“There are now over 1000 estimated cideries in the US, and cider’s regional market share continues to grow in the double digit range,” shared ACA executive director, Michelle McGrath. “Regional brands are about to hit 40% of cider’s off-premise market share according to Nielsen. It means that more and more cideries will be creating jobs on Main Street, America.”
Although the numbers point to growth at a macro scale, the ACA estimates that 70% of cideries experienced a reduction in gross revenue due to Covid. As a result, most cideries were forced to lay off employees. CiderPros.com hopes that those unemployed cider professionals seeking new employment can use the site as a resource.
“It is primarily designed to host job announcements, but there is also a marketplace for cideries to sell used equipment and a blog where CiderPros.com plans to share short-form articles regarding human resources, team management and other tools for cidery employers,” shared Bri Valliere, owner of Fermentability Consulting and principal designer of CiderPros.com. The team plans to introduce new functionalities on the site over the next year.
Both the ACA and CINA offer professional development opportunities through their non-profits. ACA offers the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program, a certification and educational program geared to bartenders, beverage buyers, sommeliers, and distributors. CINA teaches its students the art and science of fermenting apple juice to produce hard cider. Many of today’s cidery owners have completed training with CINA and many taproom staff have completed training with CCP. “CiderPros.com is a resource for CINA graduates whether they have opened their own cidery and need to hire or are looking for employment as a cidermaker,” shared CINA executive director, Brighid O’Keane.
They also hope that the site can help the industry attract and retain diverse employees.
“An industry-specific job site could easily reinforce underrepresentation of certain groups in cider, but we are challenging ourselves to be a part of the solution,” shared McGrath. “It’s going to take purposeful work for that to happen.”
Authentic partnerships with organizations whose missions promote equity and inclusion in the beverage industry are one approach the group is exploring. For example, CiderPros.com has recently welcomed the Pomme Boots Society as a project partner. The Pomme Boots Society is a group for women in the cider industry. Founded in 2015, Pomme Boots has long provided grassroots job resource sharing for women in the field. Pomme Boots has also spearheaded critical dialogues around diversity, women’s roles, alcohol use and mental health in the cider industry.