Spirits DTC would increase Vermont jobs and consumer convenience

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 with the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont 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 Vermont.

“Just as craft spirits and distillery tourism were beginning to gain traction, our industry rapidly changed with the onset of the pandemic,” said Ryan Christiansen, president of Caledonia Spirits and representative of the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont. “Both distilleries and wineries depend on tourism, but when consumer travel and shopping patterns rapidly shifted, only wineries were allowed to ship to their remote consumers. By simply providing distillers with the same access to consumers and allowing that we utilize the same proven age-verifying delivery methods, we can strengthen our distilling industry – while providing a revenue stream for the state of Vermont and our distilleries.”

The Vermont legislature is currently considering multiple bills that would permanently allow distillers to ship their spirits products directly to adult consumers just as wineries have done for more than a decade in the state.

“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, 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 1,500 jobs in Vermont and has an economic impact of about $297 million.

“Allowing direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits in Vermont 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 spirits DTC shipping. 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 Vermont 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.”


American Craft Spirits Association

ACSA is the only national registered non-profit trade association that exclusively represents the U.S. craft spirits industry. Its mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers, and membership in ACSA is open to anyone.


American Distilling Institute

ADI is the largest small-batch, independently-owned craft distillery association in the world. Founded in 2003, ADI has become a beacon for the diverse and inclusive craft distilling community — serving as the go-to source for all information on craft distilling.


Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

DISCUS is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.


Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont

The Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont is a cooperative, non-profit organization created to develop, promote, and maintain the distilled spirits industry in Vermont. The members provide the region and tourists with the farm-to-table experience that Vermont is known for, while focusing their support on the regional craft distilling industry.