Artisan Spirit: Spring 2020

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ident Trump, letting him know that we need #ToastsNotTariffs. So far, about 1,500 letters and tweets have been sent to the White House on this issue. We are hoping that our collective advocacy will lead to the removal of distilled spirits on February 14, which is

when USTR is required to review and potentially amend the tariffs list. We hope that you’ll join us in advocating for the permanent passage of CBMTRA and #ToastsNotTariffs by joining Spirits United and contacting your lawmakers. Visit to join today. Chris R. Swonger President & CEO Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and

NORTH AMERICAN CRAFT MALTSTERS GUILD The North American Craft Maltsters Guild saw big changes in the last quarter of 2019, from the announcement of the Certified Craft Malt seal program and Craft Malt Day to the hiring of a new executive director. The Guild would like to acknowledge its outgoing ED, Jen Blair, for her tireless efforts and commitment to the organization during her tenure. The Guild experienced tremendous growth and expansion of member services and educational opportunities during her more than two years with us. We wish her the best of luck in her new position at New Realm Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia. Jen’s commitment helped to ensure a smooth transition for my entry into the role of the Guild’s new ED, and I thank our board of directors for welcoming me with open arms. I come to the role with a strong background in craft beer and spirits, two agricultural degrees, and extensive experience in agricultural research and production methods. I

look forward to applying my talents to grow and strengthen the Guild in 2020 and beyond. Along with new leadership, the Guild’s first quarter of 2020 is marked with exciting updates. Our group hosted a successful, soldout third annual Craft Malt Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado on February 7-8. Colorado is the nation’s fourth-largest barley producer and home to more than 400 craft breweries and 100 craft distilleries, making it an ideal location for a symposium dedicated to craft malt. Among the nearly 200 attendees who traveled to the Centennial State for the yearly event was an international menagerie of individuals hailing from seven Canadian provinces and 28 states, as well as Mexico, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and Norway. The two-day conference included seminars on the latest research, topics, and best practices relevant to those throughout the

craft malt supply chain. A session of particular interest was the review of preliminary results of a benchmarking survey of the craft malt industry. Additionally, the conference featured a discussion, with distillers Tyler Pederson of Westland Distilling and Todd Leopold of Leopold Bros., on how single-malt distillers are working to define American single malt as a new spirit style. As we head into the next quarter, we plan to put more focus on increasing brewery and distillery participation in the Certified Craft Malt seal program. In our next update, readers can expect a synopsis of highlights from the preliminary results of our craft malt industry survey and a summary of the results of our second annual Malt Cup competition held in conjunction with our annual conference. Jesse Bussard Executive Director North American Craft Maltsters Guild

AMERICAN STATE GUILDS CALIFORNIA CALIFORNIA ARTISANAL DISTILLERS GUILD The California Artisanal Distillers Guild (CADG) is looking forward to sending a delegation to the American Craft Spirits Association Annual Convention in Portland. Their Executive Director Cris Steller and Dry Diggings Head Distiller Casey Newman will sit on the panel Living in Excess: The Business and Legal Considerations for Turning Unused Capacity into Revenue. The


CADG spent 2019 reforming the guild and laying the groundwork for a 2020 focused on growing our membership base, seeking to provide value to members, and focusing our legislative agenda. A fresh website update, new membership tiers, and generating a California-brand awareness campaign around the question “Why should they drink California?” are pieces of the puzzle the guild is working on this year. In January the guild joined the Wine Institute, Distilled Spirits Council, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Family Winemakers of California, California Beer &

Beverage Distributors, California Distributors Association, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of California in opposition to SB-372 Beverage Container Recycling Act of 2020. In a statement sent to Ben Allen, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, we stated, “The bill seeks to reform the bottle bill program by shifting responsibility of the program to beverage distributors and places wine and spirits into the redemption program, which is inappropriate for heavy wine and spirits bottles. While we are supportive of comprehensive reform of the bottle bill program, this bill falls short of any substantive WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM