Oregon State University

Craft Cidery Startup Workshop


Are you ready to be a cider entrepreneur? Let our industry experts help.

Along with the rise of micro breweries and micro distilleries, the cider industry is seeing increased demand for more flavors and styles of cider. Changing laws and regulations around the United States have made small cideries a feasible option and the cider market is ready for fresh and innovative home recipes. If you are dreaming of opening your own cidery, join the Craft Cidery Startup Workshop to learn the logistics of opening your own cidery.

Taught by seasoned cider industry practitioners, the workshop will walk you through the basics of business planning, understanding market feasibility, ingredient sourcing and equipment, local and national regulations, distribution and marketing. You’ll gain entrepreneurial insight from exclusive access to local cidery founders through presentations and field trips that would be possible nowhere other than Portland, Ore.


watch-webinar-buttonA presentation with Instructor Aaron Brodniak and Program Manager Johanna Lounsbury dicussing the learning objectives and topics in detail.


Mr. Aaron Brodniak is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran that transitioned to the brewing industry and has over 18 years of craft brewing experience. He has worked in breweries ranging in size from 5 - 50 barrels and has held the titles of Head Brewer for a microbrewery and Regional Brewer for a chain of brewpubs. In his current role as a brewery consultant, he assists both start-up and operational breweries with business plans, human resource plans, strategic planning, recruitment, workforce planning, training and development, product development, marketing, brewery operations, brewing techniques, standard operating procedures, and sensory evaluation. Aaron has completed a marketing plan for a cyser (a type of fermented mead) company, produced cyser and is working on potential collaborations between cider makers and craft brewers. "I think the synergy between the two groups will be beneficial as the two industry's continue to grow." He resides in Houston, TX with his wife and two sons. Brodniak also authors a blog on Beer Business

Joel VandenBrink grew up in Holland Michigan and is a founding cider maker at the Seattle Cider Co. as well as a founding brewer with the Two Beers Brewing Company. Joel currently lives a gluten-reduced lifestyle, which was what initially spurred him into the cider industry. As a founder of both a brewery and cidery in Seattle, WA, Joel will add valuable experience and insight to the course.

Nick Gunn is a co-owner of Wandering Aengus Ciderworks in Salem, Ore and takes great pride in the heirloom cider fruit used to make their cider. Nick works hand-in-hand with producers to find the best varieties of artisan apples which can then be refined to make cider.

As co-owner of Wandering Aengus Ciderworks in Salem, Ore., James Kohn has experience working with ingredients sourcing and production. Rather than mimicking large scale commercial cider corporations, James looks for inspiration in the actions and techniques of craft breweries and wine makers who maintain close relationships with their distributors and growers.

The founder of Bushwhacker Cider, Jeff Smith has ten-plus years of cider making experience under his belt. Jeff owns the first and only cider bar in Portland, Ore. With seven different taps; brands from Spain, France, and the UK; as well as his own house brand, Bushwhacker Cider provides a robust and varied experience for cider connoisseurs.

Martha is a Field Investigator with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau-the 2003 successor to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Currently assigned to the Western II District in Vancouver, Washington she is one of 10 Investigators covering the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Northern California, as well as the territories of Guam, Saipan and the Northern Marianas Islands.
For the last 27 years her duties have included investigating wine label fraud, tracking illegally produced or imported alcoholic beverages or tobacco and conducting product integrity and revenue examinations of wineries, breweries, distilleries and tobacco plants.  
Martha and her colleagues encourage you to call with questions and would rather invest the time to help you do things right than catch you doing things wrong.

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Professional and Continuing Education
4943 The Valley Library
Corvallis, OR 97331-4504

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