The Monthly Mash: April 2022

The Monthly Mash

Volume 7.4

Member-Owned, Industry-Driven

ACSA Mission:
To elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers.

From the Desk of Margie A.S. Lehrman,

Chief Executive Officer

Dear Friends in the Craft Spirits Community:

I know. I know. I’m dating myself. But I’m going to ask anyway.

Do you remember (or have you ever used) an IBM Selectric III typewriter? It was state of the art in the 1980s and was a huge advancement from my Smith Corona manual typewriter (which is likely still in my childhood closet, tucked away with my vintage Barbies). Here’s how IBM describes it on its website:

The IBM Selectric typewriter was a radical innovation that completely disrupted the business typewriter market. It transformed the speed, accuracy and flexibility with which people could generate the written word, and helped pave the way for the use of typewriter keyboards as the primary method for humans to interact with computers.

Who knew? In looking back, I can admit that I was blown away with how easily I could produce a written work product. In fact, using the typewriter during my first career (the Foreign Policy Association in New York) enabled me to create voluminous event attendee lists with the likes of Queen Noor of Jordan or Barbara Walters or Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq or John Chancellor. Travel reports embodied design elements I had not previously imagined possible. Even better, I could correct typographical errors without having to search for Wite-Out or correction tape. [For any millennial who doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about, please see this.]

You might wonder why I’m musing about this now. Easy! Might you be using a tool or service that, at the time of purchase/agreement was state of the art but now has outlived its utility? Might you be dreaming about efficiencies you know would increase your ROI but are unsure what’s in the marketplace? Might you be evaluating whether it’s time to divert your FET savings to invest in new equipment, design, or services that may make you more competitive? More efficient? More likely to produce superior quality spirits?

ACSA can help. During our annual convention in New Orleans, we will be assembling some of the top suppliers in our industry. From packaging to stills to spillage equipment to label designs to botanicals to reporting—we’ve got you covered. Don’t get left behind. Come check out our exhibit hall, curating the best our industry suppliers have to offer. Come find the next radical innovation to support your business. See below on how to register.

Moreover, as we enter the warmer months, it’s easy to dream about sitting on the front porch, sipping a refreshing cocktail. My home does not have a front porch, but it won’t prevent me from reaching for a ready to drink cocktail (RTD), in support of the upcoming summer trend. Our CRAFT SPIRITS magazine will be covering this important craze; fad or movement or just plain easy to imbibe something fresh and innovative? What do YOU think? Are you producing RTDs? If so, fill out the quick survey and let us know how your RTDs are faring.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, read on to see the results of our national election. Like the IBM Selectric, the newly installed board, while perhaps not radical, is sure to transform our small businesses in the craft spirits industry. The Board of Directors is ready to be challenged and help advance our business interests. Do not be shy to let us know what is on your mind.


100% Women-Led Board to Steer ACSA

This month, ACSA announced that its recent elections mark a first in drinks industry history, as a 100% women-identifying-led board will steer a national trade association. Additionally, women currently comprise 40% of the elected Board of Directors, which welcomed three new and two returning members.

Becky Harris of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. in Purcellville, Virginia, was re-elected as President; Gina Holman of J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, Minnesota, was elected as Vice President; and Jessica Lemmon of Cart/Horse Distilling in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, was elected as Secretary/Treasurer.

The newly elected Board Members include Lucy Farber of St. George Spirits in Alameda, California; Mark A. Vierthaler of Whiskey Del Bac in Tucson, Arizona; and Kelly Woodcock of Westward Whiskey in Portland, Oregon. Jeff Kanof of Copperworks Distilling Co. in Seattle and Amber Pollock of Backwards Distilling Co. in Casper, Wyoming, were also re-elected to the Board.

Departing the board after the completion of their terms are Ryan Christiansen of Caledonia Spirits in Montpelier, Vermont, and Molly Troupe of Freeland Spirits in Portland, Oregon. We’d like to extend our thanks to Ryan and Molly for their years of service to the board and their ongoing contributions to ACSA.

Moreover, we extend our gratitude to P.T. Wood of Wood’s High Mountain Distillery in Salida, Colorado, and Kanof, whose terms as Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively, expired. Each helped guide the association, as a part of its executive leadership team, during particularly trying times due to COVID-19. Their business acumen and responsiveness to unprecedented demands, kept not only this trade association afloat, but aided in securing COVID-related relief for our industry.

Together, Harris, Holman, Lemmon and the current and newly-appointed Board of Directors will work with CEO Margie A.S. Lehrman to address the key issues facing the craft distilling industry, including the organization’s continued push for direct-to-consumer shipping.

“I am honored to be selected again by my fellow board members, a group of incredible leaders within our craft distilling community, as President, and I am excited to continue the incredible momentum behind our industry on the heels of our federal excise tax (FET) victory and the slow, but changing direct shipping ecosystem,” said Harris, as she begins her second term as President.

Lehrman added, “As a woman in drinks, particularly at a trade association level, [this] marks an important milestone as we announce the election of our first-ever women-led Board. Though ACSA remains focused on critical industry issues such as parity, tax reform, trade, and direct shipping, we continue to pour our hearts and efforts into the STEPUP Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit immersive internship program we helped create late last year. Through STEPUP, our work is narrowly focused on an important mission: to change the face of the drinks industry, one intern at a time. While we still have so much work to do—particularly within the communities that have been most marginalized historically—we are beginning to see a shift in drinks.”

Following these elections, the ACSA Board of Directors will also be appointing leadership to its governing committees. Those committees include Membership, Ethics, Convention, Education, Elections, Safety, ACSA PAC, Mentorship, Judging, Government Affairs, State Guilds, Technology, Finance, DtC and Development.

The national digital election was administered with the help of the Election’s Chair, Renee Bemis of Driftless Glen Distillery in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and Jeff Wuslich of Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington, Indiana.

The 2022 Board of Directors, representing the craft spirits industry nationwide, is comprised of the following individuals:

Becky Harris, Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. (VA)
Jessica Lemmon, Cart/Horse Distilling (PA)
Tom Potter, New York Distilling (NY)
Gina Holman, J.Carver Distillery (MN)
Colin Keegan, Santa Fe Spirits (NM)
Thomas Mote, Balcones Distillery (TX)
Amber Pollock, Backwards Distilling Co. (WY) (re-elected)
Mark A. Vierthaler, Whiskey Del Bac (AZ) (newly elected)
Colton Weinstein, Corsair Artisan Distillery (TN)
P.T. Wood, Wood’s High Mountain Distillery (CO)
Lucy Farber, St. George Spirits (CA) (newly elected)
Dan Farber, Osocalis Distillery (CA)
Jake Holshue, Rogue Ales & Spirits (OR)
Jeff Kanof, Copperworks Distilling Co. (WA) (re-elected)
Kelly Woodcock, Westward Whiskey (OR) (newly elected)
Thomas Jensen, New Liberty Distillery (PA)

Survey: Do You Produce RTD Cocktails?

The American Craft Spirits Association wants to hear from craft spirits producers making ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails. If you make RTDs, please take this brief survey so that we can advocate on your behalf.

Meet Our Keynote Presenter

We recently announced that renowned mental health professional and comedian Matt Vogl will deliver the keynote address at ACSA’s 9th Annual Convention & Vendor Trade Show in New Orleans, July 21-24, 2022. Matt helped found and run the University of Colorado Depression Center, as well as the National Mental Health Innovation Center.

Keynote Presentation:

Distilling Better Mental Health & Crafting Support in Volatile Times

Businesses in the United States have long been impacted by untreated or inadequately-treated mental health issues, with well over $100 billion in annual revenue loss due to increased healthcare costs, absenteeism and overall lack of productivity. It is expected that this estimate will rise sharply as a result of the pandemic and hospitality-related businesses and artists (i.e. those in the craft spirits industry) will be hit even harder. Business owners struggle to take care of their own mental health while also trying to ensure the well-being of their employees. The situation is worsening and warrants immediate attention.

Matt brings a unique perspective to his keynote address. After nearly losing his life to a suicide attempt 20 years ago, Matt made the decision to tackle the stigma by talking publicly about his struggles with bipolar disorder and suicide and has become an internationally-recognized mental health advocate. His keynote speeches, media interviews and his TEDx talk have reached tens of thousands of people across the globe with his messages of hope.

As a professional comic, Matt has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. It’s no surprise, then, that Matt’s keynote will be humor-driven—though tailored specifically to the unique realities and challenges facing the craft spirits industry. While mental health can be a heavy topic, Matt’s use of comedic levity to deliver serious messages will be consistent with the typically fun and celebratory nature that you’ve come to expect at an ACSA Convention. Don’t miss Matt’s presentation during the General Session on Thursday, July 21, at 5 p.m. CDT.

WHEN: July 21-24
WHERE: New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
(April 2 – July 8)
Member Attendee: $650
Additional Member Attendees (from same distillery): $450 per person
Non-Member Attendee: $875
Additional Non-Member Attendees (from same distillery): $525 per person

*ACSA members must be logged into ACSA’s website to receive attendee discounted pricing. If you have trouble logging into your ACSA account, please email

(April 2 – June 27)
10×10 (single booth) – $2,099
10×20 (double booth) – $3,450
As a reminder, ACSA affiliate members receive a 10% discount on their vendor trade show booth. If you have any questions regarding exhibitor registration or need the discount code, please contact Ashley Guillermo at or 702-301-7802.

Take a Glance at the Convention Schedule

We’ve lined up nearly 40 hours of convention education for you to strengthen your knowledge. We’ll have three concurrent education tracks (technical, sales/marketing, and business/finance) in three difficulty levels (advanced, intermediate, and suitable for all). Click below to see the schedule and start planning your itinerary.

Looking for More Education?

Register now for ACSA’s New Distillery Start-Up 101 Pre-Convention Class on July 20-21. This two-day class will address topics including basic distillery safety; equipment selection; oak extraction and aging; material selection; flavor chemistry and biochemistry; pros and cons of tasting rooms; working with distributors; building a sales team; general business management; and MUCH MORE! Learn more here.

Register Now for ACSA Distillery Tours

We are excited to offer two unique distillery tours before and after our convention!

On July 20, get a taste of the Bayou State on ACSA’s pre-convention distillery tour as we spend a full day exploring some of the area’s best distilleries, including Three Roll Estate, Sugarfield Spirits and Porchjam Distillery.

On Sunday, July 24, we’re offering a hands-on distilling tour called, A Foray into Flavor, where we’ll be discussing how distillers approach creating flavorful spirits, touching on barrel aging, vapor distillation and maceration/infusions. The distilleries include Roulaison Distilling Co., Porchjam and Happy Raptor Distilling.

*ACSA members must be logged into ACSA’s website to receive discounted attendee pricing. If you have trouble logging into your ACSA account please email

One-Day Pass Now Available

Don’t have enough bandwidth to attend our entire convention? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered! This year, we are offering a special day pass for Saturday, July 23. The one-day pass will allow you to network on the trade show floor from noon-4:30 p.m. CT (doesn’t include education sessions).
You can also purchase a dinner ticket for an additional fee to attend our Spirits Soiree Happy Hour and Awards Banquet from 6-9 p.m. CT.

Book Your Hotel in New Orleans

Stay in downtown New Orleans at ACSA’s host hotel, Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel, and enjoy the prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River, adjacent to New Orleans Convention Center and steps from the French Quarter. Stay in a spacious guest room with views of the vibrant city or relaxing riverfront.
Please note that this is our official block with the hotel, and ACSA does NOT use third parties to reserve or book hotel rooms for our annual convention.

Spirits Competition Judging Wraps at High Wire Distilling Co.

In early April, 30 judges tasted their way through hundreds of spirits across all major categories for ACSA’s 2022 Judging of Craft Spirits competition at High Wire Distilling Co. in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ll announce the results at ACSA’s 9th Annual Convention and Distillers’ Trade Show in New Orleans, July 21-24. We’d like to extend very special thanks to High Wire Distilling Co. for generously hosting the judging, as well as to all of the judges and stewards pictured above.

Save the Date: 2022 Virtual Public Policy Conference

The 2022 ACSA/DISCUS Public Policy Conference will take place virtually on September 21, 2022. Please also save the afternoon of September 20th for a pre-conference session with an overview of our legislative asks and state distiller meetings.
We’re looking forward to coming together across the distilled spirits industry to advocate on the policy issues impacting distillers. We hope you will join us for an important day as we speak with regulators at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), advocating before Members of Congress and their staff on important policy issues, and then raising a glass at the end of the day to our amazing industry. We’re excited for another successful Public Policy Conference, and hope you are too.
More information will be coming about the agenda and registration in the weeks ahead. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to if you have any questions in the meantime.


ACSA PAC Needs Your Support

ACSA’s public policy advocacy on behalf of its members is critical to making sure our community’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures. A crucial piece of this strategy is a strong Political Action Committee (PAC) and to maintain this presence, we need your support, particularly during a mid-term election year.
The easiest way to engage and learn more is to go to our website and log in to ACSA.
Should you have any questions about ACSA’s PAC, or ACSA’s public policy initiatives, please write to

From the Pages of CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine

Read the Latest Issue of CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine

The latest issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine is here, and it includes stories on heirloom rye, planning for the next crisis, contract considerations during the supply chain disruption and much more!

Join Us in the V.I.P. Lounge

Our V.I.P. Lounge members received the March/April issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine early, and our $40- and $60-per-year supporters were invited to join craft spirits icon Lance Winters of St. George Spirits for a virtual happy hour. Winters shared his thoughts on craft gin, eau de vie, American single malt whiskey and much more.
To get an invitation to our next virtual happy hour and to unlock additional bonuses, like a set of CRAFT SPIRITS-branded Glencairn glasses, join us in the V.I.P. Lounge today.

Download the CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine Media Kit
Want to get your products and services noticed? Be a part of upcoming issues of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine, the all-digital, bi-monthly publication of the American Craft Spirits Association! Check out our media kit to see what’s in store.

Share Your Story With CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine
If you’re not already sending news and updates about product releases and general happenings at your distillery, please add to your mailing list.

Welcome Newest Members!

ACSA extends a warm welcome to our new and returning members and sponsors:
Find out more about becoming a member here.
Did You Know?
  • The TTB has issued 3,886 DSPs! Find the full list here.
  • Don’t miss these upcoming drink holidays:
May 7: National Cosmopolitan Day
May 13: World Cocktail Day
May 21: World Whisky Day
May 30: National Mint Julep Day

©2024 American Craft Spirits Association; All Rights Reserved. Member Owned, Industry Driven.

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