The Monthly Mash: February 2020

The Monthly Mash

Volume 5.2

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 Our Craft Spirits Industry:

Lots of things in life are uncertain regardless of best-laid plans. Having chosen our beloved industry, you know what I mean: labels get rejected; excise tax relief gets a one-year extension instead of permanency; OSHA unexpectedly shows up at your door.

Certain events have a better chance of success.

Like what? How about a Journey to Craftlandia!

In just one month, ACSA is descending on Portland, Oregon, for what promises to be an industry classic. We will inspire, engage and educate. We will forge new friendships and bolster old ones. We will be awed by our suppliers and leaders in craft beverages. If you haven’t yet registered, why not? Read on to see what you’ll miss and consider joining us—it’s not too late.

Other events that are sure to please?

How about the Craft Spirits Pavilion at Bar Convent Brooklyn in June? Assembling a great cast from across the U.S., we have producers from Texas, Maine, Wyoming, Tennessee, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Vermont. Learn who is pouring at our bar.

And, of course, you cannot go wrong with clearing your calendar for ACSA’s Craft Spirits Classroom. What is the common denominator between rye and yeast? Each is featured in an upcoming webinar.

In addition, if you haven’t yet read an issue of Craft Spirits magazine, maybe you’ll be enticed to do so by the content teasers below. I can attest there is something there for every reader.

Finally, some things work out just as you intend. Daffodils and hyacinths are steadily emerging from last fall’s planting of bulbs in my Virginia garden, albeit about three weeks early. Fingers crossed for continued warmth. As for industry uncertainties, count on us to press ahead.



The Journey Begins Soon

Act Now! Online Registration Closes March 12.

ACSA’s 7th Annual Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show is one month away! If you have not already registered, sign up today and join us in Portland, Oregon, for three full days of learning, networking, imbibing and entertainment. Once you are registered, click here to view our schedule, and scroll below for more offerings and trip-planning tips.

Our Convention Offers Wisdom for All

Whether you are an experienced member of the craft distilling industry or just getting started, ACSA’s 7th Annual Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show features world-class education to help you work smarter and advance your distillery. We will conduct three educational tracks at the convention:

Brush up (or expand) your knowledge of rye and heirloom grains. Hear the tips and tricks that seasoned distillers have discovered through trial and error. Geek out about starch conversion and the microbiological and biochemical elements that can help you optimize your distilling.


Concerned about TTB or OSHA? This track is for you! In addition to four hours of dedicated TTB content, we will also be tackling fire safety, trademark compliance, cannabis in the beverage alcohol industry, and privacy and data security essentials.


Look to the past with the mergers and acquisitions of 2019, and plan for the future in our cash flow management and optimization session. This track will also cover social media best practices, sales metrics, and innovative avenues to accelerate brand growth.

Limited Space for Master Classes

Just a few spots remain for our pre-convention master classes. If you are interested in maximizing your time in Portland, sign up for one of these classes today.

New Distillery Start-Up 101
In the beginning stages of planning your distillery? This overview will cover the basics of the industry including finding a lender, creating a business plan, selecting your site, equipment and material; safety and compliance; and sales and marketing. View the schedule here. $200 (members) & $350 (non-members)

Tasting and Sensory Class

This one-day course will start by examining the tasting biases that affect our judgments, and will also cover how to use tasting and sensory practices to ensure quality control and how to use barrels to target specific flavor development. The course also will explore different varieties and flavors of malt. View the schedule here. $399 (members) & $699 (non-members)

Hyatt Regency Room Block Closes March 6

The Hyatt Regency is the host hotel for our convention. The room rate is $174 per night and the room block closes on March 6. Make your reservations today by clicking the link below or calling 877-803-7534. Please note that ACSA does not use third parties to reserve hotel rooms.

Oregon Toast to Benefit Oregon Food Bank

In partnership with the Oregon Distillers Guild, ACSA will host the 2020 Oregon Toast on March 31 at the Oregon Convention Center Ballroom. Join us for an evening of spirits, Portland-themed hors d’oeuvres, music and fun! Also, place your best bid on gift baskets from local craft distilleries and local vendors during the silent auction. Half of the proceeds will go to the Oregon Food Bank.

5:30-6:30 p.m.
VIP Admission*
(*separate ticketed event with limited on-site tickets available; convention attendees are able to purchase VIP tickets for $50 at the door)

6:30-8:30 p.m.
ACSA Attendees + General Admission*
Open and complimentary to all registered ACSA attendees. Must show ACSA convention badge [whether vendor or attendee] and ID’s at the door. (*on-site tickets for general admission are available at the door)

Must be 21+ to attend.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Give your brand a boost by becoming a sponsor for ACSA’s 7th Annual Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show March 29-31 in Portland, Oregon. ACSA seeks support from those who support our mission: to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers. This will be our largest gathering where hundreds will enjoy unparalleled networking and learning opportunities.
A limited number of sponsorship opportunities, designed to maximize your marketing exposure, are still available. To learn more, contact Teresa McDaniel at 502.807.4249 or

ACSA Announces BCB Lineup

ACSA is hosting a craft spirits pavilion at Bar Convent Brooklyn (BCB) this June, and we are thrilled to announce the lineup of member distilleries who will be pouring spirits.


Quenching Your Thirst for Knowledge

Upcoming Webinars
Inside the Rye-volution
March 11
Rye whiskey has been one of the most exciting revivals within the U.S. craft spirits scene over the past decade and it’s been as much a success story for American agriculture as it has for craft distillers, distributors, on- and off-premise retail and consumers. A panel of some of the biggest innovators in rye whiskey distilling will explore everything from market dynamics and cutting-edge production techniques to flavor profiles and heirloom grains during this information-packed session.

When: Wednesday, March 11, 3-4 p.m. Eastern

Where: Online Webinar

Who: Steve Bashore (Director of Historic Trades at George Washington’s Mount Vernon); Becky Harris is the Chief Distiller at Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.); and Herman Mihalich (Founder and Distiller at Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey)

Cost: $39 for members, $59 for non-members

Lab Talk: Yeast
March 18
We look under the microscope at the indispensable and wee beasties we know as yeast and explore how these frequently misunderstood microorganisms influence and elevate the flavor of spirits.

When: Wednesday, March 18, 3-4 p.m. Eastern

Where: Online Webinar

Who: Dr. Pat Heist (Co-Owner and Chief Scientific Officer for Ferm Solutions, Inc.)

Cost: $39 for members, $59 for non-members

From Craft Spirits Magazine

Charting the Course

In a rapidly growing list of states, cities and regions across the nation, distilleries are joining forces to collectively promote craft spirits through a trail. While the features differ from trail to trail, all are unified by a motivation to spread the word about craft spirits.

Long-distance Neighbors Stay Close in Texas

It is difficult to assign one culture to such a big swath of land, and Texans are loyal not only to their state, but their regions, as well. The distilleries that have opened in the cities like Fort Worth, Waco, Houston and San Antonio each have their own identity, and even if they are making similar products, like a bourbon, the difference in geography can play a role on the final result.

Click on the Cover Image to

Read the Latest Issue…

Catch Up With All of Our Back Issues…

And Stay Tuned for the Next Issue…

The fifth bi-monthly edition of Craft Spirits magazine will be a very special issue. In addition to circulating it to our regular digital subscriber base, we’ll be offering our first PRINT EDITION, to be distributed to all attendees of the 7th Annual ACSA Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show, March 29-31 in Portland, Oregon. In our cover story, we’ll present a detailed, numbers-driven look at the State of the Craft Spirits Market, based on the 2020 Craft Spirits Data Project , a partnership among ACSA, Park Street and IWSR.

Watch the Latest

Episode of Craft Spirits TV…

Episode 11: Rye Whiskey, Yeast, Honey & Vodka from Pittsburgh to Colorado

Craft Spirits TV: Rye Whiskey, Yeast, Honey & Vodka from Pittsburgh to Colorado

Share Your Story With Craft Spirits Magazine

Do you have exciting stories to share about your distillery? We’re on the lookout for news for future issues of Craft Spirits magazine. Keep us posted on new products, events, trends, tips and more by sending us a note at

Poll: Surprise Inspections

Have you (or any distilleries you know of) had a surprise inspection from OSHA?

In you answered yes and would like to tell us more, please send an email to

January Poll Results

In our January update, we asked distillers how much they saved in 2019 thanks to federal excise tax relief.
More than $200,000: 23.5%
Less than $50,000: 23.5%
$150,000-$199,999: 17.6%
$100,000-$149,999: 17.6%
$50,000-$99,999: 17.6%

Welcome Newest Voting, Affiliate and Candidate Members!

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

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