Hard Cider – Keys to Starting A Colorado Cidery
Hard Cider is the fastest growing segment of the alcohol beverage market:
Hard cider, after decades of neglect, has made a nationwide (even global) comeback, with on-trade volumes, or those sales made to bars, hotels, restaurants, and cafes, surging 49% in 2013. Although cider still commands less than 1% of the overall U.S. beer market, it did gain another 0.5 points of share, while craft beer saw a 4% volume rise in on-trade volumes even as beer as a whole dropped 4% year over year. Over the last 10 years, consumption of hard cider has grown globally by 50% and sales are running about 6% higher annually, according to Rabobank. Rich Duprey: The Next Growth Phase for Cider Jan. 21, 2014
So, where do you begin when starting a Cidery? First, lets start with what Hard Cider is. In Europe, “cider” refers to fermented apple juice that contains varying levels of alcohol. In the United States, fermented apple juice is known as “hard cider,” while unfermented apple juice is known as “cider”. The TTB classifies Hard Cider as wine and requires cider makers to register with the TTB as a bonded winery:
Most commercial fermented cider producers must register with TTB and pay tax on their cider. There is a very limited exemption from registration and tax requirements for “the non-effervescent product of the normal alcoholic fermentation of apple juice only, which is sold or offered for sale as cider and not as wine or as a substitute for wine.” If the fermented cider you make does not fit that exemption, you must register with TTB as a bonded winery, pay tax and follow other rules for winery operation in TTB regulations at 27 CFR part 24, including TTB-enforced wine label requirements in 27 CFR § 24.257. TTB
Likewise, to become a licensed Colorado Cidery (or Colorado Cider House), you’ll need to apply for a Colorado limited winery license. Similar to obtaining a brewers permit and other Colorado liquor licenses, you will first need to form and organize your business – be it a stock corporation or LLC. Proper business formation is key at an early stage as the TTB and state of Colorado require detailed company information before issuing any permit or license.
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