ACA Advocates for Ice Cider Standards

The board of the American Cider Association recently send a letter to the L’Association des Industries des Cidres et Vins de fruits de l’UE (AICV), or the European Cider and Fruit Wine Association urging them to recognize the precedent for the definition of Ice Cider (Cidre de Glace) set by the government of Quebec, Canada.

The AICV is currently in the process of developing marketing standards for Ice Cider/Apple Ice Wine in Europe and the ACA board felt it was timely to urge that the organization adopt the definition set by the government of Quebec, where the style of cider originated in the 1990s as the standard definition.

The definition is as follows: “Ice Cider” – cider obtained by the fermentation of juice of apples that has a pre-fermentation sugar content of not less than 30° Brix achieved solely by natural cold, producing a finished product with a residual sugar content of not less than 130 g per  litre and an actual alcoholic strength of more than 7% by volume but not more than 13% by volume.”

This definition has been accepted by the ACA and by GLINTCAP and the required use of natural cold weather for cryo-extraction or cryo-concentration is enforced by our U.S. Federal Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB)  with respect to labeling. 

You can read the full letter from the ACA board here.

Dry Cider Directory

We’re collecting the 0g sugar ciders of all our members and loading them into the air table below! Explore the directory filters and sorting options and learn what you can seek out in your area. Join us in the conversation about no-sugar ciders on Instagram with #pickdrycider. Please confirm nutritional information with the cideries themselves.

Test Driving a Cider Lexicon

The American Cider Association introduced our first cider style guide in 2017.  Our ultimate target audience was consumers. How can we help consumers find a cider they like and come back to the category again and again, and how can we advance this goal by training beverage professionals, the folks that interface between the producer and consumers?

We stipulated from the start that the style guide was meant to be an evolving document that could grow with the industry. The release of the guide sparked critical conversations about the power of words, how consumers interact with cider, and how the guide could be improved to further facilitate those interactions. We made minor changes in the 2018 version, but after training hundreds of people through our Certified Cider Professionals program we came to the conclusion that the current vision of the guidelines was not as effective as we wanted it to be.

We are happy to share with you this latest evolution in language. It was developed based on industry feedback as well as our experience training Certified Cider Professionals. Our goal is to use this language to teach the beverage and hospitality industries about cider and to align on the language we use to describe a cider while maintaining the flexibility to celebrate regionality. We are soliciting your input on this updated approach. 

 Key changes include: 

  • Simpler product families focused on the ingredients paired with more objective terms for describing the thing that matters most to a consumer : How does it taste?
    • Does it taste dry or sweet?
    • Is it tart? Spicy? Sour? Floral?
    • Is it fruit-forward or tannic?
    • Is it light, medium, or full-bodied?
    • Does it taste like the adjunct? 
  • Focusing on the accepted scientific classifications of apples: sweet, sharp, bittersweet and bittersharp. 
  • The introduction of a lexicon with descriptive phrases and terms that tell the consumer more about how the cider was made and how it tastes, many that are already widely used within the beverages industries.

Please review the following lexicon framework from the view of a consumer. Is there something we’ve missed? Something we need to consider cutting?  We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. You can contact us specifically about this project at

American Cider Association Solicits Feedback On Cider Styles

It is the American Cider Association’s mission to move our industry forward and grow a cider community that is successful and inclusive, entrepreneurial and diverse. That’s why the USCAM’s style guidelines are a living document – a work in progress, open to new information and new perspectives. We encourage anyone to provide feedback through our annual style survey [Click here to access], which will be open through July  31st. Additionally, our board has begun to reach out individually to members of our diverse cider community.  In particular, we have been hearing anecdotally from Heritage cider producers at CiderCon® and elsewhere about various concerns with that label.  These concerns were augmented by discussions raised by a recent article. 

In the coming weeks we will be soliciting feedback from all producers who primarily make that style of cider, and will use that feedback to plot a responsive course of engagement and action.  It won’t be fast or easy, but we are dedicated to progress for the entire cider community. The American Cider Association is committed to inclusivity, and hope you will join us as we grow.  


NOW OPEN: 2019 Feedback Form for American Cider Association Cider Styles

Hand holding a red-fleshed apple

We call our American Cider Association Cider Style Guide a living document. We’ve updated it twice since its first release in the fall of 2017, both times based on the feedback of the cider industry. It’s our goal to be transparent and responsive to our members, so we built an annual feedback mechanism directly into our cider lexicon program, including the style guide. The cider industry is evolving, so we should be too. We are pleased to announce that we are opening the 2019 feedback window until July 31, 2019. 

The current version of the guide includes the following styles: 

  • Heritage Cider
  • Modern Cider
  • Modern Perry
  • Heritage Perry
  • Fruit Cider
  • Spiced Cider
  • Botanical Cider
  • Heritage Rosé Cider
  • Modern Rosé Cider
  • Hopped Cider
  • Wood-aged Cider
  • Sour Cider
  • Ice Cider
  • New England Style Cider
  • Specialty Cider and Perry

We welcome input from all walks of cider makers and industry professionals. We seek feedback on existing styles as well as suggestions for new ones. 

Please provide as much evidence as possible in your submissions to help us in our review process. 

We encourage your participation. Thank you for joining us in this industry-wide dialogue.

Thank you to Northwest Cider Association for the featured image.