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Sam Reid, Cider Australia President, On The Connection Between Craft Cider and Australian Agriculture and Why Awards Are Important


“We want to make a cider that is made using Australian apples and supports Australian agriculture” Sam Reid, Willie Smiths and Cider Australia



When he’s not down in the beautiful Huon Valley, organising mid-winter festivals and coming up with new products, Sam is fighting the good fight, working to protect Australian agriculture, in the form of apple growers and cider makers, and trying to level the playing field for craft producers, in Australia’s small rapidly growing cider industry. Yes, he’s a busy man!

As the Managing Director at Willie Smiths, one of Australia’s most popular craft cider brands, and the President of Cider Australia, the industry body that promotes the craft cider industry, Sam is one of the Australian cider world’s best known faces.

We cover a broad spectrum in this interview, including:

  • The story of how Willie Smiths was started
  • Advice to people making apple cider looking to start a cider business
  • What Cider Australia’s role is
  • Why it’s important to support craft producers
  • Labelling laws- why it’s an issue
  • Why WET is important to Australian agriculture
  • What to expect at The Australian Cider Festival on 8th October
  • How the evolution of craft beer compares to craft cider
  • Useful resources for people looking to learn more about craft cider
  • What’s next for Cider Australia and Willie Smiths

And much more.



Links from the interview:


Full transcription follows:

Nathaniel: Sam, welcome to the interview.

Sam: Hi, thanks for having me. Good to be here.

Nathaniel: Yeah, no worries, now we were talking a little bit before and we kind of realized that there’s actually probably too many things to talk about because you are actually a very busy man. You are running Willie Smiths, you are President of Cider Australia, you are also putting on festivals. You must have been busy?

Sam: Oh it’s been a busy time definitely. Not many cider producers would say they are that busy over the winter, but we decided to have a mid-winter festival down in the Huon Valley in Tasmania, which is to wake up the dormant apple trees and scare away the evil spirits. Something I picked up from my travels around South-Western UK. So that’s been keeping us really busy and we’re through the pack up of that now and I suppose it’s starting to … spring is coming upon us now actually. So I am starting to think about this coming summer. So, exciting times.

Nathaniel: Yeah. And all reviews from the festival have been really positive so far; it seemed to go down very well.Check the full transcript of this interview

About The Author

Nathaniel is a cider enthusiast, co-founder of The Cider Link and all-round lover of life