The Monthly Mash: June 2023

Volume 8.6

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:

During the summer I like to read. Historical fiction, psychological thrillers, management and self-help books capture my attention. Currently, I cannot put down “The Good Life” by Robert Waldinger, MD, and Mark Schulz, PhD, who offer glimpses of a longitudinal research study on what makes people happy during their lives. Spoiler alert and no surprise here: it’s relationships!

Interestingly, the lessons learned (or reinforced) hit during a time when ACSA was diving deeper into the power of human connection. In this case, ACSA staff gathered along the Chesapeake Bay to hold an annual staff retreat. Because ACSA staff work remotely (scattered throughout the U.S.), other than the staff retreat the only time we gather is at our convention or spirits competition. Because we are consumed with event details, time is rare to grab a cocktail and just talk, getting to know one another on a truly personal basis. Granted, we meet with each other weekly via Zoom, but visages across the internet just aren’t the same as really seeing a grin in person. Scroll further to see our smiling faces as we joined to create our own vision for the future of ACSA. A stop at Lyon Rum with a private tour by ACSA Board of Director member Jaime Windon was a highlight of our retreat.

Speaking of staff, I’m delighted to announce two additions to our team! Next month, you’ll hear more about Anna Klainbaum, Director of Marketing and Membership, and Akshay Anikhindi, IT Specialist and Technology Implementation Manager. Those new relationships will begin in July to further support your business success.

As ACSA advocates on your behalf, building relationships—with members of Congress, leadership within TTB and other advocacy groups—is critical. Learn more and register for an inside scoop on what’s happening in Congress. Support the folks behind those who grow corn for your whiskeys by entering your spirits into the Heartland Spirits Competition.

Of course, what better way to build relationships than to share your knowledge and expertise with those in our community. ACSA’s Call for Presentations is now open for our convention in Denver in February 2024. You might also wish to share your leadership skills with the STEPUP Foundation. Applications are open for DSP hosts, mentors and interns.

Happy Summer. Be safe. Be healthy. Nurture those relationships which ultimately define the happiness in your life. Life is bumpy, so surrounding yourself with people who care matters. Thank you for connecting with ACSA and being an integral part of our community. Here’s to a long-lasting relationship!




Join Us for an Insider’s View of Congress with Freshman Congresswoman Brittany Pettersen

What: An Insider’s View of Congress: Afternoon Conversation with Freshman Congresswoman Brittany Pettersen

When: Tuesday, July 18 at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT/2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT

Cost: Complimentary registration as sponsored by the ACSA PAC

No one can doubt that changes in Washington, D.C., over the past few years have been historic—from the change in the Presidency, to new leadership in Congress, to the historic multiple ballots for the Speakership and the brinksmanship of the recent budget deal.

The ACSA PAC has obtained an exclusive, one-on-one conversation with freshman lawmaker Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) to tell us about her experiences as a new member of Congress in this oftentimes volatile, exciting and changing environment in Washington.

Rep. Pettersen will give us her insights on what it is like to be a witness to history in the 118th Congress. She will share her experiences serving in this body for the first time. It will be a fascinating discussion.

This is at no cost to ACSA members. We encourage you to learn more about and engage with the PAC so we can champion quality members of Congress and hope they keep representing small distillers and small businesses like ACSA members.

We hope you will join us on July 18 at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT/2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT for this moderated, intimate conversation with Rep. Pettersen.

Register Now

Announcing the Launch of the 2023 Craft Spirits Data Project Survey

It’s that time of year when we ask you to either complete or share this link with those within your distillery who best understand and have access to the state of the economics of running your business.

The Craft Spirits Data Project (CSDP) is our annual evaluation of the health of the industry, brought to you in conjunction with our valued partner Park Street. The study results help us share your success and struggles with members of Congress, the media, financial institutions and guilds. We need your help to know what economic health is today compared to last year.

Please complete this survey, which should take no more than 25 minutes if you have already gathered the appropriate documents before you begin the survey. As always, the information is reported out in the aggregate, so your privacy will be secure.

If you have questions, please contact ACSA’s CEO at

Complete the Survey


Time is Running Out to Register!

The clock is ticking to register for the fourth biennial Heartland Whiskey Competition. If you make whiskey with corn, enter your products by July 15.

This competition is open to whiskey entries from all 50 states, but entries from the following states will have a chance to win Best of State: California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

Please read the judging protocols and the submission guidelines prior to entry.

You must register your whiskey by July 15 and have it received by July 29 to earn your right to display a new gold, silver or bronze medal. This event only happens every two years so don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

ACSA members: Please note that you must login to receive discounted pricing.

Members: Register Here*
Non-Members: Register Here

*Members must login to receive discounted pricing.



Showcase Your Expertise: Call for Presentations Now Open!

ACSA is thrilled to invite you to participate in our highly anticipated 11th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade show in Denver, Colorado, February 26-28, 2024. This event will serve as a platform for sharing knowledge, ideas, and insights that push the boundaries of innovation and foster collaborative growth.

We are now accepting submissions for presentations from individuals passionate about making a difference in the craft spirits industry through their expertise. Whether you have groundbreaking research, unique perspectives, or lessons learned that you’d like to share, we encourage you to seize this opportunity and contribute to our convention’s success. Submit your proposals today and be part of an incredible lineup of speakers who will inspire, educate, and ignite meaningful conversations!

We eagerly await your submissions, which are due by July 21, 2023.

Submit Your Proposal

Save the Date for ACSA’s 11th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show

Please save the date and join us next Feb. 26-28 for our 11th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show in Denver!



The ACSA Guide to Starting and Operating a Distillery

As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we are thrilled to announce that our e-book, “The ACSA Guide to Starting and Operating a Distillery,” is now available!

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.

The e-book also serves as:

  • A textbook for craft spirits producers in their first one to three years in operation
  • An invaluable resource for onboarding new members of your team
  • A reference for existing staff to gain a more holistic view of how a distillery operates

ACSA members, please note that you must be logged in to our website to receive discounted pricing.

Get Your Copy

Celebrating Gin

Also this month, we celebrated by sharing a bevy of gin-based cocktails, including:

July: Sips of Summer

Next month, we’ll be sharing Sips of Summer and hope you’ll share any of the following with us:

  • Cocktails and/or spirits perfect for sipping by the pool, at the beach, or during a cookout (please share recipes for cocktails)
  • What you believe is the perfect cocktail or spirit pairing with a hamburger or hot dog
  • Your go-to cocktail at a baseball game
  • Limited summer releases from your distillery
  • Photos of people having a good time on your distillery’s patio, deck or outdoor space

Please send your thoughts and photos to

There’s Still Time to Be a Part of Our 10th Anniversary Time Capsule

You still have a chance to be a part of history and submit your items for ACSA’s 10th Anniversary Time Capsule. We’re looking for any small memento from your business from the past 10 years, a token that captures your specific place in our dynamic industry. Examples include the following:

  • Business cards
  • Press releases
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Collateral materials (including leave-behinds that you’ve used with your state legislature)
  • Labels
  • Tasting room cocktail or sample/flight menus
  • Drone photo of your distillery (please label)
  • Hand sanitizer labels
  • Company newsletters
  • Printed convention programs from ACSA’s inaugural convention in Denver in 2014
  • A branded paper coaster
  • Photo of your branded merchandise
  • Small branded merchandise (such as keychains, pens, stickers, temporary tattoos, etc.)
  • Branded closures

Space is limited, so please ensure all contributions are on the small side.

PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT submit anything breakable, such as bottles or glassware. We also cannot accept any actual alcohol products.

Send your contributions to:

American Craft Spirits Association

Attn: Time Capsule

P.O. Box 470

Oakton, VA 22124

Watch a Video Tribute to a Decade of ACSA
We’re celebrating the distiller’s decade as the American Craft Spirits Association marks its 10th anniversary. Watch our video for a look back at 10 amazing years.
Watch Now


ACSA Holds Staff Retreat in Maryland

In early June, ACSA staff (joined by media sales consultant Annette Schnur and STEPUP Foundation executive assistant Sharli Ward) broke bread and savored a cocktail along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay at Herring Bay in Deale, Maryland. The retreat was themed “Efficient Exceptional Execution” and focused on why and how we, as staff, can better serve our community. A tour and tasting at Lyon Rum in St. Michael’s Maryland added both education and fun to the retreat.


STEPUP Applications for 2024 Now Open

STEPUP (Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals) provides underserved and underrepresented individuals with hands-on training and education, encouragement and opportunities to enter the spirits community through a comprehensive internship program like no other in the alcohol beverage industry.

Working with distilleries and wholesalers throughout the United States, STEPUP provides a comprehensive, hands-on training program with a living stipend and provides job exposure for those of different races, color, national origins, abilities, genders and sexual orientations.

Do you want to help us diversify the spirits industry? Are you willing to open your doors to an inquisitive learner from an underrepresented community? Become a Host Distillery or Wholesaler!

Do you often listen to your friends and colleagues and offer advice? Are you a natural at providing encouragement? Become a Mentor!

Are you or do you know an underrepresented person who is passionate about the spirits industry, but doesn’t know where to start? Become an Intern!

If you or someone you know might be a good fit as an intern, mentor, host DSP or wholesaler, please apply TODAY at

Apply Now


Webinar Recap: Changes to California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act

This month, we hosted a complimentary webinar about changes to California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act. Starting on Jan. 1, 2024, anyone who produces or sends beverage containers into the state of California will need to comply with new standards. Stacie Carder of CalRecycle offered guidance to help distillers navigate these news requirements, including details on the new beverage categories and beverage container materials; an overview of California Redemption Value (CRV) and processing fees; CA CRV labeling requirements; and how to register with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

In case you missed it, all of our webinars are archived here and this one was complimentary to all. Most of our webinars are free to ACSA members ($59 each for non-members).

See All Webinars


Read the Latest Issue of CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine

The latest issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine is here, and this issue examines obstacles and opportunities for U.S. distilleries producing agave spirits; the growing trend of state spirits boards; how to make your operations less vulnerable to cyberattacks; and much more.
Click Here to Read the Issue

Want to receive each issue early?

ACSA members and V.I.P. Lounge members receive each digital issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine the week before the rest of our readership. If you’re not a member, click below to join today.
Become a Member of ACSA
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 4,569 DSPs! Find the full list by clicking on Spirit Producers and Bottlers here.

Don’t miss these upcoming drink holidays:

  • July 2: National Anisette Day
  • July 8: World Rum Day
  • July 10: National Piña Colada Day
  • July 11: National Mojito Day
  • July 14: National Grand Marnier Day
  • July 19: National Daiquiri Day
  • July 24: National Tequila Day
  • July 27: National Scotch Day

Social Media

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.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?