Effort launches on Repeal Day which celebrates the repeal of Prohibition on December 5, 1933

Today, the New York Distillers Guild launched a grassroots campaign on Repeal Day to urge the legislature to make direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping of distilled spirits and cider permanent.

“Wineries in New York have been able to directly ship their products to consumers for more than three decades, and there is no reason distilleries should not be afforded the same opportunity,” said Brian Facquet, president of the NY State Distillers Guild. “In fact, with the temporary allowance of spirits DTC shipping during the pandemic, we proved this is a safe and convenient way to reach our customers. Allowing DTC shipping of spirits will help us recover from the pandemic, support future growth, increase jobs and boost tax revenue for the state.”

Under an executive order from then-Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York distillers were able to ship direct-to-consumer during the pandemic as a temporary economic relief measure, but the measure expired in June 2021. New York was one of seven states that temporarily allowed direct-to-consumer shipping of spirits during the pandemic in an effort to support the decimated hospitality industry.

The campaign focuses on two bills currently being considered, S 556/A2513 and S4245-A/A3275-A which allow direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits and cider.

“It’s unreasonable that New York cider cannot be shipped directly to consumers while New York wine has thrived off of this sales channel safely and responsibly since the 1980s,” said Scott Ramsey, executive director of the New York Cider Association. “Given the current environment, we are facing deep losses to small businesses, unrealistic constrictions to supply chains, and with other states such as California, Oregon, Vermont and Washington being able to ship cider directly to New York customers, it’s way past time for our legislators to pass these bills that level the playing field with other states and allow our distinct New York cideries and distilleries to maintain their businesses and compete fairly.”

The campaign is in partnership with Spirits United, a grassroots platform powered by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United (DISCUS) with the goal of ensuring adult consumers can responsibly enjoy distilled spirits where, how and when they want. It helps consumers reach out to their legislators via email, social media and/or phone call and ask them to pass permanent DTC shipping of spirits and cider.

“Permanently allowing direct-to-consumer shipping in New York will create a more convenient marketplace for adult consumers and provide much-needed support and continued growth for craft distillers,” said Jay Hibbard, vice president of state government relations at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Currently, 47 states and D.C. allow shipments of wine, but only 11 states plus D.C. allow shipping of spirits. Direct-to-consumer shipping has, will and should continue to serve as an additional market access channel to the traditional three-tier system of alcohol beverage distribution. The spirits industry is committed to responsibility and fully supports measures in the legislation to ensure products are delivered only to adults of legal purchase age. There are well-established and appropriate responsibility measures in place to restrict minors from illegally accessing beverage alcohol through direct shipment.