7 Comments

    • Darlene Hayes

      Thanks. It can be a convoluted subject, particularly when you actually try and find on-line sources for the actual laws. But also really interesting, especially when you look at the differences in approach pre- and post-Prohibition.

  1. chuck

    Thanks for a great synopsis on cider regulations Darlene. I am not sure where the beer tax of $0.58/gallon is derived – I thought it was $0.226/gallon, the same as cider <7%. No matter.. The real travesty of the new cider legislation is the 8.5% definition. Some apples have the potential to produce cider of 12-13%. Apples from our area are consistently higher in sugar that their counterparts in the northern regions of this country. The original proposal from the cider industry of a 12% limit was voted down out of fear of opposition from the wine industry. Any improvement in the legal area would be welcome, however, so your support is much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Darlene Hayes

      I got the $0.58/gal number from the TTB’s website. The link is in the article. Beer is taxed at $18/31 gallon barrel, so I just did the math. There are a number of changes in the law that would make sense that aren’t currently part of the CIDER Act, harvest year dates, for example. If you look at national sales figures for the last 5 years, the beer industry is losing more ground to cider than the wine industry, at least so far. Incremental change is better than none, I suppose. And at least in Virginia you can get the lower rate up to 11%.

      • Billie

        Well, you picked the high number, right ? small brewers pay $7 per barrel, which is about 31 gallons. Cider is taxed the same as wine, after credits, 17 cents a gallon. If the cider can’t get the credit for some reason, like being larger, they pay 22.6 cents. If a wine can’t get the credit, they pay $1.07 and up, maybe as much as $3.40.

        • Darlene Hayes

          Yes, I did pick the higher number of $18/barrel for beer. My point was more about the complexity of excise taxes when it comes to cider. The Federal rate is dependent on production levels, ABV, and carbonation. The 22.6 cent rate only applies if the cider is under 7% ABV and a certain level of carbonation. Beer can be any ABV and any carbonation level and the rate remains the same. Another level of complexity is added by labeling requirements and ABV. Labels on ciders under 7% are governed by the USDA, Labels on ciders over 7% are governed by the TTB, and the 2 have very different requirements. Some of this has changed since passage of the provisions of the CIDER Act last week (not the labeling issue).

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