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L A N

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website, s a y i n g , “Together we will be a global leader in distilled

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Beam’s

spirits with the #3 position in premium spirits and a dynamic portfolio

across key categories.”

The dynamic portfolio Shattock refers to is another

reason U.S. spirits are in such high demand. Even if another

country produces a high quality spirit, they rarely offer the wide

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variety of unique spirits that American distillers offer at the same high level of quality. That high standard of quality is a central growth factor we

may take for granted. American distillers are some of the world’s best. Our distilling techniques developed from the diverse international backgrounds emigrants have brought with them since the inception of the country. Our distillers are

U

well educated and experienced, and trade shows, classes and

nited States spirits exports set a record in 2013 at

seminars are readily available. The U.S. distilling industry is

over $1.5 billion, growing 250 percent in the last

large, supportive and sharing, and this cooperation raises the

10 years according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United

quality of the spirits industry-wide. Still builders, cooperages,

States (DISCUS). A number of factors are driving international

bottling companies and many other suppliers are happy to work

demand, including a global whiskey renaissance, a growing

with distillers to help them improve their products, and only the

global cocktail culture, and the simple fact that Americans make

best products at each given price point survive thanks to heavy

some of the world’s best spirits.

competition. If a spirit is a domestic standout, it will almost

Market-opening agreements have also made it more affordable

surely be an international standout, as well.

for international consumers to buy American spirits. The U.S.

We also have some of the best agricultural products in the

opened a zero for zero tariff partnership with the European Union

world, and the best spirits start with the best ingredients. Most

(EU) in 1994, and many EU countries are now leading markets. craft distillers are able to work with local farmers to produce Likewise, South Korea removed their 20 percent tariff and they the specific varieties of grains, fruits and botanicals they need. purchased almost $15 million of U.S. spirits in 2013. In 2005, Some even grow their own ingredients. While many areas of the China enacted a 10 percent tariff reduction and that market

world are known for specific agricultural products and spirits

has grown 315 percent. With many countries also experiencing

made from those products, American farmers produce almost all

expanding middle classes with more discretionary income to

of them in unique terroirs with strict quality standards.

spend, U.S. spirits are often becoming their first choice.

Taking advantage of this mountain of history, experience and

Expanding global markets are a major priority for large spirits

resources, U.S. distillers are producing top-shelf high-demand

conglomerates. Recently, Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan

spirits in all categories. DISCUS published a report using

purchased Chicago-based Beam Inc. with the goal of gaining

Census Customs data that breaks down U.S. spirits exports into

more international market share and leverage though the

eight categories: “Whiskey, Bourbon,” “Whiskey, Other,” “Rum,” acquisition of Beam’s labels. Beam Inc. President and CEO Matt “Brandy,” “Gin,” “Vodka,” “Cordials,” and “Other Distilled Shattock emphasizes their global ambitions on a press release on Spirits.” Of these eight categories, only one, “Other Distilled

24 WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM

Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2014  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2014  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.