The burgeoning craft distillery movement has prompted the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) to today announce a new affiliate membership program affordable to the small distillers.
DISCUS, the major industry trade organization that deals in lobbying, education, research and related matters for the spirits industry, says its new "Craft Distiller Affiliate Membership" program is designed to organize the growing number of small distilled spirits producers across the nation and alert them to public policy issues affecting the industry at every level of government. The number of small distilleries in the past decade has grown from several dozen to more than 200. The new membership is available to companies producing less than 40,000 nine-liter cases annually.
“The rapidly growing number ... represents an important grassroots base for communicating substantive messages about industry modernization, our strong marketing code and the important role distillers play in the hospitality industry,” said Peter Cressy, DISCUS president. “Together, we can educate public officials and pursue positive public policies that advance the interests of the hospitality industry and the jobs we create.”
The new membership group will be headed by an 11-member advisory council of distillers chaired by Fritz Maytag of Anchor Distilling in San Francisco. As a leadership body, its role will be to coordinate communications with the DISCUS policy teams, and engage and activate small distillers in their respective regions.
Other advisory council members:
• Scott Bush, Templeton Rye, Iowa
• Brian McKenzie, Finger Lakes Distilling, New York
• Robert Cassell, Philadelphia Distilling, Pennsylvania
• Jess Graber, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, Colorado
• Ted Huber, Huber Starlight Distillery, Indiana
• Brett Joyce, Rogue Spirits, Oregon
• Marko Karakasevic, Charbay Distillery, California
• Guy Rehorst, Great Lakes Distillery, Wisconsin
• Jorg Rupf, St. George Spirits, California
• Rick Wasmund, Copper Fox Distillery, Virginia
“I have long believed it is critically important for distillers of all sizes to work together to highlight the important and positive role we play in our communities,” Maytag said. “With the support of DISCUS’ public policy experts, small distillers can help ensure fair and equitable treatment for distilled spirits at the federal, state and local levels.”
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