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Hard Cider producers hope to see boost with new legislation

It’s officially cider week in New York State and Governor Cuomo celebrated by signing new legislation that will make changes to the licensing procedures for hard cider producers.
Cazenovia - It’s officially cider week in New York State and Governor Cuomo celebrated by signing new legislation that will make changes to the licensing procedures for hard cider producers.

There has been a recent boom in hard cider production by craft breweries and wineries in the area and some owners believe the new legislation could transform their businesses.

Matthew Critz says he's seen record attendance this season at Critz Farms, and credits his cider-manufacturing.

“Cider is the fastest growing part of the beverage industry in the United States and here in New York it’s becoming very popular with 20 to 30 something's,” Critz explained.

The new legislation aims to better support New York’s cideries by helping start-up operations have a smoother process to get licensed, something Critz says he didn't have the luxury of a few years back.

“I don’t think they were quite ready for cider producers,” Critz said.

To Critz, the part most beneficial change is the legal definition of what cider is. It’s the first time in 80 years that it has been redefined.

Critz Farms has eight versions of cider and some are made with fruit juice, so they're classified as wine and not sold in grocery stores. Now, the law will change that.

“We sweeten some of our ciders with say raspberry juice or blueberry juice,” Critz explained. “The new definition raised the alcohol content just a little bit. Producers are starting to use European cider apples, which raises alcohol content just a bit.”

Now, that every flavor at Critz Farms is officially cider, all will be seen on store shelves.

Critz Farms just signed a distribution deal for New York City and will be shipped all across the state and downstate.

Critz Farms added about four jobs when they started hard cider manufacturing, and Critz hopes the law will help continue an expansion.
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