Cider Tax News

UPDATE: On 12/27/20 President Trump signed the bill making the reform included in the CBMTRA permanent.

On Monday night, Congress took the important step to pass permanent Federal excise tax credits for the nation’s cideries, meaderies, wineries, breweries, and distilleries. The tax reform measures for alcohol producers were originally introduced on a two-year basis in 2017 and renewed for one year late in 2019. The renewal was set to expire on December 31, 2020, but thanks to the inclusion of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) in the most recent COVID relief bill, the excise tax credits are now permanent. The transition from temporary tax bill to permanence was relatively rapid thanks to enormous bipartisan popularity in both the Senate and House of Representatives as well as unprecedented collaboration of cider, wine, beer, spirits, and mead.

The bill removes prior barriers to growth by increasing the defining production threshold of a small cidery or winery and maintaining tiered tax credits as cideries grow and meet those thresholds.

“Many cideries feared exceeding the original small producer threshold. The permanent passage of the CBMTRA removes that fear,” said Michelle McGrath, executive director of the American Cider Association (ACA).

CBMTRA had many Congressional champions that ensured its success including the Senate co-sponsors Senate Finance Ranking Member Senator Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), House co-sponsors Representative Kind (D-WI) and Representative Kelly (R-PA), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Representative Neal (D-MA), House Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Chair Charles Grassley (R-IA), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

“America’s cidermakers can take a deep breath knowing that not only will their Federal excise taxes not go up on January 1, but the annual cycle of uncertainty regarding those taxes will stay behind with 2020,” said Brooke Glover, vice president of the American Cider Association.

“These tax credits were passed relatively recently, but many new cideries have never known any other way. I’m grateful they aren’t facing a tax increase come January 1. This can provide a bit of much needed confidence to do business in 2021,” said McGrath.

ACA played a supportive role in the craft beverage coalition that lobbied to make the credits permanent.

“Our members have worked hard to host members of Congress at their cideries, visit their offices in DC and participate in collaborative days of action. I was really proud of ACA’s membership,” McGrath said. “We are also extremely grateful to our colleagues in wine, beer, spirits and mead for including us in the beverage coalition.”

The American Cider Association encourages its members to make sure they are taking advantage of these tax credits and to let the ACA know how they are investing the savings. The Association will be rolling out educational resources to explain the nuances of how the CBMTRA benefits cider businesses in the coming weeks.

“Thank you to our members for renewing your membership year after year. Your small annual investment in the ACA has added up to much bigger permanent tax savings for you,” added McGrath. “Cider has a seat at the table. We have increasing numbers of Congressional champions. Our association is working.”

The bill now heads to President Trump for his signature and he is anticipated to sign. In a time when it is desperately needed, the CBMTRA supports jobs, farms and craft manufacturing.

Our Executive Director Made Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers List!

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Cider Association Executive Director Makes 40 Under 40 Tastemakers List By Wine Enthusiast 

Portland, OR [August 21, 2018] – The American Cider Association (American Cider Association) is thrilled to announce that its executive director, Michelle McGrath, has been named a 2018 40 Under 40 Tastemaker in the U.S. by Wine Enthusiast magazine. The Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 list recognizes the young winemakers, brewers, beverage directors, grape growers, and other movers and shakers who are changing today’s beverage industry.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this distinction,” exclaimed McGrath. “The most thrilling part is the well-deserved national recognition it means for cider.”

American Cider Association is a young association, formally designated in 2014. McGrath became the association’s first executive director in the summer of 2016. In just two years her impact and leadership is visible through increased membership, a growing general awareness of cider styles and an ever-improving CiderCon—the industry’s annual conference.

“Michelle has brought real professionalism to a young organization,” shared Paul Vander Heide, owner of Vander Mill Cider and American Cider Association Board President.  “Her engagement with members, industry stakeholders, and policy makers has dramatically advanced our mission to support and grow the US cider industry.”

McGrath credits her success to the association’s passionate members, especially its board of directors. “I’ve worked with several boards in past roles, and I’ve never come across one as effective as American Cider Association’s. It’s why we can do so much with so little. All of our volunteers deserve so much credit.”

McGrath has managed to lead an extremely diverse industry towards category-wide standards, by overseeing the creation and development of the association’s consumer-facing cider style guide—the first of its kind, adopted in October 2017.

“Cider as a category is not just one thing, but an incredible variety of styles and points of view,” said American Cider Association member and cider author, Darlene Hayes. “It’s a challenge to represent such diversity.”

McGrath is up for that challenge, according to Stephen Wood, founder of Farnum Hill Cider and American Cider Association volunteer. “McGrath has shown herself to be equally adept at working among the diverse continuum of groups that make up the U.S. cider industry, from large market-driven cider makers to smaller orchard-based cider makers, processors and suppliers to advisors and advocates.”

Under her strategic direction, the association is attacking the development of new programming to support and grow the cider industry. From promoting cider education through the association’s Certified Cider Professional Program (CCP), to advocating for the fair and accurate treatment of cider with the government and the media to leading the creation of cider-specific market data, she’s taken the role of championing cider seriously and fiercely.

“Michelle is the real deal. She works tirelessly and diligently with cider makers across all regions of the US to help raise the profile and market share of American cider,” said Jolie Devoto, founder of Golden State Cider and American Cider Association Member. “She’s supporting a dialogue about cider on a massive scale.”

McGrath’s goals are not quaint. “I want US cider to be the most coveted cider in the world. I want every bar in America to feature multiple styles and understand the story behind our category. I want to double our market share. US cider deserves to be celebrated. I applaud Wine Enthusiast for doing that within their 40 Under 40 program.”

The October issue of Wine Enthusiast will feature the 40 Under 40 tastemakers selected for 2018, including McGrath.


Congratulations to Michelle!