The U.S. spirits industry continues to build torwards a broader influence in our nation’s capital.
More than 17,000 supporters and 10 industry groups have reportedly joined Spirits United, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States’ (DISCUS) grassroots platform designed to mobilize the spirits industry and its consumers on policy issues.
“We kicked-off Spirits United in August, and the engagement from industry members and our partners has been amazing,” says Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS & Responsibility.org. “Within six months of launching, Spirits United has reached more than 17,000 spirits advocates. The voice of the spirits industry is getting louder and more powerful, and we’re only getting started.”
Swonger notes that in the past four weeks, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), the Tennessee Distillers Guild (TNDG), the New York State Distillers Guild (NYSDG) and the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont (DSCV) have joined as Spirits United partners.
Additional partners include the American Distilling Institute (ADI), TIPS, Texas Whiskey Association (TXWA), Texas Distilled Spirits Association (TDSA), Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) and Techniques for Alcohol Management (TAM).
“We are thrilled to expand our grassroots reach in Kentucky, Tennessee, New York and Vermont—four important states for our industry,” adds Swonger. “Through our Spirits United partners, we are building a broad base of supporters, from state guilds to national industry organizations to spirits consumers, who can be activated to send a unified message to lawmakers on issues that matter most to the spirits sector.”
The Spirits United platform includes information on issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides advocates with a website to weigh in on policy issues that are important to them.
Swonger believes the platform has already had a positive impact. Through the Spirits United platform, industry advocates helped drive more than 65,000 communications to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). At the end of 2019, Congress passed a one year extension of CBMTRA.