The Monthly Mash: March 2024

Volume 9.3

ACSA’s Mission: To elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers.

Join us.

From the Desk of Margie A.S. Lehrman, Chief Executive Officer

Dear Friends in our Craft Spirits Community:

One should feel perpetual happiness in Washington, D.C., this month amongst the cherry blossoms. Walking around the tidal basin enveloped by deep and soft pink hues of magnificent blossoms clearly puts the visitor in a great mood. Even though I’ve lived in the D.C. area for more than 35 years, the splendor of the experience never gets old. Another top D.C. experience, for tourists and residents alike, is to visit and savor some of the best craft spirits in the country. D.C. attracted early adopters of craft spirits production and its former Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration promulgated regulations to support today’s spirits business. Yet, tourism and modern regulation could not keep afloat two D.C. craft distillers. In just a few days, two more craft distilleries will close their doors. How many more will shudder by the end of 2024? Sadness energizes action.

Recognizing the problem, however, is only a part of the solution. It’s a good first step. Craft spirits have strong economic headwinds and without legislative and regulatory changes, DSPs will continue to shutter. ACSA knows the economic business climate continues to be stacked against our craft spirits producers. For that very reason, it is digging in deep to advance the third pillar of ACSA’s strategic plan: Increase Market Access.

Long supporters of direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping, ACSA has expanded its DtC committee to evaluate, plan and execute on all facets of market channel access and has thus rebranded that body to a Market Access Committee. It will be chaired by our current Board of Directors Vice President, Kelly Woodcock from Portland, Oregon-based Westward Whiskey. Working with ACSA’s state policy advisor, Michael Walker, we will continue our efforts with state guilds to advance legislative priorities to give our community a chance to create a long-lasting, profitable business climate.

How can you help? Get involved! If you’re not a member of ACSA, join now. If you care about governance and the future of craft spirits, VOTE for the board of directors. If you understand the power of grassroots advocacy, RSVP and mark your calendar for September 17-18 to join us with our climb on Capitol Hill during our Legislative Fly-In. If you have ideas, time and energy to share, join a committee. Lest you forget about five years ago, small brands paid a federal excise tax equal to that of large brands. Because of joining arms, and collectively uniting teams across all alcohol beverage categories, we were able to reduce that excise tax from $13.50 to $2.70 per proof gallon. That was a start in making a difference in spirits businesses profitability. There’s lots more work to do.

Don’t be in the dark. Continue reading the latest in spirits news in CRAFT SPIRITS magazine. The new issue is out! And, if you missed our last webinar or any others, go to our library archives to be educated.

I’m glad I have spirits on my home bar from those distilleries that will be closing. I’m equally happy that D.C. still is home to one of my favorite producers of rum and that there are ample choices in neighboring Virginia and Maryland. I’m ready to do my part to make sure that is true for many years to come. Are you?




Election to Fill Five Board Seats Closes April 8

The election for new members of the ACSA Board of Directors is underway. Which leaders will best change our economic landscape? Which leaders can most influence legislative and regulatory reform? Which leaders will represent your vision of where our industry should be in five years, 10 years and beyond?

Explore the candidates and their insights through videos.

ACSA members, your vote matters. Cast it by no later than midnight Eastern Time on Monday, April 8. And please note that voting members receive one vote per distillery.

Are you missing the ballot?

Voting members should have received an online, electronic ballot from If you do not see the ballot, please check your spam filter. If you did not receive it, please contact

Thank you to everyone who has already voted!

Learn More


RSVP Now: Join us on Capitol Hill Sept. 17-18

Please join us for ACSA’s next Legislative Fly-In, this Sept. 17-18 in Washington, D.C.

This event is complimentary to all members who want to help educate Congress on issues facing our small business manufacturing sector. This is your opportunity to speak directly with lawmakers and regulators, and to discuss issues that directly impact the craft spirits industry.

Please RSVP now, and stay tuned for additional details.


ACSA Submits Comments to TTB on Nutritional Information

ACSA this week submitted written comments to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in response to TTB’s request for comments on labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages to disclose per-serving alcohol and nutritional information, major food allergens, and/or ingredients.

In the letter, ACSA reports that “a vast majority of our small business respondents (90%) do not provide nutritional or ingredient information to consumers on labels under the voluntary guidelines, and report that they receive few, if any, requests from consumers for this information about their bottled spirits products produced under TTB’s standards of identity. A lack of inquiry suggests consumers have the information they need.”

Citing the potential for added costs for small spirits producers, the letter states that “it would be a serious mistake to create another mandate which disproportionately affects small businesses.”

Read the Letter


Help ACSA by Joining a Committee

ACSA is always looking for committee volunteers to help within the organization. Are you interested?

Please note that you must be a Voting, Candidate, Affiliate, Advocate Member or Alumni Member to serve on an ACSA committee. A committee confidentiality agreement is required to serve on any ACSA committee.

Volunteer Now


Bittersweet Success: Experts Delve into Amaro’s Popularity and Production

As consumers continue to develop a taste for bitterness, we recently took a deep dive into the hottest segment within the liqueurs category: amaro. Our panel of amaro producers included Brandon Conley, the director of operations/head distiller for Brucato Amaro; Jamie Hunt, the CEO and founder of Fast Penny Spirits; and Colton Weinstein, the CEO and co-founder of Liba Spirits. They explored ingredient trends, production methods and overall best practices in amaro making and marketing.

In case you missed it, click here to access the webinar. All of our webinars are archived on our website and are complimentary for ACSA members. The price for non-members is $59 per webinar.

See All Webinars



Nominate the Best Craft Spirits Bars in America by March 31

In an upcoming issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine, we will recognize the most dynamic, craft spirits-friendly bars in the United States. We’d like you—the community of craft spirits producers, suppliers and imbibers—to nominate the best bars that can’t be missed. Please nominate your picks by no later than March 31.
Nominate Now

Presenting the March/April Issue of CRAFT SPIRITS Magazine

The March/April digital issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine is available now for members of ACSA and our V.I.P. Lounge, and it will be delivered soon to non-members. This issue includes:

  • A closer look at the medalists and Best in Class honorees from the Fourth Annual Craft Spirits Packaging Awards and ACSA’s 10th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits
  • A story exploring the outsized role of yeast in craft spirits
  • Tips to cut down on the risks of mishaps with forklifts
  • Spotlights on craft distilleries
  • And much more!

Receive a Limited-Edition Cocktail Mixing Glass

If you’d like to receive early digital versions of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine, join the V.I.P. Lounge today. Members of our Toast Tier also have their choice of receiving an exclusive, limited-edition cocktail mixing glass emblazoned with the CRAFT SPIRITS magazine logo from Distillery Products OR a set of two Glencairn glasses emblazoned with the CRAFT SPIRITS magazine logo.
Join the V.I.P. Lounge

Check Out 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 2024 media kit to see what’s in store.

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:

  • B. Ellen Consulting & Beverage Analytics
  • Cold Squid Beverages
  • Stone Faces Distillery

Find out more about becoming a member here.


Did You Know?

The TTB has issued 4,844 DSPs! Find the full list by clicking on Spirit Producers and Bottlers here.

Don’t miss these upcoming drink holidays:

  • April 9: National Gin & Tonic Day
  • April 19: National Amoretto 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.

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