U.S. Distilled Spirits Industry Leaders Launch “Spirits United” Grassroots Platform to Mobilize Community of Spirits Advocates

Spirits United, a new multifaceted grassroots tool aimed at bringing together a broad base of spirits advocates from industry professionals to consumers, was formally launched today by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), American Distilling Institute (ADI) and TIPS.

The Spirits United platform features important information on key issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides advocates with an easy-to-use website to weigh in on issues that matter to them.

“From industry professionals to the millions of spirits consumers, there is a special community who are very passionate about the distilling industry’s rich heritage, its commitment to responsibility and the craftsmanship of spirits products,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org.   “Through Spirits United, we want to harness this enthusiasm and shared interest in the spirits sector and encourage this community to join us in advocating on behalf of our industry and our consumers.”

Swonger added, “The U.S. spirits industry generates $178 billion in economic activity and 1.6 million American jobs. We invite all in the spirits sector, including state distiller and bartender guilds, supply chain partners and other industry organizations to join us in expanding the Spirits United network.  Our goal is to build out Spirits United, so that spirits advocates in any city or state can be quickly mobilized to engage with their elected officials.   Growing and activating this grassroots network will help ensure that distillers small and large continue to thrive and that adult consumers have responsible and convenient access to their favorite distilled spirits products.”

Spirits United Mobilizing Support for Craft Beverage Bill

Swonger stated that Spirits United has already begun mobilizing advocates in support of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 1175/ S.362), legislation making permanent the federal excise tax cut on distilled spirits that was enacted in 2017.  Without congressional approval, the tax cut will expire December 31, 2019.  Using the Spirits United platform, advocates are sending letters to their Members of Congress urging passage of the legislation.

“Passing this bill before these tax reductions expire at the end of this year is critically important for our industry as a whole, impacting producers of all sizes, supply chain partners and consumers. Through Spirits United, we are working to get as many letters, tweets, and phone calls to Congress as possible in support of this bill,” said Swonger.

Erik Owens, Vice President, American Distilling Institute (ADI) and Spirits United partner stated, “Small distilleries have the most to lose if this federal excise tax cut is not made permanent.  ADI is the largest community of small-batch, independently owned distilleries in the nation and we will be encouraging all of our craft members to join Spirits United to help pass this crucial piece of legislation.”

Spirits United Partner Adam Chafetz, President of TIPS alcohol training program added, “Through our TIPS program we have 8,000 certified trainers educating tens of thousands of servers on responsible alcohol consumption.  We’re looking forward to partnering with DISCUS and ADI to engage the nation’s bartender community on responsibility and policy issues that impact all of us in the beverage alcohol industry.”

Commitment to Responsibility

Swonger, Owens and Chafetz underscored that a strong commitment to responsibility is the foundation of Spirits United.  Through Spirits United’s social media content and information on its site, spirits advocates will be encouraged to join industry efforts to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving, and to promote the responsible consumption of beverage alcohol.

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Join Spirits United

Spirits United is an inclusive community for anyone and everyone over the age of 21. To join Spirits United, please click here. Spirits United is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Watch “I am Spirits United” here.

About the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

The Distilled Spirits Council is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the United States.

About American Distilling Institute

Founded in 2003, ADI has become a beacon for the craft distilling community — serving as the go-to source for all information on craft distilling.

About TIPS

TIPS is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol. Over the past 35 years, TIPS has certified more than 5 million participants and trainers.