Cider Industry Continues To Claim Its Stake in Washington as Senate Approves HB 1179

Media Contact:
Sherrye Wyatt    
Northwest Cider Association
sherrye@nwcider.com    
 

Cider Industry Continues To Claim Its Stake in Washington as Senate Approves HB 1179

Cider under 7% ABV to no longer be assessed eight cents per gallon by Washington State Wine; new two cent assessment to be used directly for cider marketing efforts

SEATTLE (April 14, 2015) - Washington state lawmakers passed HB 1179, legislation which exempts cider from the current Washington State Wine assessment, making way for cidermakers to apply their own assessment, allocated for the marketing of Washington state cider. With production exploding by a rate of 85% in the past two years, cider has quickly become the country’s fastest growing beverage segment, pulling it into a category all its own. This change in assessments will allow the NWCA to focus on marketing efforts on growing the industry, representing and promoting all styles of cider produced in Washington state.

 “This is a step forward for cidermakers and the Northwest Cider Association’s mission to move cider into its own category,” said Sherrye Wyatt, executive director of the Northwest Cider Association. “Building upon the strength and tradition of Washington state apples, cidermakers see a unique opportunity to clearly distinguish cider as a premium beverage, to celebrate many cider styles and approaches, and to promote the Northwest as a world class cider region."

Currently, Washington State Wine collects an assessment of eight cents per gallon on all wine and fruit wine, including cider. In January 2015, cidermakers introduced legislation to remove the assessment from Washington cider, currently defined as a maximum of 7% ABV. With the passing of this legislation, fermented alcoholic cider under 7% ABV will now be assessed two cents per gallon, paid directly to the NWCA. Cider produced above 7% ABV will continue to be assessed eight cents per gallon by Washington State Wine, and will not pay an additional two cents per gallon to the NWCA.

Comprised of participating members of the NWCA, a new marketing committee has been charged with determining how the marketing budget will be used. Initial efforts to include (but not limited to):

  • Education: Further awareness and knowledge of cider on a consumer and industry level through strategic tastings, print materials and event production.
  • Advertising: Build and execute a strategic advertising campaign to raise awareness, promote and embrace the diversity of cider offerings throughout Washington state.
  • Trade Shows: Provide opportunities for Washington cideries to showcase their products to buyers on local, regional and national levels.
  • Training: Implement a cider training and education program geared toward local bars, restaurants and retail establishments interested in carrying cider and/or expanding their selection.

“We appreciate all Washington State Wine does to promote and support cider,” added Wyatt. “With cider’s continued growth as its own category, separating our assessments made the most sense, but we look forward to continuing to work together to promote Washington-made beverages and agriculture as a whole.”

The new legislation will go into effect 90 days after Governor Jay Inslee signs it into law. Assessments will be managed and collected by the NWCA Board of Directors. While the Association represents cideries in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia, the assessment and corresponding marketing efforts would apply only to Washington NWCA member cideries.

For more information about the Northwest Cider Association, visit www.nwcider.com, or follow the growing organization on Facebook and Twitter (@nwcider).

Media interested in additional information, photos or tasting notes are encouraged to contact Sherrye Wyatt at sherrye@nwcider.com.

About Northwest Cider Association
Founded in 2010, the Northwest Cider Association (NWCA) brings cideries and cider lovers together to learn, experience and enjoy the Northwest cider culture. Representing more than 60 commercial cidermakers from throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. NWCA hosts cider-themed events, including Cider Rite of Spring, Summer Cider Day, and Cider Weeks in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia  For more information about the Northwest Cider Association, visit www.nwcider.com, or follow the growing organization on Facebook and Twitter (@nwcider).

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