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The data demonstrates a strong and vibrant craft spirits market with considerable opportunities for continued growth.

What does all this mean? The data demonstrates a strong and vibrant craft spirits market with considerable opportunities for continued growth. Many industry professionals see the potential for craft spirits to perform in line or even better than craft beer over time. Our colleagues in craft beer own about 12% of their market, so if the predictions hold, we have plenty of runway in front of us. That being said, getting there will require solid business foundations, understanding of the market, and teamwork with our wholesale and retail partners. Our retail partners had some suggestions on how our industry can continue to grow, and pointed to providing more resources for tastings, as well as through increased consumer pull strategies. Onpremise retailers also felt strongly that we focus on fewer products and improved quality, while offpremise respondents would like improved branding and better trained staff who can better communicate your brand story and product attributes. Our wholesalers’ views and suggestions are arguably the some of the most important feedback we can get — and while they will push the brands that make the most business sense for themselves, they do believe

overwhelmingly that craft spirits are covering an underserved segment and that fragmentation among brands will continue to grow. Our wholesalers would like to see us much more frequently in the market, provide better sales training and branding, as well as more funding for consumer tastings. Being successful in our industry takes drive, commitment, and passion, but it also takes the business acumen to participate in, learn from, and respond to research that can help us grow in positive and beneficial ways. Thanks to the considerable research and analysis provided by Park Street and the IWSR, with help from TTB, National Beverage Alcohol Control Association, Wine & Spirits Wholesaler of America, American Beverage Licensees, and most importantly, the hundreds of distillers across the United States who participated in the survey, the American Craft Spirits Association is able to provide substantial industry data that is not and would not otherwise be available.

Mark Shilling is President of American Craft Spirits Association. Visit for more information on ACSA and to join.

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Artisan Spirit: Winter 2017  
Artisan Spirit: Winter 2017  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.