The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) today announced it was granted $1,090,436 to promote American spirits in international markets in 2024 through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Access Program (MAP). DISCUS was one of nearly 70 agricultural organizations to receive MAP funding from the USDA in 2024.

“DISCUS’ partnership with USDA in the Market Access Program over the past 18 years has played an important role in the growth of the craft distilling movement in the United States by helping small distilleries expand into international markets,” said Robert Maron, DISCUS vice president of international trade.

In making the announcement, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel B. Whitley stated, “These programs provide a significant boost to the U.S. agricultural industry, which in turn helps strengthen the economy not just in rural communities, but across the entire United States.”

In 2023, DISCUS used its MAP funding to implement marketing campaigns in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India and Japan; participate in trade shows in London and Berlin; and conduct a trade mission to Japan.

DISCUS began participating in the program in 2006 and has conducted spirits promotions in cooperation with USDA in more than 20 foreign markets, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Vietnam. Since that time, total U.S. spirits exports have increased by nearly 145%, from $831 million in 2006 to $2.06 billion in 2022 (latest data available).

“U.S. distilled spirits are in demand around the world,” said Christine LoCascio, DISCUS chief of policy, strategy and membership. “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its support and partnership in promoting American spirits exports from an array of products from small, medium and large American distillers. With some of the most iconic spirits in the world, as well as a range of innovative new products, American distillers are truly setting the bar.”

Through the MAP program, DISCUS promotes the U.S. spirits sector by educating the hospitality industry, adult consumers and media in key international markets on the taste, heritage and style of American distilled spirits.

DISCUS promotes the range of American spirits with a particular focus on the unique qualities of American Whiskeys, including Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, American Rye Whiskey and American Single Malt, which account for the majority of U.S. spirits exports worldwide.

For more information about DISCUS’ export promotion programs, contact Robert Maron, vice president of international trade at [email protected].