Free Sensory Training Day


Held at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, CA.


Monday, August 28th, 2017, the day before judging. Begins at 10am and ends in the afternoon, roughly around 4pm.

Afterwards, judges are welcome to join us for a special Judge's Dinner at Gowan's Redwood Grove. RSVP only.


This is a learning opportunity created exclusively for judges and volunteers participating in the judging day, and is the only free organoleptic cider training opportunity offered in California at this time. We highly recommend that those wishing to judge participate in this training day. Volunteers welcome as well. 

Cidermakers are encouraged to apply to judge (though not in any classes they have entered) and to volunteer in order to attend this event. Not only is it a unique educational opportunity in the state of California, but it’s also an opportunity to network with your peers!

FREE. Offered exclusively to judges (highly recommended) and volunteers. Seating is limited, so an RSVP will be required.

A professional organoleptic cider training like this would typically cost thousands of dollars in travel, conference and class fees. This is a rare opportunity to fine tune your cider tasting skills!

Participants will:

  • Learn how cider is Judged and practice using the judging scoresheet
  • Learn to recognize 7 Standard and 7 Specialty cider styles
  • Review competition rules and judging procedures
  • Practice identifying faults and attributes in cider
  • Discover if you can detect ‘mouse’
  • Learn about cidermaking
  • Taste lots of cider


Experienced beverage sensory experts leading this Cider Sensory Day include Head Judge Bob Peak. The presentation is similar in scope and purpose to presentation at Cidercon, with permission from authors Awdey and McGonegal.

Bob Peak holds a degree in Chemistry and has worked as the general manager of Vinquiry, a leading wine laboratory. Peak is a certified judge for BJCP, is UCD winetasting certified, and is certified in TCA (Cork Taint) detection. An experienced consultant in fermentation sciences, Bob consults with various fermentation hobbyists as well as professionals throughout his career, and put in many years of hard work as the general manager/owner at The Beverage People.

Awdy and McGonegal sensory training presentation is available below as an example of a similar presentation.


Contact our judges coordinator Jean Flint at 707-234-3446.

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