In 1664 John Evelyn wrote ‘Generally all strong and pleasant cider excites and cleanses the Stomach, strengthens Digestion, and infallibly frees the Kidneys and Bladder from breeding the Gravel Stone’.
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Tax on Cider

Over hundreds of years the increase in cider consumption was bound to attract the attention of the tax collectors.

In 1205, Robert de Evermue, Lord of Redham and Stokesley, paid 400 pearmains (apples) and 4 hogsheads of wine made from pearmains into the Exchequer.

An excise duty of 1shilling & 3 (old) pence (7½p) on every hogshead (about 54 gallons or 245 litres) of cider was imposed by the Long Parliament in 1643. In 1763 a tax of 4 shillings (20p) per hogshead was imposed by Lord Bute’s Government to help pay for the Seven Years’ War.

Lord Wellington’s administration in 1830 ended tax on cider but it was brought back during World War 1 and lasted until 1923. Cider excise duty was then reintroduced in 1976 and remains in force now. A 47% increase in cider duty in 1984 resulted in the loss of more than 500 jobs and duty increases remain a threat to the success of cider sales even today. Current UK cider and perry duty per litre is 25.61p for most products - though there are variations, particularly for sparkling cider or perry over 5.5% ABV.

All cider makers must register with HM Customs & Excise but you may legally produce up to 70 hectolitres (1,539 gallons) in any twelve month period without paying excise duty. If you make more then the whole quantity becomes dutiable. 

Currently cider and perry contributes around £370m annually, or more than £1m a day, in excise duty and VAT to the UK Exchequer. 

 

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