Tucked within the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed in Congress a few weeks ago was the CIDER Act, a much-needed and long overdo update to cider regulations in the United States, according to the Cider Association.
The CIDER Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to create a definition of cider that more accurately reflects the reality of the industry, says the Cider Association, making compliance less costly and more predictable and bringing U.S. cider definitions into alignment with international standards.
The amendments include:
- Changing the allowable carbonation from 3.92 grams/liter to 6.4 grams/liter (which conforms with the European Union)
- Changing the allowable alcohol content limit from 7% ABV to 8.5% ABV
- Allowing the inclusion of pears in the legal definition of “hard cider”
Before the CIDER Act, federal law’s definition of “hard cider” limited the types of cider products which qualified for the excise tax rate, causing confusion and taxes that fluctuated between wine, champagne, and hard cider.