The Monthly Mash: January 2023

Volume 8.1

ACSA’s 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:

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!



We Can’t Wait to See You in Portland!

Our 10th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show is less than two weeks away and we are eagerly looking forward to gathering with the craft spirits community in Portland, Oregon! Better With Age is the theme for our 10th anniversary, and this will truly be a convention to remember. Online registration closed last week, but on-site registration will be available at the Oregon Convention Center starting at 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10.

Scroll down to get a glance at just some of the many highlights in store, and you can also click here to see our full convention schedule.

Friday, Feb. 10

Vendor Trade Show Opens (1 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

Join us for a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. to open the trade show floor, which will feature more than 140 exhibitors from across the globe showcasing their goods and services.

Better With Age Founders Forum (6 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

As ACSA celebrates a decade of elevating and advocating for the community of craft spirits producers, some of the association’s founding members will gather to discuss its creation and achievements.

Saturday, Feb. 11

Education Kicks Off (9:30 a.m.)

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, we’ll have 36 hours of educational offerings available for all levels of experience, expertise and interests in three concurrent tracks (business/finance, sales/marketing and technical/safety). Here is a complete schedule.

Awards Luncheon (12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.)

We’ll be announcing all of the medalists from the Third Annual Craft Spirits Packaging Awards.

10th Anniversary Concert at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom (8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.)

We are thrilled to confirm that Portland’s own Ruby Friedman will be playing for this concert, which is open to all attendees.

Sunday, Feb. 12

Luncheon with Keynote Speaker and Membership Town Hall (Noon to 1:30 p.m.)

Portland’s renowned bar industry personality Jeffrey Morgenthaler will be presenting “Behind the Bar: The Craft, Culture and Commerce of the Modern Cocktail” for the keynote address.

Networking and Super Bowl Social at Pips & Bounce (3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)

This year attendees will gather to watch the Super Bowl and play ping pong at Pips & Bounce. This unique event is an opportunity to demonstrate your athletic prowess and impress your colleagues.

Closing Reception at Rogue Eastside Pub and Pilot Brewery (6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

Later in the evening, we will be hosting our closing party at Rogue Eastside Pub. Our 10th anniversary closing event is an opportunity for everyone to convene and celebrate on our final night together with all things craft spirits!

Special Thanks to Our Convention Sponsors

ACSA gratefully acknowledges the generosity of those who have provided support for our 10th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show, including:

Lallemand Distilling: Sponsor of distillery start-up 101

The Digest of Wine & Spirits Law: Sponsor of tote bags

Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging: Sponsor of badge wallets and lanyards

The Spearhead Group: Sponsor of 10th anniversary video

Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.: Sponsor of ACSA hospitality suite

Amoretti: Sponsor of ACSA exhibit hall coffee/refreshment stations

Niagara Label: Sponsor of exhibit hall ribbon cutting

ClearSource: Sponsor of exhibit hall happy hour and swag bag materials

Eurostampa: Sponsor of swag bag materials

The Strategic Sourcing Hub by Black Button Distilling: Sponsor of mobile app

Liquor Bottle Packaging International: Sponsor of swag bag materials

Breiss Logo


Elections Start in Late February

In January, ACSA closed nominations for our Board of Directors elections, which will begin in late February via electronic voting. Some of the candidates will be at our upcoming convention and others will have a chance to make their case for election via videos. We look forward to installing new board seats in April.


Listen to Conversations with ACSA Founding Board Members

To kick off a year of celebrations for ACSA’s 10th anniversary, the most-recent episodes of The Craft Spirits Podcast feature a special series of conversations with some of the founding members and first board members of ACSA. Our guests include Ralph Erenzo, Ted Huber, Thomas Mooney, Paul Hletko and Nicole Austin. Each guest shared their earliest memories of ACSA and discussed the future of craft spirits.
Listen Now


Last Call: Pre-Order ‘The ACSA Guide to Starting and Operating a Distillery’ E-Book

This spring, the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) is launching an exclusive e-book, “The ACSA Guide to Starting and Operating a Distillery.” The peer-reviewed guide is a comprehensive compendium of expert insights detailing all of the tools and techniques that new distilleries need to get their businesses up and running and help ensure a prosperous future. In addition to serving as a textbook for craft spirits producers in their first one to three years in operation, it’s an invaluable resource for onboarding new members of your team, as well as a reference for existing staff to gain a more holistic view of how a distillery operates.

We have extended the special Pre-Order Discount. If you order by January 31, 2023, you can take advantage of a special discount. The regular price for the e-book will be $199 for ACSA members and $349 for non-members. The Pre-Order Discount price is $129 for ASCA members and $279 for non-members. Please note that if you are an ACSA member, you will need to be logged in to our site to see member pricing.

Pre-Order Now


Read the Latest Issue of CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine

The latest issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine is here, and our cover story explores the growth of e-commerce and what it means for the future of spirits retail. This issue also features stories about a decade of distilling at Headframe Spirits; crafting eau de vie in Alsace; and more.
Click Here to Read the Latest Issue

Join Us in the V.I.P. Lounge

Our V.I.P. Lounge members receive each issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine one week early, and our $40- and $60-per-year supporters are invited to virtual meet-and-greets with craft spirits icons. To unlock additional bonuses, like a set of CRAFT SPIRITS-branded Glencairn glasses, join us in the V.I.P. Lounge today.
Click Here to Join the V.I.P. Lounge

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.
Click Here

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.


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 4,424 DSPs! Find the full list by clicking on Spirit Producers and Bottlers here.

Don’t miss these upcoming drink holidays:

  • Feb. 7: Pisco Sour Day
  • Feb. 22: National Margarita Day
  • Feb. 24: World Bartender Day

Social Media

Do you have a new spirit release, an upcoming event, or some news to drop?
Follow our social media channels and tweet at us (@craftspiritsus)tag us on Instagram, connect with us on LinkedIn, follow us on YouTube or post to our Facebook Page and we’ll be sure to share it!

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

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