Developed for the community of craft spirits producers, the ACSA Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show brings together distillers and suppliers to harness the energy of the industry. In the past years, ACSA has educated 1000s to strengthen the safety and prosperity of the trade and has provided a platform to network and explore products and services from our suppliers. See what convention is upcoming and take a peek at what you might have missed.


Convention Schedule

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET Pre-Convention Master Class: New Distillery Start-Up 101*
7:00 AM – 7:00 PM ET Registration Desk Open
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET Vendor Set-Up
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET Pre-Convention Master Class: New Distillery Start-Up 101* (Continued)
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET Pre-Convention Sensory Session*
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM ET Distillery Tours*
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET TTB Bootcamp for Distillers: Introduction to TTB; TTB Basics; Permits; Records, Reports, and Returns; Formulas; Labeling – Susan Evans/Daryl Polley/Ronda Merrell/Michael Warren/Marsha Heath (TTB)
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET Consumer Committee
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET PAC Committee
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM ET PAC Welcome Reception – separate registration required
7:00 AM – 7:00 PM ET Registration Desk Open
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM ET DtC Committee
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM ET Vendor Set-Up
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM ET Education & Safety Committee
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET Mix & Mingle: New Members/First Time Attendee Morning Coffee Klatch
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET American Single Malt Whiskey Commission
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET U.S. Gin Association
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET ACSA Board of Directors
1:00 PM – 1:55 PM ET The Science of Whiskey MaturationJason Parker (Copperworks Distilling) The Partner Distributor, Not The Problem Distributor: Navigating The Complex Relationships Between Producer and Distributor to Create a More Equitable Future for AllChris Schmid (Prestige-Ledroit), Scott Harris (Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.), Shane Rietow (Hotaling & Co.) Do You Really Own Your Brand? An In-Depth Look at Trademark and Other Intellectual Property Issues in the Distilling IndustryZachary Hiller (William Price Distilling Company) A Crash Course in Distillery Branding – Isaac Arthur/Cody Fague (CODO Design)
2:00 PM – 2:55 PM ET Tips and TricksJohnny Jeffery (Bently Heritage), John McKee (Headframe Spirits and Manufacturing) How Do You Grow a Challenger Distilling Brand in a Three-Tier Sales Market, Where the Big Brands Have All the Power and All the Share?Jason Barrett/Jeff Fairbrother (Black Button Distilling) A Distillery Disaster: How To Be PreparedRob Pinson (Waller Law), Paul Steele (Martin & Zerfoss) TTB Reporting 101: Federal Reporting BasicsCaroline Calhoun (FIVE x 5 Solutions)
2:55 PM – 3:00 PM ET Break
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET STEPUP Board of Directors
3:00 PM – 3:55 PM ET Microbiological and Biochemical Considerations for Optimized Distillery OperationsPat Heist (Ferm Solutions) Finding the Best Distributor FitMichael Wangbickler (Balzac Communications) Living in Excess: The Business and Legal Considerations for Turning Unused Capacity Into RevenueCorey Day (Stoel Rives, LLP) The Fire Protection and Life Safety ChallengeMichael Reardon (Reardon Fire Consulting)
4:00 PM – 4:55 PM ET Designing Ready to Drink Cocktails Kris Bohm (Distillery Now Consulting) How is Your Relationship With Your Distributor: Are You a Partner or a Pain?Melissa Katrincic (Durham Distillery) Effective Brand Marketing & Trademark ComplianceAlesha Dominique/Alexandra Anfuso (Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp)
Five Key Elements in Growing an Effective Safety CultureMatt Stinchfield (Whalen Insurance)
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET Holiday Party/Exhibit Hall Ribbon Cutting (Exhibit Hall Open) – Sponsored by Amoretti
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM ET Registration Desk Open
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM ET Guild Roundtable
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM ET Breakfast
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM ET Keynote Address – Presented by Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Dogfish Head Distilling Co.)
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET Sam Calagione Book Signing Post Presentation
10:30 AM – 2:30 PM ET Vendor Trade Show Open
10:30 AM – 1:30 PM ET Good Guy Distillers
10:45 AM – 12:45 PM ET Craft Spirits Live Stage
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET Lunch
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM ET ACSA Book Market & Authors Pavilion
1:30 PM – 2:25 PM ET Minnesota Department of Agriculture Rye Study Follow-UpMike Swanson (Far North Spirits) The Ever-Changing Face of the On PremiseMitch Stefani/Drew Hummel (Nielsen CGA) Creating A Positive Workplace – Tyler LaCorata/Ryan Sadis/Kerianne Krause (Beyond Distilling Co.) What To Do When You Have an Unusual ProductSusan Evans (TTB)
2:30 PM – 3:25 PM ET Naked Malt WhiskeyJamie Burns (The Family Jones), Dr. Brigid Meints (Oregon State University) Telling Your Brand Story: Effective Tools To Stand Out While Fitting Into the Drinks Media Conversation – Alexandra S. Clough (GATHER PR) Connecting Strategy to PurposeCourtney McKee (Headframe Spirits and Manufacturing) Creating a New Spirits Category – Christian Krogstad (Westward Whiskey), Colin Keegan (Santa Fe Spirits), Jared Himstedt (Balcones Distilling), Randy Hudson (Triple Eight Distillery), Steve Hawley (American Single Malt Whiskey Commission)
3:25 PM – 3:40 PM ET Break
3:40 PM – 4:35 PM ET What’s the Big Deal About Glycosidic Nitrile (GN)?Tim Roberts (Country Malt Group) 2020/21 Spirits Industry M&A Year in Review: Factors Driving Robust Investment ActivityKevin O’Brien (Zepponi & Company) Partnering With Charities & Organizations That Align With (and Elevate) Your BrandRob Cordes (Garrison Bros.) Cannabis & Spirits TodayPaul Hletko (FEW Spirits), Austin Stevenson (Vertosa), Ryan Malkin (Malkin Law), Chris Anderson (BevZero)
4:40 PM – 5:35 PM ET Cracking the Rye Problem: Take Care of High Viscosity and Lower Yield – Andrew Fratianni (International Flavors & Fragrances)  Craft Spirits Data Project – Emily Pennington (Park Street) The Financial Returns of Operating a Sustainable DistilleryConnie Baker (Marble Distilling Co.) Making the Rounds With Gin – Where Are We Headed Next?Gary Spedding (BDAS LLC) 
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM ET Repeal Day Celebration – Sponsored by Speakeasy Co.; Entertainment Sponsored by Zella May
6:45 AM – 7:30 AM ET Yoga & Meditation
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET Registration Desk Open
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM ET How to Utilize and Blend Unique Barrels to Improve Product Quality and Target Specific Flavor Developments in Barrel Aged SpiritsAndrew Wiehebrink (Independent Stave Company) Malt Flavor and Aroma Creation and Translation to SpiritTyler Schoales (Great Western Malting) From Bee to Bottle Keith Seiz (National Honey Board)
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM ET Breakfast + Town Hall: Meet the Officers, Board of Directors, Membership
10:30 AM – 1:30 PM ET Vendor Trade Show Open
10:30 AM – 1:30 PM ET Good Guy Distillers
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET Whose Fault Is It?* – Ashley Barnes (The Spirits Group) – members-only
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET Craft Spirits Live Stage
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET Lunch Inside Exhibit Hall
1:45 PM – 2:40 PM ET Optimizing Spirit Production to Improve Quality, Efficiency and Profitability of Your Distillery: Focus 1-Mashing Mitch Codd (Lallemand) Celebrity Status in the Spirits SpaceAlexandra S. Clough (GATHER PR), Murphy Quint (Cedar Ridge Distillery), Jared Poe (Sweetens Cove Spirits), Andres Correa (Park Street) Direct to Consumer: What Does it Mean, and What Has it Meant for the Wine & Spirits Industries? –Kelly Woodcock (Westward Whiskey), John Caldwell (Caldwell Winery), Dan Farber (Osocalis Distillery)
2:45 PM – 3:40 PM ET Optimizing Spirit Production to Improve Quality, Efficiency and Profitability of Your Distillery: Focus 2-Yeast – Annick Mercier (Lallemand) How to Develop a Digital Presence That Drives SalesJosh Jacobs/Michael Bowen (Speakeasy Co.) Direct to Consumer: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Tools to Help Navigate the Legal & Political Landscapes of DtC ShippingAlex Koral (Sovos), Theresa Shircliffe (UPS), Dan Farber (Osocalis Distillery)
3:45 PM – 4:40 PM ET Optimizing Spirit Production to Improve Quality, Efficiency and Profitability of Your Distillery: Focus 3-Nutrients – Dick Barba (Lallemand) Measuring Social Media ROISusan Mooney/Francisco Lyons (Spirits Consulting Group) Direct to Consumer: Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re GoingEric Gregory (KDA), Teresa Casey (NYSDG), Brian Facquet (Do Good Spirits), Ryan Friesen (Blinking Owl Distillery), Dan Farber (Osocalis Distillery)
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM ET Happy Hour
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM ET Spirits Soiree: Dinner & Awards Banquet – Sponsored by Republic National Distributing Co.; Dinner & Awards Banquet Wine Sponsored by Huber Winery & Starlight Distillery
9:30 PM – 10:30 PM ET Sips of Award Winning Spirits
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET Vendor Move Out

*Additional Fee

Convention schedule is subject to changes.

WHAT: 8th Annual Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show

WHEN: December 4-6, 2021

WHERE: Kentucky International Convention Center

HOST HOTEL: The Galt House

Attendee Registration — CLOSED

Online registration closed, on-site registration available December 4-6.

Member Attendee: $625
Additional Member Attendees (1-5): $425 per person
Additional Member Attendees (6+): $100 per person
Member Day Pass: $300

Non-Member Attendee: $825
Additional Non-Member Attendees (1-5): $625 per person
Additional Non-Member Attendees (6+): $120 per person
Non-Member Day Pass: $400

Exhibitor Registration — CLOSED

Convention Sponsors

Health Protocols

Download ACSA’s Convention App

Make use of the free ACSA 2021 convention mobile app to get the most from your convention. Plan your day with a personalized schedule, read session descriptions and presenter bios, browse vendors, browse recommended restaurants, find your way using maps of convention venues and hotel floor plans.
  • Download the official ACSA 2021 App for iPhone or Android by scanning the QR code below or by visiting this website:
  • After the app is installed, enter your email and create your profile
  • Returning user? You may need to switch to the 2021 convention (tap the switch event icon in the upper left hand corner, tap yes in the pop-up)
  • Tap ACSA Annual Convention
  • Tap JOIN

Pre-Convention: Sensory Class — SOLD OUT

If you are thirsty for sensory knowledge, this one-day class is for you! The course will start by addressing sensory deceptions and bias in tastings. From there, the course will progress to quality control and how to use sensory methods to inform everyday product and process decisions. Finally, the course will tackle how casks affect mature and maturing product, and flavors and aromas from the world of barrels. Participants will have many opportunities to sample and apply their newfound knowledge as they learn the ways sensory analysis can inform the decisions they make as producers. View course description.

Cost: $399 for ACSA members; $699 for non-members

When: Friday, December 3 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Pre-Convention Class: New Distillery Start-Up 101 

Join seasoned members of the craft spirits community as they highlight technical/distilling, business/finance, and sales/marketing content geared toward those just starting out. This one-and-a-half-day class will address topics including basic distillery safety, equipment selection, oak extraction and aging, material selection, flavor chemistry and biochemistry, TTB compliance, pros and cons of tasting rooms, working with distributors, building a sales team, general business management, and MUCH MORE! View course description.

Cost: $299 for ACSA members; $459 for non-members

When: Thursday, December 2 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Friday, December 3 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Pre-Convention Registration

*Members must be logged in to access member registration link.

If you register as a member, you’ll receive discounts on convention registration and competition fees, free webinars (including our archives), and more. Sign-up here to join!

Whose Fault Is It?

The course will utilize common foods to help connect the dots and encourage the discussion about common faults like geosmin, acrolein, diacetyl, butyric acid, cresols, and lactic acid. This session—led by Ashley Barnes of The Spirits Group—will equip attendees to talk about what they taste, how to discuss and understand what they are tasting, and where the flavors of common faults are coming from. It will also address what to do to prepare if a staff responsible for tasting loses their sensory capabilities due to an event like COVID.

Cost: $399 for ACSA members only (limited to 12 individuals)

When: Monday, December 6 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

*Members must be logged in to access member registration link.

PAC Welcome Reception

Join us at the ACSA PAC Welcome Reception. Come prepared to raise your glass as we toast to strengthening the business climate for our industry. Please consider joining your ACSA colleagues at one of the coolest places in the Louisville: The Frazier History Museum. This event is complimentary to the first 75 attendees who register. If you haven’t already signed an ACSA PAC authorization form, you’ll be required to do so upon entry or click here to complete the form prior to the event.

Cost: FREE for convention attendees (limited to 75 individuals)

When: Friday, December 3 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Distillery Tour — SOLD OUT

Spend a full day exploring five of the area’s best distilleries and get a taste of the Gateway to the South on ACSA’s Distillery Tour. We’ll be touring and tasting at the following: Jeptha Creed Distillery, Wilderness Trail Distillery, Castle & Key, Kentucky Artisan Distillery and Starlight Distillery. We’re keeping this batch small and limiting attendance. We are offering this exclusively to ACSA members first so make sure you’re one of them; reserve your space today.

Cost: $199 for ACSA members; $299 for non-members

When: Friday, December 3 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM


2020 Summit

Craft Spirits Virtual Summit: A New Journey
August 11-12, 2020
Summit Education

2019 Convention

Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show
February 10-12, 2019
The Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, MN

Convention Education

2018 Convention

Distillers Convention & Vendor Trade Show
March 5–6, 2018
Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Convention Education

2017 Convention

Distillers Convention & Vendor Trade Show
February 16–17, 2017
Renaissance Nashville Hotel, Nashville TN

Convention Education

2016 Convention

Distillers Convention & Vendor Trade Show
February 29–March 2, 2016
Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago, IL

Convention Education

2015 Convention

Distillers Convention & Vendor Trade Show
February 14–16, 2015
Austin, TX

2014 Convention

Distillers Convention & Vendor Trade Show
March 14, 2014
Denver, CO

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