souvenair glass for 4 ounce pours
- Tasting Tokens
- Usually 100-150 ciders available from 50 cider companies more or less
- There is a guide that is published a few days before
How to attend a Cider Summit? …..Have a strategy
- Download the Summit guide that is published a few days before the event.
- Each festival has a local/regional focus.
- Go for local ciders. Or specific styles, such as Asturias ciders or French, fruit ciders, hopped ciders.
- Additional tokens are available for $2/token
- There is also a VIP ticket too, where attendees can have conversations with the cidermakers attending.
- There is a bottle to go shop at all the Summits except for Chicago.
Cider Summits locations and dates for 2017
All the Summits are outdoors events, except for Chicago’s
Chicago Saturday February 11th at the Navy Pier
San Francisco Saturday April 22nd at the Presidio
Portland Friday & Saturday, June 16-17 at Fields Neighborhood Park
Seattle Friday & Saturday, Sept 8-9 at South Lake Union Discovery Center Lawn
Contact for Alan Shapiro and Cider Summit
Mentions in this chat
De Vergeten Appel a Netherlands cidery in Tilburg
Neilsen webinar recording Cider Trends in the US and abroad and download the pdf file that goes along with this recording here
Use code LyftCiderChat for Up to $50 off your first ride with the Lyft rideshare program. Find the details on this code offering and how to use via this link
Ask for the following 6 #CiderGoingUP Campaign cider supporters – By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Ciderville.
- Kurant Cider – Pennsylvania : listen to Joe Getz on episode 14
- Big Apple Hard Cider – NYC : listen to Danielle von Scheiner on episode 35
- Oliver’s Cider and Perry – Herefordshire/UK ; listen to Tom Oliver on episode 29
- Santa Cruz Cider Company – California : listen to Nicole Todd on episode 60
- The Cider Project aka EthicCider– California
- Albermale CiderWorks : listen to Chuck Shelton on episode 56
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