It’s time to raise a glass and cheers to the American Cider Association’s first 10 years of success!
Thank you, dear members, for working with us over the last decade to grow the status and connectedness of the cider industry. 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.
“Cider Is Stronger Together” is our motto, and by working these past ten years as a community, we’ve proven it true. We are proud of the cider industry’s greatest strength: our collective grassroots nature.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on all we’ve done in the last 10 years.
Thanks to the vision of our founding board and members, the American Cider Association officially incorporated in 2013. Since forming the ACA, the board, the staff, and our members have made huge impacts in the cider world:
- Changed 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.
- Ushered 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.
- Advocated 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.
- Educated thousands of beverage pros across the country and the world about the diversity of U.S. cider’s flavor, apples, and styles. We’ve also helped over 2,100 professionals to level up by certifying them as Cider Professionals and Certified Pommeliers™.
- Nurtured 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.
- Invested 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.
- Collaborated with regional cider guilds to promote cider to beverage consumers from coast to coast, through sponsorships, grants, and strategic initiatives.
- Joined together each year for CiderCon®, the world’s premier professional cider conference and trade show, so we could network, learn and celebrate the greatness of our industry.
- Grew our industry and our association to band together for a long, sustainable future as a thriving, collaborative cider community.
We’re just getting started! We expect big things to come about in our 11th year and beyond. Thanks to your support, we have big plans underway:
- Create TTB-approved language to include harvest years on labels with COLAs.
- Add 16 oz and 19.2 oz to wine and cider’s standards of fill.
- Eliminate the bubble tax for all cider and wine under 8.5% ABV.
- Create marketable and consumer-recognized cider regions.
- Introduce additional data resources and benefits to our membership package.
- Launch 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. 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.
We’ll have more to say about our first decade and all we have accomplished together, but for now, we just want to say thank you, members!
Let’s celebrate all we’ve done. CHEERS TO 10 YEARS!
Eleanor Leger, ACA Board President
Michelle McGrath, ACA Executive Director