Insights and Podcasts

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 30: National Restaurant Association’s Sean Kennedy

This week, we welcome guest host Christine LoCascio, chief of public policy for DISCUS and special guest Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association. Sean talks about the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the restaurant industry and how the National Restaurant Association is helping to combat those unforeseen challenges. Christine and Sean also discuss the advantageous partnership between DISCUS and the National Restaurant Association on issues like cocktails to-go and fighting against tariffs. Listen now!

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 29: Sustainability with Marble Distilling

Dynamic duo Connie Baker and Carey Shanks co-founded Marble Distilling Co. with the motto of "Drink Sustainably." Now, the happily married couple is sharing how they live out that motto by reducing their carbon footprint, sourcing locally and creating the same great products without a great big impact on the environment. From the economic benefits of environmentally friendly policies, to getting involved in public policy debates and building an experience for consumers, Connie and Carey bring a lot of fun to these topics and more.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 28: Dan Leese, Hotaling & Co.

With decades of experience in the industry, Dan Leese, CEO of DISCUS Member company Hotaling & Co. discusses the most pressing issues affecting the spirits industry. How will COVID-19 adaptations like ready-to-drink cocktails, direct-to-consumer shipping and cocktails-to-go evolve as we enter the new normal? And where do the brands in Hotaling's portfolio fit into the equation? All this and more in this week's episode of the Spirited Advocate podcast!

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 27: Jane Bowie, Maker’s Mark

With 14 years at Maker's Mark under her belt, Jane Bowie knows a thing or two about crafting a timeless bourbon and an iconic brand. Jane, director of innovation for Maker’s Mark and a Kentucky native, talks about the depth of possibilities for bourbon, how the iconic red wax drip on Maker's Mark bottles came to be (hint- think cognac) and her experience in a male-dominated industry. How did Maker's Mark go from the scrappy new kid on the block selling one drink at a time, to the iconic brand we know and love today? Find out on this week's episode of the Spirited Advocate.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 26: Tracie Franklin

Whiskey educator Tracie Franklin is on a mission to change the face of whiskey by adding her voice and showing how inclusive the whiskey industry can be. Her enthusiasm is contagious as she recalls her time in theater to her ambassadorship for Glenfiddich to becoming the first head distiller apprentice chosen for the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative. Tracie discusses the barriers to entry into the whiskey world and how we can move towards taking exclusivity out of the industry. Actor, soon-to-be head distiller, teacher, advocate and so much more, we’re so thrilled to share this conversation with Tracie Franklin.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 25: Brough Brother’s Distillery

Two of the three "Brough Brothers" discuss what it's like to create the first Black-owned bourbon brand in Kentucky, giving back to their community and making their mark in history among other Louisville greats like Muhammad Ali. From making a smooth bourbon loved by all drinkers to dealing with the challenges of starting a business amid a global pandemic, Victor and Chris Yarborough speak to their experiences charting their own path in the distilled spirits industry. All that and more on this episode of the Spirited Advocate Podcast.