Spirited Advocate Podcast


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 Podcast) Episode 22: Wilbur’s Total Beverage

With more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry, Mat Dinsmore, managing partner of Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colorado, joins the Spirited Advocate podcast to discuss how COVID flipped retail operations upside down, what changes he has seen in consumer habits and how to bring brands to life through cultivating relationships. Dinsmore also speaks to operating as a responsible alcohol retailer in a college town and maintaining those guardrails with his expansion into home delivery.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 21: The Spirits Network

Nick Buzzell, CEO and founder of Spirits Network, discusses how he came up with the idea for a shoppable entertainment platform specifically related to distilled spirits. With original series, mini-documentaries, and cocktail how-to videos, Spirits Network has a broad range of content for spirits enthusiasts and novices alike. The platform is expanding the world of spirits into the homes of consumers and helping brands reach more people. All that and more on this week's Spirited Advocate Podcast.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 20: Ann Mukherjee with Pernod Ricard

CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, Ann Mukherjee, joins the Spirited Advocate Podcast to discuss the many ventures the company is undertaking and how her leadership style is changing the game. From focusing on “Return on Responsibility” in addition to “Return on Investment,” to her personal drive to uphold high standards in the spirits industry, Mukherjee holds nothing back. She also covers finding better balance on the diversity front, Black Lives Matter and how cocktails can offer connection despite physical distancing.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 19: Election Special

With more than 30 years of high-level government experience and nearly two decades of work with the Distilled Spirits Council, the Alpine Group's Rhod Shaw dives into the election outcomes and what that means for the spirits industry moving forward. He covers why this election was unlike any others, and what's next for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, tariffs and cannabis legalization.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 18: Twin Liquors

David Jabour, co-owner of Twin Liquors stores in Texas with his sister Margaret Jabour, talks about transforming a single, 700 square foot store into a retail empire he now operates with nearly 100 stores across the lone star state. He offers fresh perspective on brand building with a community focus coupled with expansion into the e-commerce space. From giving back to the community to upholding high standards of responsibility, Jabour covers all aspects of running a successful retail operation in the distilled spirits industry.

Spirited Advocate Podcast) Episode 17: Southern Glazer’s Proof Platform

Southern Glazer's John Wittig joins the Spirited Advocate Podcast to talk about their e-commerce platform, Proof. From ensuring retailers can quickly navigate the site and order customers exactly what they want to working to close the distribution gap, Wittig covers everything about operating in the digital marketplace. While the platform was put in place before the onset of COVID, Proof has grown drastically since the pandemic and helped the spirits industry thrive in the 21st century.