Anheuser-Busch InBev to launch hard cider in 2014

Business Council member Anheuser-Busch will launch a new hard cider brand called Johnny Appleseed in 2014.  According to the Syracuse Post Standard, this could be good news for the Syracuse area as the Anheuser-Busch InBev plant near Syracuse is currently one of only 12 Anheuser-Busch plants already producing that type of drink.

Although it is not known if the plant will be chosen to produce the new hard cider, the newspaper reports it would be a natural fit. The Baldwinsville brewery already produces two hard ciders: Stella Cidre and Michelob Ultra Cider and is one of the A-B InBev plants already equipped with a canning line that is the specified size of the new drink.

In related cider news, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), is renewing his push for legislation called the Cider, Investment & Development through Excise Tax Reduction (or CIDER) Act.  The legislation which would change the definition of hard apple cider and pear cider in the Internal Revenue Code, increasing the allowed alcohol by volume, and allowing the product to be taxed like hard cider instead of wine.

Schumer says the plan would boost sales for New York’s over 20 existing hard apple cider producers and allow the over 650 apple growers to expand their businesses. The legislation was introduced by Schumer in March and is currently before the Senate’s Finance Committee.

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