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 Our Craft Spirits Community:
Have you noticed the different shades of green that emerge with Spring awakening? So many colors—all within the same color palate. Vines are alike yet so very different. Blades of grass are individually defined. Variegated leaves offer additional interest.
Our community is sort of similar. We have many of the same products and services, each striving to offer a unique character. How do we accomplish that?
Let’s start with our very own trade group: American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA). What truly sets us apart is our governance. ACSA was formed by members of our own community—craft distillers. Take a look at our elected board that will guide us with its visionary leadership.
Some ACSA members will distinguish their brands at Bar Convent Brooklyn. Learn how you might attend to see what is trending in the world of alcohol beverage in NYC in June. Also see what they will be pouring.
And, just how different are you? Share your economic data to be released in the aggregate in the fall during the annual Craft Spirits Data Project reporting. We need your help to make this activity a success. We are again providing the link to the survey, but time is running out so complete it soon.
But, don’t stop there. Your help is also needed at our annual Public Policy Conference. In just eight months and one day, the FET reduction is set to expire. Does Congress care? How can you be assured unless you join us in July to emphasize how the reduction makes a difference in YOUR distillery or supply role? Although we continue to walk the halls of Congress, the members want to hear from you. Register now.
To help you further identify your brand, we are offering through our Craft Spirits Classroom (webinar) a session on Social Media for distillers. Do you know how to promote your brand identity in the digital age or are you throwing something out there and hoping it will stick?
Finally, speaking of GREEN…what’s new in the Green Mountain state? Read on!
After a particularly long winter, I’m enjoying the freshness of the landscape. Your participation in ACSA guarantees innovative thinking to enhance your own brands.
ACSA Officers Re-Elected to
Lead Board of Directors
The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) has announced the re-election of Chris Montana, Owner of Du Nord Craft Spirits (MN), as the President of the Board of Directors. He has served as the organization’s president since April 2018. Maggie Campbell, President of Privateer Rum (MA), has also been re-elected as the organization’s Vice President and Colin Keegan of Santa Fe Spirits (NM) will again serve as Secretary/Treasurer. Together, Montana, Campbell and Keegan and the newly-elected and re-elected Board of Directors will work with CEO Margie A.S. Lehrman to address the key issues facing the craft distilling industry.
“I am honored to be chosen by my peers within craft distilling community for another term as president, and I am excited to build on last year’s progress,” said Chris Montana. “In 2018, we restructured our educational offerings and convention to provide more value for start-up and smaller distilleries while continuing to work at the federal level on excise tax and regulations.
“2019 will see the unveiling of a new publication, designed by distillers both for distillers and our friends within the industry, as well as new initiatives focused on new distilleries, diversity, supporting state distiller’s guilds, excise tax reform and legislative support for individual state issues.”
The Board of Directors has also appointed leadership to its governing committees within the past few weeks. Those committees include Membership, Safety, Ethics, Convention, Education, Elections, ACSA PAC, Judging, Legislative Affairs, State Guilds, Technology and Development.
The 2019 Board of Directors is composed of the following individuals:
Ex Officio – Thomas Jensen, New Liberty Distillery (PA)
*New board appointment
**Term ended, re-elected another term
ACSA would also like to thank the visionary Board Members who have completed their elected terms, including Melkon Khosrovian, Greenbar Distillery, CA; Dan Garrison, Garrison Brothers Distillery, TX; and Mark Shilling, Treaty Oak Brewing and Distilling, TX.
Board elections, which were supervised and certified by Renee Bemis, Driftless Glen (WI) and Jeff Wuslich of Cardinal Spirits (IN), were held last month, with close to 70% of voting members casting ballots, while officers were chosen by the full board last week.
Meet the Newest Members of the ACSA Board of Directors
In addition to the three re-elected Board officers, we’re also pleased to introduce five new members of the ACSA Board of Directors.
Founder & Distiller
Osocalis Distillery (Santa Cruz, CA)
Dan Farber has been involved in brandy production since the mid 1980s, studying in Cognac and other brandy producing regions around the world and finally settling near Santa Cruz, California, to found the Osocalis Distillery. This is a return “visit” to the board as Dan served when ACSA was first created.
Co-Founder & Chief Distiller
Catoctin Creek Distilling (Purcellville, PA)
In 2009 Becky Harris co-founded Catoctin Creek (with husband Scott Harris), the first legal distillery in Virginia’s Loudoun County since before Prohibition. Becky graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. As a chemical engineer, she worked at companies like Amoco, YDK America, and CIBA, specializing in industrial processes and production systems. Becky brought this knowledge and applied it to something she loved–making, the finest distilled spirits in Virginia.
Balcones Distilling (Waco, TX)
Before he was promoted to production manager at Balcones Distilling, Thomas Mote served for nearly four years as the Waco, Texas-based distillery’s brewhouse manager and distiller. Before he made the move to distilling, he was assistant brewer at Ex Novo Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Corsair Distillery (Nashville, TN)
Colton Weinstein is head distiller at Nashville, Tennessee’s Corsair Distillery, known for its experimental spirit and use of non-traditional grains. Colton holds a degree in fermentation science from Oregon State University. He is no stranger to ACSA governance as he’s been active for many years with our spirits competition and most recently, as chair of the Safety committee.
Wood’s High Mountain Distillery
P.T. and his brother, Lee, opened the doors to their distillery and tasting room in December 2012 and have been crafting malt and rye whiskey, gin, and liqueur ever since. P.T. appreciates the roles of elected positions as he served a previous term on the ACSA Board and is mayor of the distillery’s hometown of Salida, Colorado.
Get a Sneak Peek at the ACSA Member Lineup at Bar Convent Brooklyn 2019!
Bar Convent Brooklyn is almost here and we’re pleased to announce the lineup of member distilleries that will be showcasing their spirits at the ACSA Pavilion. Bar Convent Brooklyn is the U.S. edition of Europe’s largest bar industry trade show. Bartenders, bar owners and managers, restaurants, food and beverage managers, and distributors from all over the country and other parts of the world will be on hand to connect with members at our pavilion. Here’s a list of the participating distilleries and what they’ll be sampling:
• Golden Moon Distillery (Golden, Colorado) will pour samples of Gun Fighter 13, Golden Moon Gin, Gun Fighter American Bourbon, Ex Gratia, Gun Fighter American Rye, Golden Moon Créme de Violette, Golden Moon Amer Dit Picon, Golden Moon Dry Curaçao, Golden Moon Kümmel and Redux.
• Gulch Distillers (Helena, Montana), will pour its Burrone Fernet, which won Best in Show at this year’s ACSA Craft Spirits Awards.
• Mad River Distillers (Warren, Vermont) will showcase Mad River Bourbon Whiskey, Mad River Revolution Rye, Mad River Vanilla Rum, Mad River Maple Cask Rum, Mad River PX Rum, Mad River Mad Apple and First Run Rum
• Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries (Glenshaw, Pennsylvania) will pour Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, Boyd & Blair Professional Proof 151, BLY Rum Silver, BLY 105 Rum and BLY Ancho Chili Liqueur.
• Round Turn Distilling (Biddeford, Maine) will offer three versions of its Bimini brand: Bimini Gin, Bimini Overproof and Bimini Barrel Reserve No. 1.
• Wiggly Bridge Distillery (York, Maine) will pour its Small Barrel Bourbon, Vodka, Rum, Gin, Small Barrel Rum and Agave Blue Platinum.
Bar Convent Brooklyn takes place June 11-12 at the Brooklyn Expo Center in New York. For more information or to register, visit the BCB website.
WE STILL NEED YOUR INPUT!
Answer the 2019 Craft Spirits Data Project Survey
There is still time to respond to the Craft Spirits Data Project survey. We urge you to participate to help us provide a comprehensive report on the economics of the industry. The Craft Spirits Data Project, which ACSA conducts in conjunction with Park Street and the IWSR, provides the industry’s most detailed picture of the size, scope, growth trajectory and economic contributions of the craft distilling industry. This information will be critical as we continue our fight to keep the reduction in the Federal Excise Tax. We encourage you to follow this link and spend a few minutes answering the survey.
TTB Extends Comment Period on Labeling and Advertising Rulemaking
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced that it has extended the comment period on its rulemaking to modernize labels and advertising by three months to June 26. TTB is proposing to comprehensively amend its regulations governing the labeling and advertising of alcohol beverages in order to improve understanding of the regulatory requirements and to make compliance easier and less burdensome for industry members. This is a rare opportunity for craft spirits producers to have a direct impact on TTB’s rulemaking process. If you missed the chance to offer your feedback earlier this year, please take advantage of the extra time to make your voices heard. Submit your feedback through the link below.