The ACA Announces the 2024 ‘Cider is for Everyone’ Scholarship Recipients

CiderCon 2024 is right around the corner, and just ahead of this industry-leading conference and gathering (held this year in Portland, OR), the American Cider Association (ACA) has announced the recipients of the 2024 Cider is for Everyone Scholarship. The scholarship, which was conceived of by the ACA’s Antiracism, Equity and Inclusion Committee, is meant to “bring individuals from historically marginalized populations within the beverage industry to CiderCon to increase the accessibility of cider education and catalyze the careers and ownership-pathways of these burgeoning cider professionals.”

“This scholarship is one of our best tools for fostering a more diverse cider industry,” says Michelle McGrath, CEO of the ACA. “The scholarship needs to work in lock step with our efforts to create a more inclusive industry so that, as we have more diverse CiderCon attendees, they are surrounded by a welcoming community and equitable environment.”

This is the third year that the Cider is for Everyone scholarship has been offered, and there were four times the number of applications than in the previous two years combined. Each scholarship includes registration, travel and lodging to attend CiderCon 2024, as well as a year of ACA membership and study materials and waived exam fees to pursue recognition through the Certified Cider Professional and Certified Pommelier™ education and certification program offered by the ACA. The 10 (!) recipients this year were made possible with support from: Yonder CiderSeattle Cider CoNine Pin Ciderworks2 Towns CiderhouseAlma Ciderthe Great Little Box CompanyJohn’s MarketplaceBeer Kulture and Lifting Lucy.

The recipients are:

Recipients are Genevieve Regalado (Benny Boy Brewing), Robert Freeman (EsoTerra Ciderworks), Britt Evans, Javier Naranjo (Oklawaha Brewing Company), Tasmine Fraser (Girl with a Cider ReviewCider Canada), Rae Adams (Wehrloom Honey & Meadery), Emily Ptasinski (Republic of Cider), William Santiago (Crafted Concoctions), Jonathan Osei (Artisanal Brewing Ventures), and José Sabas (Grape Ape). Head to the ACA’s recent blog post for full bios of all these folks.

The Cider is for Everyone scholarship can have an effect that lasts long after CiderCon wraps up for the year.

“There is a stark difference between being invited to an event and actually belonging in a space. The American Cider Association is doing the difficult and meaningful work of building a culture within the organization and the industry at-large that fosters true belonging by challenging itself to thoughtfully and carefully evolve and expand,” says ACA Scholarship Coordinator Olivia Pener, a recipient of the scholarship in 2023. “The rapid growth and development of this scholarship program is both a testament to that thoughtfulness and indicative of the program’s importance. Its transformative impact on the lives of not just the individuals who receive it, but also the industry professionals who interact with recipients, spans far beyond the CiderCon® experience. This program, its participants, its sponsors, and its supporters collectively demonstrate that cider is, indeed, for everyone.”