ADVERTISEMENT

A measure before Congress that would soften restrictions on producers of hard cider was detailed Tuesday by Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, during stops at two cider mills – BlackBird Cider Works in Barker and LynOaken Farms in Medina.

Collins, who is a co-sponsor of the Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation Act, known as the CIDER Act, said it would allow higher levels of carbonation and alcohol content in hard cider and would permit the use of pears in making hard cider.

Collins explained that carbonation restrictions often cause cider to be taxed at the same rate as champagne and the 7 percent ceiling on alcohol content is not in line with the natural sugar content with apples.

Permission for pear hard cider, which is popular in other countries, would allow American cider makers to compete, he added.