The U.S. spirits industry has a new tool for mobilizing and political action.
Spirits United — aimed at bringing together a broad base of spirits advocates, from industry professionals to consumers — was formally launched this week by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), American Distilling Institute (ADI) and TIPS.
The Spirits United platform features information on key issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides advocates with a website to weigh in on issues that matter to them.
“From industry professionals to the millions of spirits consumers, there is a special community who are very passionate about the distilling industry’s rich heritage, its commitment to responsibility and the craftmanship of spirits products,” says Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org. “Through Spirits United, we want to harness this enthusiasm and shared interest in the spirits sector and encourage this community to join us in advocating on behalf of our industry and our consumers.”
“The U.S. spirits industry generates $178 billion in economic activity and 1.6 million American jobs,” Swonger adds. “We invite all in the spirits sector, including state distiller and bartender guilds, supply chain partners and other industry organizations to join us in expanding the Spirits United network. Our goal is to build out Spirits United so that spirits advocates in any city or state can be quickly mobilized to engage with their elected officials. Growing and activating this grassroots network will help ensure that distillers small and large continue to thrive and that adult consumers have responsible and convenient access to their favorite distilled spirits products.”
Spirits United has already begun mobilizing advocates in support of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 1175/ S.362), legislation making permanent the federal excise tax cut on distilled spirits that was enacted in 2017. Without congressional approval, the tax cut will expire December 31, 2019.
Using the Spirits United platform, advocates are sending letters to their Members of Congress urging passage of the legislation.