Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer Battle for Cider Makers

Senator Ron Wyden discussing the Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller merger with D.J. Paul of Brewpublic
Senator Ron Wyden discussing the Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller merger with D.J. Paul of Brewpublic (photo by Nick Rivers)

Late last week Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both Oregon Democrats, announced that they both partnered up to update regulations and taxes for cider makers that will continue to promote job creation here in Oregon’s expanding cider industry. This is on the heels from last month’s stern letter from Sen. Wyden to Loretta E. Lynch of the Department of Justice and to Edith Ramirez of the Federal Trade Commission urging both entities to consider how the Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller merger would impact craft brewers, consumers and distributors in his state of Oregon and across the United States as we reported here at Brewpublic.

Here’s more from the Sen. Wyden’s press release:

The provisions included in the bipartisan Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act approved Thursday by the House would modernize outdated cider regulations by broadening the definition of hard cider to remove the punitive tax on ciders containing pear, carbonation, or alcohol by volume (ABV) over 7 percent.

“I’m thrilled that cider-makers can toast in the new year with such good news to lift their growing industry to even greater heights in Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden said. “Bringing taxes and regulations into the 21st century will free the cider industry to do what it does best — create more jobs for Oregonians and make a tasty product that’s in huge demand all over the country.”

“Cider holds a special and important place in our nation’s heritage and a growing place in Oregon’s economy,” said Blumenauer. “I’m excited we can update our laws to give small entrepreneurs across Oregon and the country stronger opportunities to thrive and perfect their craft.”

“The passage of the Cider Act creates an identity for US cider-makers through a consistent and rational tax that will allow for growth not only for the beverage of cider, but for the agriculture that supports it — the apple growers,’’ said James Kohn, co-owner of Salem-based Wandering Aengus Ciderworks. “This is a major turning point to create a legitimate, diverse and sustainable cider industry in Oregon and across the country. Both Senator Wyden and Congressmen Blumenauer’s leadership on the passage of the Cider Act demonstrates how a delegation can truly work together to champion a start-up industry that needs rational regulation and taxing.”

To read the CIDER Act, click here.

To read the Craft Beverage Startup Act (also known as the Craft Beverage Bond Simplification Act), click here.