Carbonated ciders are becoming a more popular choice of beverage, especially as the calendar enters the summer months, but producers say an outdated tax law is hindering business.

“We are competing with things like fruited beer, hard seltzer and ready-to-drink carbonated cocktails,” explained Nine Pin Cider cofounder and head cidermaker Alejandro del Peral.

The only difference, though, is the producers of those fruit-based beverages aren’t paying as much in taxes on the level of fruit and carbonation Nine Pin Cider does.

“If you’re going to make a product that has fruit in it and it’s carbonated to a high level, the tax is somewhere in the ballpark of $3.40 a gallon,” del Peral said.

That's versus the $1.09 that producers of a regular sparkling cider pay in taxes. It’s been coined the “bubble tax” across the cider industry.

“Having the ability to match those other alcoholic categories with the same amount of carbonation to make our products that same amount of quality is pivotal,” del Peral said.

The disparity has captured the attention of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The New York senator is introducing legislation to level off the tax burden involved with producing a carbonated fruit-based drink.

“We are going to pop the bubble tax,” he told reporters during a press conference at Samascott Orchard in Kinderhook on Wednesday. “It’s sort of as if the government taxed Coca Cola at one price, but if you make a cherry coke, we’re going to tax you at another price.”

Schumer says promoting the craft cider industry will have a trickle-down effect to where it all begins – the orchard.

“This really helps keep a lot of farms resilient,” said Jake Samascott. “And able to weather different storms.”