Over 45 large and small distilled spirits producers from around the country are gathering in Washington, D.C. June 8-10 for the sixth annual Public Policy Conference hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS).
“This conference brings together leaders in the distilling industry to discuss policy issues that affect them at both the federal and state levels,” said DISCUS President Peter Cressy. “They will deliver a message to legislative leaders that distillers of all sizes play an important role in the nation’s hospitality industry.”
The conference kicks off Monday evening with a private tasting with American Beverage Licensees, the leading retail association in the industry, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Tuesday will feature a series of legislative, regulatory and state breakout sessions on key federal and state issues including HR 2520 (The Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act of 2015), newly introduced legislation to reduce the spirits federal excise tax; Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation; upcoming international market access promotion activities; and key state policy updates on tax threats and market access opportunities.
Conference speakers include: Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), who are the co-sponsors of HR 2520; Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau John Manfreda; and Charmer Sunbelt President and CEO Charlie Merinoff, one of the largest wine and spirits wholesalers.
Ted Huber, owner of Huber’s Starlight Distillery in Indiana and Chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council Small Distillers Advisory Council said, “This is a great opportunity for distillers both large and small to work together to advance policies that benefit the entire spirits industry and our consumers.”
On Wednesday, conference attendees will participate in Congressional visits with their home state legislators to urge support for HR 2520 and TPA, as well as to underscore the importance of local distilleries to their communities.
The conference will conclude with an evening reception at the National Archives Museum where distillers will tour the “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History” exhibit.