2015 American Craft Spirits Association
CONVENTION FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE AMERICAN CRAFT SPIRITS ASSOCIATION
he 2nd annual American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA)
impact of the upcoming BOD election. “It counts. It matters
convention, held in Austin, TX from February 14-16, was the
that you all participate. It’s what makes us different. It’s what
largest gathering of DSPs (Distilled Spirits Plants) in the history
created this organization, when just five years ago it was just an
of the craft distilling industry. Over 500 attendees, representing
idea for a couple of us trouble makers who wanted an association
hundreds of operating distilleries, gathered to learn about the
owned by it’s representatives. Until we had an election it wasn’t
association’s progress and to help shape its priorities for the
real, it’s the election that made it real. This is our Tribe!” At the
future. A marquee lineup of speakers were featured from within
time of press, ACSA was in the midst of the second elections
and beyond the spirits industry. Paul Gatza of the Craft Brewers
process for the five open positions on the BOD.
Association delivered the Keynote address and Bert “Tito”
One of the most trilling highlights of the conference was seeing
Beveridge provided the evening keynote with an entertaining but
Craft Distilling Guilds from all across America coming together
insightful look into the challenges and stories behind the first
and sharing their stories, obstacles and success. The ACSA
“legal” distillery in Texas.
Guilds Committee Chair, Nicole Austin, noted the significance
At the convention, the ACSA board of directors (BOD) unveiled several major initiatives. Chief among these was a new proposal to bring federal excise tax relief to craft spirits producers by reducing
of this unprecedented gathering to face the challenges of an industry as a whole. Finally,
the rate on the first 100,000 proof gallons from the current
representatives from the Illinois Distillers Association on stage.
$13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon. The idea
Clad in t-shirts with stills and the city’s skyline reflected on the
itself is not new, but an improved political climate makes 2015
lakefront, collectively they announced the BOD selection of
a promising year for this pro-growth change that will bolster craft
Chicago as the host city for the 3rd Annual Distillers Convention
distilling and create thousands of new jobs across the country.
& Vendor Trade Show. Exact dates are to be announced but it
Elections Chairman Tom Potter noted the importance and the
will be the end of February or beginning of March 2016.
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.