American Cider Association Celebrates 10 years

The American Cider Association is celebrating what it said has been a successful 10 years since its incorporation in 2013.

“Thank you, dear members, for working with us over the last decade to grow the status and connectedness of the cider industry,”  Eleanor Leger, ACA Board President and Michelle McGrath, ACA Executive Director wrote in a letter to the association’s members. “On this anniversary, we want to express our gratitude to the growers, the harvesters, the makers, the go-getters, and the storytellers. Without the contributions of members like you, the ACA doesn’t work. Thank you for sharing your time, showing up, and pouring your passion into our industry.” 

The association said its motto was “Cider Is Stronger Together,” and is proud of the industry’s collective grassroots nature.

Since its incorporation, the association’s accomplishments include:

  • Changing the definition of hard cider for federal excise taxes to include all ciders less than 8.5% ABV, less than 6.4 g/L CO2, and made from apples or pears.
  • Ushering in the permanent passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which saved our industry millions of dollars by expanding the Small Producer Tax Credit and allowed sparkling cider producers to receive the credit for the first time.
  • Advocating successfully for three new standards of fill for wine and cider: 355 ml (12 oz), 250 ml, and 200 ml. “Without ACA’s work behind the scenes, 355 ml and 200 ml would not have been included in this 2020 update,” McGrath and Leger wrote. 
  • Educating thousands of beverage pros across the country and the world about the diversity of US cider’s flavor, apples, and styles, as well as helping over 2,100 professionals to level up by certifying them as Cider Professionals and Certified Pommeliers™.
  • Nurturing relationships with food and beverage media to champion three core messages: (1) cider has a wide range of flavor possibilities; (2) cider pairs better with food than beer, wine, or spirits; and (3) cider is fundamentally about apples. 
  • Investing in gathering market data, surveys, and research to highlight the nuances and segments of the cider category, so that wholesalers, retailers, and media could see the industry as more than a single number. We are a category, not a beverage!
  • Initiated the work to understand the demographics of cider professionals and cider consumers and ensure that cider is a safe and welcoming community for all.
  • Collaborating with regional cider guilds to promote cider to beverage consumers from coast to coast, through sponsorships, grants, and strategic initiatives. 
  • Joining together each year for CiderCon® to network, learn and celebrate the greatness of our industry. 
  • Growing the industry and our association to band together for a long, sustainable future as a thriving, collaborative cider community. 

Future plans include:

  • Creating TTB-approved language to include harvest years on labels with COLAs.
  • Adding 16 oz and 19.2 oz to wine and cider’s standards of fill.
  • Eliminating the bubble tax for all cider and wine under 8.5% ABV. 
  • Creating marketable and consumer-recognized cider regions. 
  • Introducing additional data resources and benefits to their membership package.
  • Launching a new member portal that adds resources for cideries each quarter, making critical information, such as rules and regulation compliance, accessible and clearly stated.
  • Advocating for cider’s place in emerging market trends like plant-based food pairings, natural wine, climate-friendly goods, better-for-you products, ready-to-drink canned beverages, and more.

“Those are just the plans for this year–new initiatives beyond 2023 are up to all of us,” Leger and McGrath wrote. “It may be a challenging year for cider, but together we’ll prevail. If the cider community continues to come together and prioritize collective impact, the industry will reap rewards for years to come.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.