Thursday, February 17, 2011

Setting The Cider Free

In what will be a boon for Virginia apple growers and cider producers, the State Senate passed a bill Tuesday that will allow the production of hard cider at higher alcohol levels than now permitted. Cider naturally ferments to an alcohol content between 4% and 10%. However, current Virginia law caps the legal limit at 7%. The bill's sponsor, Del. David Englin, issued the following press release.
Richmond - With a final unanimous vote in the Virginia Senate, the General Assembly yesterday passed the Virginia Cider Act, which will allow Virginia cider producers to naturally ferment their cider without artificially capping the alcohol content. House Bill 2295, sponsored by Delegate David Englin (D-45), will launch a renaissance in Virginia’s burgeoning hard cider industry, opening the door for Virginia to become the world’s leading producer of traditional hard cider, according to industry experts.

“This legislation is a critical breakthrough for those dedicated to reintroducing Virginia and America to the libation our forebears made and enjoyed in the agrarian society from which we sprung. It will be a significant support to the development of a new industry, attractive to the tourists who visit our Commonwealth as well as our own people,” said Charlotte Shelton, founder and owner of Albemarle CiderWorks, who testified for the bill. “This legislation permits Virginia ciderists to produce a natural beverage without amendment reminiscent of what Jefferson served at Monticello and what Washington produced and served at Mount Vernon. Before this bill, Virginia ciders were required to be seven percent alcohol or less. Our apples do not know this. Apples grown in Virginia ferment naturally to something between four and 10 percent alcohol. This legislation frees Virginia ciderists to make the beverage apples were meant to produce, without amendment or adulteration.”

Great news for fans of cider as nature intended it.

See Delegate Englin's full press release here.

1 comment:

  1. Always good to see less government regulation on stuff like this.

    However, to my knowledge pure unadulterated fermented apple juice produces a hard cider of around 6% to 7% ABV depending on the apple variety. Anything substantially stronger (8%+) has most likely been strengthened using concentrated apple juice, added sugar, or non-apple fermentables.

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