other industry groups to reach the widest audience of DSPs. The retail environment has changed and the 2020 pandemic has shown consumers are moving towards hav-
COLORADO COLORADO DISTILLERS GUILD Happy 2021 all! Our Colorado distillers are very much looking forward to a much more positive year than 2020 and have hit the ground running. Most of our 2020 goals had to be pushed to 2021, as I'm sure is true for most state guilds. We are hoping to revamp our Colorado Spirits Trail to adapt to the changes we've had to make in the last year and encourage in-state travel to our tasting rooms across the state. We have also joined forces with our other Colorado craft beverage guilds (beer, wine, and cider) to create a Colorado “Liquid Arts Passport.” We received a matching grant from the Colorado Tourism Office to create a series of online passport programs for different regions in the state for discounts and offers to each of our members' tasting rooms/taprooms. Throughout the last year, all four guilds have worked closely together to ensure our united voice
CONNECTICUT CONNECTICUT SPIRITS TRAIL & GUILD The Connecticut Spirits Trail & Guild members are, of course, very happy about the recent federal law changes including the passage of the permanent FET reduction and the waiving of the FDA fees for distilleries that are making hand sanitizer. These should assist distilleries in Connecticut and all over the U.S., which is certainly needed in the challenging times that the pandemic has brought to the industry. At the state level here, we have had some legislative successes but also have some work to do in order to achieve long-term solutions to promote and protect business growth. In a past legislative change, effective July 1, 2020, Connecticut distilleries are
ing products delivered to their homes. This bill looks to allow California distillers to stay in that retail sales path and hopefully allow for a return to the growth the craft spirits move-
ment in California was experiencing before the COVID-19 pandemic.
was heard in the creation of ever-changing rules and guidelines. Our guild is proud to be in a state where these types of collaborations are possible. As far as legislative goals and accomplishments go:
3. We’re still pursuing direct-to-consum-
1. We’re working with our counterparts in the
cider community to get a bill passed that will greatly increase the production cap on distillery pub licenses, giving us a parity with brew pubs (based upon number of typical servings). 2. We’re currently fighting a challenge to the
cocktails-to-go issue. A bill is being written that will make cocktails-to-go permanent, however the beer wholesalers have asked that manufacturers be excluded from it. This is due to their fear that AnheuserBusch InBev or Molson Coors might gain unfair advantage somehow. If they get their way, we (those of us with manufacturing licenses) would simply be collateral damage. We’re working with various folks to see that doesn’t happen. now able to hold a café permit, allowing the sale of drinks by the glass and/or hold a full restaurant permit, and to be able to double the individual sales limit to tasting room visitors. Certainly this is progress, but its impact was effectively delayed by the impacts of the pandemic. We are going to push for the permanent allowance for home bottle and pre-made drink delivery and for in-state shipping, which has been temporarily allowed due to the pandemic. State law currently has a gallon threshold that, if crossed, forbids the sale of bottles in the tasting room. While this may have been intended to allow only small craft distillers’ tasting rooms to sell product, with the advent of canned cocktails/alcoholic RTDs we realize that this aspect of state law needs to be revisited to accommodate growing produc-
Cris Steller, Executive Director Ryan Friesen, Vice President
er (DTC) shipping in some way, shape, or form. At present both the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Colorado and the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association (CLBA) are in opposition. We are working with various folks at the national level to build a case that shows that wine DTC has increased, rather than decreased, both wholesale and retail sales. Lastly, we will be working on improving our sponsorship program for the guild. We envision sessions and training that our sponsors will be able to present to our members so that each member has more access to resources our sponsors provide. We have appreciated all of our national and state guilds’ hard work this last year and look forward to working with you all again in 2021. Meagan Miller Talnua Distillery, Co-Founder & Vice President Colorado Distillers Guild, President
tion levels. We will prioritize lifting that restriction and attaining other modernizations to the state code — such as the ability to sell bottles at certified farmers markets and operate satellite tasting rooms without the need to have a licensed distillery on the premises. The business environment improvements that we have attained are creating more encouragement amongst our current members and for those considering getting into the industry. We realize that our work in this arena will likely never end, so we will continue to press on while working within the threetiered system and with our state lawmakers. Cheers to everyone! Tom Dubay President, CT Spirits Trail CEO, Hartford Flavor Company email@example.com
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