Consumer shipping in states that allow it was defeated at the last minute under the misguided notion that it would help prevent underage drinking. The fight is not over. There may be a court challenge to the very idea that a state can prevent a company from engaging in legal activity in another
PENNSYLVANIA PENNSYLVANIA DISTILLERS GUILD For the first half of the 2017 year, the PA Distillers Guild has organized and activated various sub committees. The Legislative, Tourism, Agricultural, Education and Safety, and ACSA Planning. Each committee has discussed and begun the planning processes of short term as well as 10 year goals within the respective committees. We have also been able to deliver statistical sales information to our membership by working
TEXAS TEXAS DISTILLED SPIRITS ASSOCIATION In February 2017, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) re-introduced S. 236, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. The bill includes a reduction in the Federal Excise Tax (FET) from $13.50 to $2.70 for the first 100,000 proof gallons of spirits, an 80% reduction in the FET for craft producers. Texas distillers were a part of two “fly-ins” to lobby congressional members on the hill this summer. Dan Garrison of Garrison Brothers Distillery was one of more than 45 distilled spirits producers from across the country who gathered in Washington, D.C. June 2021 for the Distilled Spirits Council’s eighth annual Public Policy Conference. Distillers participated in more than 100 Congressional visits with their home state legislators to urge lowering the punitively high federal excise tax rate on spirits such as whiskey, vodka, rum and other distilled
state. Stay tuned. The above legislative changes combined with 77 licenses granted, over 50 distilleries in operation, and over 40 of those being members of DANC, North Carolina has become a hotbed of distilling activity. Much of the legislative accomplishment
can be traced back to the shrewd decision by DANC members to voluntarily provide 2% of in-distillery sales back to DANC in order to engage in political activity.
with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to identify the top retail accounts by spirits category. With this information, we have provided critical information to allow our membership to focus their sales efforts with the goal of sustainability within their home marketplace. At another meeting, the Department Heads of PLCB Category Management spent an hour with our membership for Q&A and help support our membership by explaining route to market within the control state, as well as specialty shelf initiatives programs featuring “Made in PA” products. With 82 licensed distilleries currently in the state, we
have an immensely burgeoning industry in our ever-growing state. In addition, our guild leadership has been able to fight off some lobby attacks to our current idyllic craft distilling laws, and activated our membership and supply chain partners to respond in a manner that was able to protect our current direct distribution abilities. This fall we plan to have our first “drive in” to the state capital to meet with legislators. We have much more to do within our state, and look forward to increased membership as well as participation both now and years to come.
spirits products, and discuss other issues of importance to the sector. Garrison met with Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and 15 other Texas delegation members to urge support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which would lower the federal excise tax for spirits, beer and wine producers of all sizes for the first time since the Civil War. The legislation currently has 45 sponsors in the U.S. Senate and 226 in the U.S. House of Representatives. “As a small business owner, it is hard to get away from the distillery but this opportunity to talk to elected officials from Texas was vital to the growth of our industry,” said Garrison. “HR 747 will bring much needed tax reform to the alcohol industry and allow me to invest more in my distillery and my community. It is my hope the Texas Legislature will someday join the effort to support small businesses and remove the archaic Texas regulations that stifle our growth and put Texas-based distilleries at an competitive disadvantage with those in other states ” The conference featured a series of legislative, regulatory and state breakout
sessions on key federal and state issues impacting the distilling industry. Conference speakers included: Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA); Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau John Manfreda; and Ed Henry, chief national correspondent for the Fox News Channel. The conference also featured an evening “Meet Your Distillers” reception where members of Congress and their staff sampled their home state spirits products. In July, Texas distillers headed back to D.C. with the American Craft Spirits Association to continue to advocate for tax parity with our sister industries. Members of the Texas Guild, Revolution Spirits, Devil’s River Whiskey, Still Austin Whiskey, Hill Country Distillery, Treaty Oak Distillery and Witherspoon Distillery, met with and educated the Texas congressional delegation. They also hosted a fundraiser for Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (RTX).
Scott Maitland President Distillers Association of North Carolina
Carrie Simmons Executive Director Texas Distilled Spirits Association
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