Dear Friends in the Craft Spirits Community:
Ten. It signifies many things: A decade; the official home of the British prime minister; the Pythagorean symbol of perfection; the digits on our hands; the sum of the first four consecutive numbers; the toes hanging off a surfboard; the gallons sported on a cowboy hat; or a completion of a cycle.
For the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), it means a comprehensive look at where we’ve been and where we place our efforts to help lead the industry. The day of incorporation, January 11, 2013, ACSA did not appear with the national headlines, including the federal consumer bureau’s release of its plan to prevent high risk mortgages, then-President Obama’s pick for a new Treasury Secretary, a declaration of a natural disaster in the draught- stricken Midwest, or the school shooting in California. Quietly created, while groundbreaking, it did not garner media attention. Working diligently and gingerly over that next year, it laid the foundation and began to build an inclusive, engaging, nimble trade organization representing the needs of nearly 3,000 distilleries now operating throughout the United States. It tailored its mission and daily seeks to advocate and elevate for the community of craft spirits producers. ACSA has not lost site of the fact that while these small businesses continue to open, it will be a tough road to build an operation that will flourish. ACSA will be here to help them navigate supply chain disruptions, government regulation, difficulties securing distribution, onerous taxes and more.
For a comprehensive look at where we’ve been and thoughts about the future of craft spirits, our community will be joined in Portland next week during our 10th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show. In case you miss the convention, you’ll want to turn to the upcoming February issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine for a visual view of our history. Better with Age, the theme for this upcoming year, will showcase throughout the convention, with exceptional education sessions, a trade-show floor larger than ever, and new and exciting networking opportunities. Better with Age will not be limited to convention activities. Throughout the year, each month will feature a new or improved activity or service offered by ACSA. This month, we kicked things off with special episodes of The Craft Spirits Podcast featuring interviews with some of our founding board members. Scroll down to listen.
Although 10 can represent a completion of a cycle, it offers ACSA a new beginning—a time to celebrate achievements while recognizing the fragility of our industry. It signals a moment to take a breath and express gratitude to all those volunteers who have assisted molding, modifying and modernizing a system that was built when craft distilleries did not exist. It compels ACSA to excite and engage even more members to join as we seek to open channels and improve the market landscape.
While our accomplishments are many, I want to believe that we are only just beginning. Come join us as we get Better with Age!
Cheers and HAPPY 10th Anniversary ACSA!