Monthly Archives: March 2015

My Brother-In-Law Reviews a Cyder

Over Christmas (I think it was Christmas) I left a pint of cyder with my brother-in-law and a request that he let me know his honest opinion about it. It was an earnest request. And one I forgot about.

Last week a package arrived with the empty bottle and the following note:

Enjoyed it during the Super Bowl. Great flavor, almost a “champagne” flavor without as much bubbles – smooth after flavor.

Only comment, not criticism, would be not quite enough “apple cider” flavor. That’s just me, I like apple cider. What do I know?

His comments are both kind and common. Kind in that he didn’t hate it (I don’t know his preferences so wasn’t sure this would be to his liking) and he seemed to taste what I thought was there. Common because many people think drier ciders don’t taste sufficiently of apples. The equally common response to that is wine doesn’t taste like grapes, so why should cider taste of apples?

I’m glad he enjoyed it (and that he returned the bottle).

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New Cider Laws (Maybe)

Currently there are two revisions, one Federal and one state, under consideration which would change the definition of hard cider (as well as the tax rate and required maker’s license) and hopefully make it easier to produce cider.

IRS SealAt the Federal level there’s H.R. 600: CIDER Act. While it seems to continue to refer to cider as a wine, it expands the definition of what hard cider is. Perhaps the most important change redefines cider as anything from 1% to 8.5% ABV. For comparison you can read the complete current law here.

Pennsylvania, my home state, introduced House Bill 483, which also expands the ABV range. Pennsylvania’s proposed ABV cap is 14%, but still allows cider to be taxed at the lower beer rate (I think. These things aren’t as clear one could wish).

Both pieces of legislation need to be vetted and voted on. Stay tuned.

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