Do a flavored cider beverage has the same compliance requirements as a flavored malt beverage?
The discussion below reflects only the federal law compliance issues raised by the question. The two main concerns coming to mind are labeling and excise taxability. Individual state regulations re licensing, product registration, taxability and other compliance issues should also be consulted.
Beer, ale, stout etc. are classified by TTB as malt beverages because they have in common that they are made from malted barley and hops. Cider has neither of these, so it is not a malt beverage.
TTB provides the following as a definition of Hard Cider: "Still wine derived primarily from apples or apple concentrate and water (apple juice, or the equivalent amount of concentrate reconstituted to the original brix of the juice prior to concentration, must represent more than 50 percent of the volume of the finished product) containing no other fruit product nor any artificial product which imparts a fruit flavor other than apple; containing at least one-half of 1 percent and less than 7 percent alcohol by volume; having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to hard cider; and sold or offered for sale as hard cider." (Cite omitted) Cider having less than one-half of 1 percent alcohol by volume appears to be unregulated. Thus in the context of the question asked, "cider" and "hard cider" can be synonymous.
By definition hard ciders have less than 7% alcohol, so are not subject to the TTB's requirement of submitting the labels for approval. The hard cider's label, however, is subject to the food labeling requirements of the Food and Drug Administration. One can assume that the prohibitions for wine labels against using certain words and phrases applies as well to cider labels. Ciders are also required to provide on their labels the government warning re alcohol.
The federal excise tax rate on hard cider is $0.226/gallon, and there is a small producer's credit of $0.056 available on the first 100,000 gallons produced. The tax question is more complicated if the product has more than a minimum of carbonation, higher than 7% alcohol or is made from ingredients other than apples.
Some further material on issues raised by ciders is attached. I hope this gets you aimed in the right direction.
Passage of CIDER Act in Senate Finance Committee.pdf
Hello! Did you mean to add this question in the
AMA event here
I'm not a professional, but I believe that Cider is treated the same as wine as it is 'wine fermented from apples'.