The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), American Distilling Institute (ADI) and Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), three of the nation’s leading trade associations representing distillers large and small, joined forces to launch “Ship My Spirits,” a grassroots coalition with the common goal of modernizing the spirits marketplace by allowing direct-to-consumer shipping of distilled spirits, in Delaware.
“Nearly every day we tell potential customers we cannot ship them our spirits,” said Dr. Ron Gomes, Painted Stave Distilling. “Thus, Delaware law restricts our ability to win new customers, grow our small business, as well as those businesses that support us.”
The Delaware Senate Banking, Business and Insurance Committee will hear SB 285 in the coming weeks, a bill to permanently allow distillers to ship their spirits products directly to adult consumers.
“Direct shipping is a critical step to secure the future of our industry,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO of the ACSA. “Not only do we know we can do this safely and responsibly as evidenced by the success of wine dtc shipping in states across the country, but we have also seen how direct shipping has created an important lifeline for our community of craft producers who are currently facing so many small business challenges, from tourism declines due to COVID, the rising costs of grains, to global glass supply shortages.”
ShipMySpirits.org, the coalition’s website, has an interactive map where consumers can click on their state to learn about the laws regulating spirits shipments and other data related to the spirit industry’s impact in the state. For example, the site notes that the spirits industry supports 9,200 jobs in Delaware and has an economic impact of about $724.1 million.
“Allowing direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits in Delaware will drive consumer interest which will support the growing craft distilling industry in the state,” said Erik Owens, president of ADI. “Further, the marketplace has changed, and consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of having their favorite products shipped directly to them. The ‘Ship My Spirits’ campaign provides a quick and easy way for consumers to get involved and let their voice be heard in the legislature.”
Visitors can take action through the site by sending letters to their legislators on the issue in less than three minutes.
“Consumers want distilled spirits shipped straight from the distillery to their doorbell, and that’s the goal of the ‘Ship My Spirits’ campaign,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS. “Direct-to-consumer laws in Delaware need to be modernized to increase consumer choice, build small businesses and tourism, and create an on-ramp to distribution for new products. Allowing distillers, large and small, to direct ship supports consumers, producers, wholesalers and retailers which continues our support of the three-tier system.”