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Conference topic: The rise of modern Norwegian cider from a French perspective

Hervé Duclos, is one of the world's foremost cider and calvados product experts from Normandy, France. He and his partner Denise are the creators of the beautiful domain Duclos-Fougeray since the 90s, where they look after the apple orchard and the production of their Pommeau de Normandie and Calvados.

At the NICA conference, Herve will share his take on the rise of modern Norwegian cider in the last 25 years, as he was closely involved as an advisor and mentor for several Norwegian cider producer. From 2005, Herve Duclos was in Norway almost every year providing advice and guidance to Norwegian cider makers, helping them in lifting their product quality and develop technology around the production; cleaner and cooler fermentation, avoiding oxidation and using the right equipment.

Herve Duclos


Conference topic - UK Cider Update: From pet nat to pints and everything in between

Gabe Cook is The Ciderologist - the undisputed global cider expert. Through world-class award-winning writing, teaching, tasting, training and evaluation, he is changing the way the world thinks and drinks cider.

He is an independent global cider expert with 15 years of experience working with the fermented apple, from small cider producers on the farm, all the way up to the world's largest. He worked across a wide range of roles encompassing cider making, new product development, customer liaison, media relations, public affairs, and

community engagement.

During the NICA Conference he will provide an update on cider in the UK and its wide range of products. In addition, he will also be facilitating a Super Final taking place on Friday 11th of November where a final round of judging will be held open to the public, awarding a winner in each of the 9 categories.

Gabe Cook


Conference topic: The taste of Norwegian cider / Uncorking wine & cider typicality

Researcher Ingunn Øvsthus leads Nibio Ullensvang's efforts in the project "Uncorking wine & cider typicality", where nine partners from four countries are represented. They have taken cider into the laboratory to get to know it in new ways. Her main focus is to establish a cider centre for analyzing ciders produced in Norway. The present project task is to put together a sensory panel, which in combination with chemical analyses, will ensure quality control of ciders.

NIBIO is one of the largest research institutes in Norway and contributes to food security and safety, sustainable resource management, innovation and value creation through research and knowledge production

Ingull Øvsthus

Mats Carlehøg, Nofimas tasting expert on beverages, contributes to setting up this sensory cider panel in Hardanger and running sensory analysis with a professional sensory panel at Nofima, characterizing the different ciders from Hardanger and Norway.

Mats Carlehøg - a former background as an analytical chemists and sensory assessor has been one of the experts evaluating different food products in Swedish Championships of Food Handicraft. And the last three years, he has been one of the experts evaluating apple juice, ciders and fruit wine in the competition Norwegian best apple juice, cider and fruit wine.

Nofima is a leading food research institute that conducts research and development for the aquaculture industry, the fishing industry and the food industry.



Conference topic: “How to build a gastronomic nation”

Haritz Rodriguez AKA Ciderzale is a Basque journalist and cider enthusiast who works as a marketing and internationalization consultant in the tourism and agricultural food sector. He promoted the establishment of the international cider tourism network Ciderlands and collaborates as an organizer, lecturer and judge in several international cider fairs and competitions such as Sagardo Forum, Cider World Frankfurt, World Cider Awards and CidrExpo.

Haritz has become a renowned expert on the world's cider, the different styles, their design, and their history. He even makes his own homemade cider and tries to give a new touch to the traditional Basque cider. A global view from a local point of view.

During his talk at NICA he will talk about the Ciderlands initiative, a network of destinations that promote the global diffusion of culture and tourism around cider and perry.But he will also share his experience on how cider culture has been part in building the gastronomic brand of the Basque Country.



Conference topic: US Cider Update - US market overview, common cider styles and market access

Burk grew up in Williamson, New York, where the town’s motto is “The Core of Apple Country.” In high school, he and his friends would ferment fresh-pressed cider into hooch, a skill that would prove to come in handy. Burk made his name as a cider maker at Virtue Cider. Angry Orchard would recruit him to be its head cider maker, leading research, development, and experimentation. Burk was based at Angry Orchard’s cider house in Walden, New York, where he spearheaded ambitious projects like their nationally released natural-fermented cider, Walden

But in April this year, Ryan Burk, head cider maker for Boston Beer and Angry Orchard Hard Cider, has left the company where he worked for more than seven years. He plans to “return to his roots in craft cider”. During the conference, Ryan will share his experience of working both in the large-scale cider production environment in the US and his return to making craft cider on a small scale.

Ryan Burke


Conference topic: US Cider Update - US market overview, common cider styles and market access

 Cider expert and author of Cider Cocktails – Another Bite of the Apple, Darlene Hayes has traveled throughout the world interviewing cidermakers, growers, and researchers, all the while drinking many fabulous ciders and trying to wrap her head around cider, past and present.

She is a well-regarded international cider judge and teacher, editor of the ciderzine Malus, and writes about cider for a variety of other publications, including a regular column for Spirited Magazine, as well as at She makes a bit of cider of her own from her orchard where she is conducting research on the impact of terroir on apples used for cider. At the NICA conference Darlene will provide us with an insight into the US cider market, highlight common cider styles and market access, together with Ryan Burke.

Darlene Hayes


Conference topic: What is a "complete" packaging partner

Mona Berg, sales executive at Nordic Pac will join us at the conference to talk about the importance of packaging within the drinks industry. Nordic pack is Norway´s leading wholesaler of packaging materials in glass and plastic



Conference topic: Empowering cider makers through expertise and experience

Brighid is executive director at The Cider Institute of North America, a non-profit organization that is made up of passionate cider industry professionals and educators with a mission to create a quality-driven and sustainable cider industry through education and research. We work with universities and training institutions develop curriculum and procure funding for research that will benefit the entire industry.

The creation of the Cider Institute was born out of the rapid growth within the cider industry and the recognition of how little education opportunities exist to train new cider makers. At the conference, Brighid will share the Cider institutes ambitions to grow and aspirations for the future.



Conference topic: The use of yeast and various techniques

Maryam Ehsani, an engineer in biotechnology, specialized in fermentation technology and microbiology (PhD) related to fermented beverages. She is fascinated by microbes and passionate about food technology,

During the last ten years she have been travelling all over the different continents, all the way from New Zealand to Norway, from Georgia to Poland, from the United Stated to South Africa, … meeting winemakers, exchanging experiences around wine- and cidermaking, fermenting and distilling fruit wines in Switzerland, making wine in France and South America, fermenting and distilling fruit wines in Switzerland, focusing on product and business development projects and technical consultancy at international level … and so much more. At the conference, she will be addressing the different type of use of yeast and techniques in cider making.

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Conference topic: Labelling in the cider industry

Kjetil Hovland lived in Oslo and was a supplier to the printing industry, including label printing. He saw that digitization was coming, but no one took a chance on this new thing as the machines were expensive and advanced, and only produced small volumes. Hovland nevertheless found that this had to be a way of life - and today he manages Digital Etiket from the green valley of his childhood in Gaupne in Luster, Sogn og Fjordane county.

Kjetil Hovland, founder and owner of Digital Etikett will highlighting the critical importance of labeling in the cider industry.

Kjetil Hovland


Conference topic: Filtration technologies for cider producing

David Bellussi is both engineer and marketeer from Italy. He works at BARED in the Veneto region in Italy, who were among the first companies to specialize in membrane technology applications and cross flow filtration separation process using porous membranes. Since 1988, they have applied these technologies in a wide range of industries fields, mainly beverages and winemaking. Davide will be talking about the use and importance of filtration in production of cider.

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He will be assisted during his presentation by Olav Bleie from Alde Sider in Hardanger Norway. Olav started Alde Sider in 2014. At the family farm, they have a long history of cider production stretching back several hundred years. Olav carries on old traditions and conveys a history and culture that has deep roots in Hardanger.

The interest in fermentation and cider production was always strongly present and with a scientific approach he developed his own style and laid the foundations for producing and selling high quality cider.

Foto: Øystein Haara


Conference topic: How to facilitate value creation in cider & tourism tourism

Meet Anna, general manager at Siderklynga Hardanger. She has a solid background as a state-authorised auditor and management experience from business.. She has a master's degree in both accounting and auditing and in finance and administration.

The Siderklynga Hardanger (Cider Cluster Hardanger) was initiated by the Hardanger Cider Producers' Association, Innovation Norway, Hordaland County Municipality, the County Governor of Hordaland and local businesses. At the conference, Anna will share her thoughts on how to to facilitate value creation in cider & tourism tourism based on her experience in the Hardanger region.

anna siderklynga


Conference topic: Nordic Cider Update - Swedish cider

Johan Sjöstedt from Pomologik - trained sommelier and chef who became a cider producer - is one of the leading manufacturers in Sweden. The idea of a dry Swedish cider that could measure up with an international level had existed in Johan Sjöstedt's consciousness since 2007, but that it was only in 2016, after years of experimentation at home, that he started working with Oskar Palm. In 2017 they took gold in the SM in Craft Cider and since then the medal harvest has only increased. In 2018, it was no less than 8 medals and in 2019 it was topped with an incredible 9 pieces and gold in all categories. Johan is an ambassador of NICA and will contribute to the conference with a short presentation on the current state of Swedish cider.



Conference topic: Nordic Cider Update - Danish cider

A dream of being able to produce world-class fruit wines caused Jens Skovgaard Pedersen to found the Cold Hand Winery in 2010. After years of experimenting as a hobby, Jens quit his job as school principal to become a full-time winemaker. A dedication to a Nordic approach to wine making means Jens is constantly on the lookout for the best Danish ingredients.

Cold Hand Winery makes a New Nordic-style fruit wine. From the best Danish fruits, Cold Hand Winery makes exclusive fruit wines, in a style that is more comparable to wine than to cider. It has so far been a huge success. The wine is in many of the best Danish restaurants.

Cold Hand Winery has won gold medals in Denmark, England, Spain, Germany and China. Winning such prestige awards indicates that there is plenty of potential and that the winery is well on the way to becoming world-class. At the conference, Jens will be shortly touching upon the status of Danish cider and the road ahead.



Conference topic: Nordic Cider Update - Finnish cider

Emmi Brownie is an experienced Marketing and Product Manager with a long history of working in the food & beverages industry. Together with her husband Aaron, she runs Lepola Drinks in Finland as well as the Finnish association of real cider producers. Lepola's cider is handmade in Ylönkylä, Salo. The cider is made from apples from local apple orchards at their own production facilities. They place special emphasis on taste and product development, locality, and sustainability, as well as openness throughout production. Emmi and Aaron from Lepola Drinks are one of the founders behind the Finnish association of real cider producers. The main goal for the manufacturer's own organization is lobbying and marketing cooperation. Cider producers who use Finnish apple juice and accept and use the definition of Finnish real cider are members.



Conference topic: The role of Geographical Indications and how the scheme can contribute to solve issues facing producers, consumeres and the society as a whole.

“Nina W. Hegdahl, an experienced lawyer, has been deeply involved in Geographical Indications since it was established in Norway.  Norway have 32 Geographical Indications and Nina has been in charge of handling all the applications, guiding the applicants and giving legal advice in the process.

10 years after the establishment of Geographical Indications in the European Union, an identical scheme was implemented in Norway in 2002.  Sider frå Hardanger received its protection as a Geographical Indication in 2009 and several other cider producers are in the process of applying for GI.

Nina will talk about the role of Geographical Indications and how the scheme can contribute to solve issues facing producers, consumeres and the society as a whole.”

Nina Hegdahl


Conference topic: Future of Nordic cider and NICA

Bernt Bucher-Johannessen is a long-standing entrepreneur in food and travel. He majored in political science and history, and has published several books about food & cider. Amongst others a recently released book about the Norwegian cider adventure. He established the successful restaurant Sult & Tørst and for several years ran the funky restaurant Hvalstrand bad in Asker, where he grew up and lives. On a daily basis, he heads HANEN, the business organization for local food, rural tourism and inland fish in Norway.

HANEN is a membership organization for companies that deal with farm food and rural tourism. They help companies reach their customers and are the voice for their members in meetings with other organizations and authorities. During the conference, Bernt will present how he sees the future of Nordic cooperation within cider and the plans for NICA in the years to come.

Bernt Bucher-Johannessen