Spirits United Continues to Gain Momentum with Five New Industry Partners

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) today announced five new industry partners joining the Spirits United grassroots network including the New Jersey Distillers’ Guild (NJDG), Ohio Distillers Guild (OHDG), Maryland Distillers Guild (MDG), Wisconsin Distillers Guild (WIDG) and the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG).

“We look forward to working with these industry leaders to address key policy issues that impact distillers across the country, hospitality businesses and their consumers,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO at DISCUS and Responsibility.org

The platform, which formally launched in August 2019, is gaining momentum throughout the beverage alcohol industry with more than 34,000 advocates.

“We are excited to work with Spirits United and DISCUS to ensure our members are heard on issues impacting our industry and shaping the future of craft spirits,” said John Granata, Co-Founder and Master Distiller at Jersey Spirits Distilling Co. “Craft distillers face a 400 percent tax increase if the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act does not pass by the end of the year. Through this partnership, we will ensure that our legislators understand the urgency of this critical piece of legislation. Without it, many craft distilleries may be forced to close their doors for good.”  

“On behalf of the entire Ohio Distillers Guild, we look forward to the partnership with Spirits United and DISCUS to affect change that will positively impact craft distilleries in our communities and beyond,” said Greg Lehman, President of the Ohio Distillers Guild, and owner and distiller of Watershed Distillery. “There is power in numbers, and we are pleased to be working with so many experienced and determined individuals to support our industry and ensure it’s thriving for many years to come.”

“Joining forces with Spirits United and DISCUS is a powerful step for us,” said Evan Hughes, Wisconsin Distillers Guild Legislative Committee Chair and Co-Founder and CEO of Central Standard Craft Distillery. “Here in Wisconsin, the spirits industry supports more than 39,000 jobs from family farmers and truck drivers to glass-bottle makers and those in the hospitality and tourism industries. In all, we impact billions of dollars in economic activity every year in our state.  We look forward to teaming with Spirits United and DISCUS to further their industry-leading efforts here in Wisconsin and across the country.”

“Maryland distillers understand that must all stand together to promote and protect the industry,” said Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of the Maryland Distillers Guild.” We look forward to collaborating in this new, united front.”

“The USBG is incredibly proud to lend its voice to this grassroots partnership advocating for thoughtful, inclusive policy impacting the beverage alcohol industry,” said Aaron Gregory Smith, USBG Executive Director. “At a time when the pandemic has largely silenced the voices of America’s bartenders, who are regularly the bridge between all aspects of the industry, making a difference by participating in initiatives like Spirits United is critical.”

Other Spirits United partners include the American Distilling Institute (ADI), TIPS, Texas Whiskey Association (TXWA), Texas Distilled Spirits Association (TDSA), the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA), the Tennessee Distillers Guild (TNDG), the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont (DSCV), the New York State Distillers Guild (NYSDG), the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) and Techniques for Alcohol Management (TAM).

Commitment to Responsibility

Spirits United continues to underscore a strong commitment to responsibility as its foundation. Through Spirits United’s social media content and information on its site, spirits advocates will be encouraged to join industry efforts to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving, and to promote the responsible consumption of beverage alcohol.


Join Spirits United

Spirits United is an inclusive community for anyone and everyone over the age of 21. To join Spirits United, please click here. Spirits United is also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Watch “I am Spirits United” here.

About the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.

About the United States Bartenders’ Guild:

Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders’ Guild®️ is a non-profit professional society of bartenders and other hospitality professionals uniting the hospitality community to advance professional bartending. The USBG believes that every US bartender achieves greater personal and professional success by connecting to diverse local and national hospitality communities. Through our network of over 40 communities nationwide, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, community service projects, and skills-based competition. Learn more at www.usbg.org.

About the Ohio Distillers Guild

The Ohio Distiller's Guild was incorporated in 2012 with the hopes that the Guild would provide a legislative voice for Ohio's Craft Distillers as well as a forum where industry professionals could locate business resources and information.

About the WIDG
Founded in 2014, the Wisconsin Distillers Guild, is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Wisconsin-made spirits, Wisconsin agriculture, tourism, small-batch distilling and the safe enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. Wisconsin’s small distillers face many challenges and misconceptions. We believe that there is a lack of understanding of spirits when compared to other beverages and we’re out to change those myths.”

About the Maryland Distillers Guild

Members of the Maryland Distillers Guild are a community of craft producers, dedicated to developing quality spirits and delivering a dynamic experience for visitors. 

About the New Jersey Distillers Guild

The New Jersey Distillers Guild was founded in 2017 to unite the growing number of distilleries opening in our state. We currently have over 15 members with the goal of using our combined knowledge to educate the public about the craft distilling industry through tours, tastings and bottle sales. By collaborating on issues that impact craft distillers on a local, state and national level, we can help our trade grow and prosper with the craft beverage industry as a whole to the benefit of consumers that have a burgeoning interest in craft spirits.

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