About the Show
The Spirited Advocate Podcast brings together leaders in the distilled spirits industry to discuss pressing issues of the day. The spirits industry is comprised of so much more than alcohol producers– its farmers, manufacturers, distillers and more here in the U.S. and around the globe. Host Chris Swonger and his guests explore it all while enjoying their favorite cocktail or distilled spirit.
Interested in being a guest on the show? Email us at [email protected].
About the Host
With over 25 years of experience in the public and private sector, representing elected officials and three diverse, global consumer goods companies, Chris Swonger has led integrated corporate affairs strategies with responsibility for public affairs, international government affairs, corporate reputation management, corporate communications, brand public relations, philanthropy, social responsibility policy and programming with distinction.
Chris serves as the President & CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and Responsibility.org. DISCUS is the leading voice for distilled spirits in the U.S. market and serves as the industry’s advocate in state capitals, the nation’s capital and foreign capitals around the globe. Funded by leading distillers, Responsibility.org leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol.
Spirited Advocate) Episode 57: Standing Tall with Sotol
On this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, our host Chris Swonger is joined by the great Brent Looby, one of the Co-Founders and the CEO of Desert Door, a unique distillery specializing in Sotol, a spirit that is distilled from the sotol plant that is native to the Chihuahua desert. For hundreds of years, this spiky desert succulent has been used by the indigenous peoples for everything from tools and food to fermented drink, and now a fine spirit handmade in Driftwood, Texas. Brent is here to share his story of building Desert Door and discusses how Sotol is becoming the next big thing in the spirits industry. So don’t miss this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, brought to you by The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Spirited Advocate) Episode 56: Celebrating 50 years of DISCUS
On this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, our host Chris Swonger sits down to celebrate DISCUS’ 50TH ANNIVERSARY with the wonderful Jim Bareuther, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry. Jim has an incredibly impressive career, including his 17-year tenure at Brown-Forman and serving as a three-time chairman of DISCUS. For this special episode, Jim shares his insights on the industry’s evolution over the last few decades, the exciting opportunities ahead, and the different policy accomplishments that led to historic milestones for the spirits industry. So don’t miss this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, brought to you by The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Fireside Chat with Jason Momoa & Blaine Halvorson of Meili Vodka
The story of Meili Vodka begins with a remarkable fusion of sustainability, craftsmanship and vision. Chris Swonger sat down with co-founders Jason Momoa and Blaine Halvorson to discuss their journey and process behind the brand.
Spirited Advocate) Episode 55: Reviving American Craft Distilling
On this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, our host Chris Swonger is joined by Master Distiller, Bruce Joseph. Bruce is an industry veteran who has been instrumental in putting American whiskey on the map. In this episode we’ll be talking to Bruce about his amazing career, where he sees the spirits industry moving in the future, and the incredible work he is doing at Hotaling & Co., including championing the return of pot-distilled whiskey through the launch of Old Potrero. Don’t miss this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, brought to you by The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Spirited Advocate) Episode 54: A Mixologist with a Twist
On this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, our host Chris Swonger is joined by the ultra-talented mixologist and winner of Netflix’s “Drink Masters,” Lauren Paylor O’Brien! Having worked many roles in the food and beverage industry from Beverage Director, R&D Production Chef, and Beverage Consultant, LP now spends her time creating diverse, inclusive, and safe spaces through her work with Focus on Health and her consulting company LP Drinks Co. She joins Chris to discuss her journey becoming a renowned bartender, her unique approach to cocktails, and her insights into the future of the industry, including no/low abv drink trends. Don’t miss this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, brought to you by The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Spirited Advocate) Episode 53: Honoring a Veteran Distiller
On this episode of The Spirited Advocate Podcast, our host Chris Swonger is joined by Scott Neil, retired Special Forces veteran and the Co-Founder and COO of Horse Soldier Bourbon! Having significant executive, operational and combat experience, Scott knows a thing or two about how to get things done under pressure. Scott shares his story with Chris about making the transition from the battlefield to the distillery, the tradition and power of American made spirits, and some of the exciting plans that lay ahead for Horse Soldier Bourbon. Plus, the two raise a glass for Veterans Day to all of those brave men and women who serve and have served our country.