Feb 26, 2016
Pennsylvania’s first hard cider guidebook released

Penn State Extension announced the release of the Hard Cider Guidebook: A Producers Guide to Developing a Hard Cider Business in Pennsylvania, made possible by the support provided by the PA Apple Marketing Program, the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

Penn State Extension released the Hard Cider Guidebook. Photo: Penn State Extension
Penn State Extension released the Hard Cider Guidebook. Photo: Penn State Extension

Currently hard cider sales in cities throughout Pennsylvania rank 3rd, 6th and 7th as the highest selling cider markets in the nation when compared to percent of beer market sales. This burgeoning market, that saw sales skyrocket 71% in 2014, is continuing a steady and sustainable growth trend for 2015 and 2016. Compared with other food categories, cider is still soaring. With market trends following the craft beer market as well as the UK cider market, the U.S. cider industry is well poised to become a big player in the beverage arena and this means nurseries, apple growers, and custom cider presses will continue to have an opportunity to participate in the hard cider market.

The hard cider guide is designed to walk new cider makers through every step required to register their business with local, state, and federal regulatory agencies so they are able to open their doors faster. Many new cideries around the state have struggled with business registration and licensing because hard cider is still a regulatory gray area in Pennsylvania with many specific questions requiring a direct legal opinion from the licensing agent before the business is able to move forward.

With this guide, we hope to demystify the steps. It provides straightforward links and a timeline for all form submissions and direct contact information for cider maker frequently asked questions. It is our hope that his guide will aid in the growth of Pennsylvania’s hard cider industry, providing renewed opportunities for process and fresh market apple growers.

An interactive, digital copy of the guide can be found at Penn State Extension’s Hard Cider webpage.

Carla Snyder, Penn State Extension

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