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There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Understanding Moderation

Part of responsible drinking is understanding that a standard drink of beer, distilled spirits and wine each contains the same amount of alcohol. It's not what you drink, it's how much that counts.

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There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Committed to Responsibility

For more than 75 years, the spirits industry has adhered to a rigorous set of standards for beverage alcohol advertising and marketing. Click here to learn more about the Code.

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Distilled Dispatch April 5, 2017

April 5, 2017 | Volume 2, Issue 4
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: Large-Scale Study Confirms Enjoying Alcohol in Moderation Benefits the Heart 

[Editor's Note: From time to time, I will ask others to share their thoughts or perspective in this space. Below is commentary from two members of the Council's Science Advisory Council Dr. Martin Morad and Dr. Tiffany Sizemore-Ruiz]


An important new and comprehensive study of 1.93 million UK adults, published March 22 in the British Medical Journal, concludes that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of several cardiovascular diseases compared to non-drinkers or heavy drinkers.

This study reviewed the electronic medical records from more than 1.9 million adults, free from cardiovascular disease at baseline, from 1997 to 2010. The patients were separated in to five categories that included non-drinkers, former drinkers, occasional drinkers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers.

The study found that “the protective effect of alcohol were most obvious for moderate drinkers for major cardiac diseases including myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, sudden coronary death, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysm, where the risk factors were significantly reduced even after separation of the group of current non-drinkers into more specific categories.” 

Also interesting was the decreased Body Mass Index (BMI), less incidence of diabetes as well as the decreased incidence of using anti-hypertensive and cholesterol lowering medications in the moderate drinkers.

This finding is particularly noteworthy given that a few researchers have recently called into question the potential benefits of moderate drinking citing flaws in the methodology of studies that grouped abstainers with former drinkers, who may have stopped consuming alcohol for health reasons. 

In an accompanying BMJ editorial, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine underscored that these findings are supported by four decades of studies with similar results. They noted that this study advances the field of alcohol research by using data collected in electronic health records and large registries, representing “a promising convergence between medicine, public health, and research.”


Distilled Spirits Council Meets with MADD

Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz last week met with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Chief Executive Officer Debbie Weir to discuss the best ways to ensure we continue the progress made on fighting instances of drunk driving. The Council looks forward to opportunities to collaborate with MADD on issues where the organizations can improve public safety and promote safe driving.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President for Government Relations Mark Gorman at (202) 682-8866 or

Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz with MADD CEO Debbie Weir at the Council’s offices.

Tequila Tour Highlights Luxurious Spirits of Mexico

The Distilled Spirits Council hosted a Tequila media tour March 19-26 with support from the National Chamber for the Tequila Industry.
The trip promoted the booming Tequila category by showcasing the industry’s rich heritage and differing production methods, while exploring the unique culture, history and beautiful scenery of Mexico.
The week-long journey provided 10 top-tier business, lifestyle and travel media with unique experiences throughout Mexico’s prime Tequila regions including Guadalajara and Jalisco. Distillery stops included Patrón, Sauza (Beam Suntory), Don Julio (Diageo), Cazadores (Bacardi), Casa Herradura (Brown-Forman), Los Altos and Avión (Pernod Ricard).
Throughout the week, attendees tasted the very finest and rarest tequilas, learned about innovative premium brands and met the category’s top Master Distillers. The tour concluded with a visit to the Four Seasons Punta Mita where attendees learned more about Mexico’s growing tourism sector.
For more information please contact Council Director of Public Relations Kelley McDonough at (845) 494-3784 or

Ruben Aceves Vidrio of Herradura walks media though the distinct flavor profiles of tequila.
Francisco Alcaraz of Patron educates reporters on the tequila distilling process.
A jimador harvesting blue agave for tequila production.

Florida Senate Approves “Take Down the Wall” Bill

The Florida Senate recently approved “take down the wall” legislation, which would allow spirits to be sold alongside wine and beer in grocery stores. Currently, Florida retailers must segregate spirits into a side store, which is separated by a wall. 

Following testimony from Council Regional Vice President Jay Hibbard, the Florida House Commerce Committee passed a version of the legislation, which is pending approval by the full House. The Council will continue to work with our coalition partners to support the legislation.

For more information, please contact Council Regional Vice President Jay Hibbard at (207) 831-8285 or

Council Regional Vice President Jay Hibbard testifies before the Florida House Commerce Committee.

Council’s Poulsen Moderates Women of the Vine & Spirits Panel 

Council Vice President of Government Relations Kelly Poulsen recently moderated the panel Women of the Still:  Making Herstory at the Third Annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium in Napa Valley. Maker’s Mark Distillery Vice President of Operations Victoria MacRae-Samuels, Woodford Reserve Master Taster & Senior Quality Control Specialist Elizabeth McCall, Hangar 1 Vodka Head Distiller Caley Shoemaker and ADMIRABLE Family Vineyards Owner & Chief Executive Officer Béatrice Cointreau discussed the spirits sector and explored the future for women in distilling.
The panel covered experiences in building a career in the sector, lessons learned in managing teams of people and how to encourage more young women professionals to choose a career path in spirits.

The Council announced a partnership with Women of the Vine & Spirits earlier this year and supports the organization's mission to advance professional development of women within the wine and spirits sectors.
For more information about Women of the Vine & Spirits, please contact Deborah Brenner at (845) 365-2838 or

Panel participants left to right: Elizabeth McCall, Caley Shoemaker, Béatrice Cointreau, Kelly Poulsen and Victoria McRae-Samuels.

Georgia Legislature Approves Distillery Sales

The Georgia Senate recently voted 52-1 to approve SB 85, which would allow breweries and distilleries to sell their products directly to the public for on or off-premise consumption. The bill provides parity with wineries by allowing distilleries to sell up to 500 barrels of spirits per year to consumers at the distillery premises. Sales for off-premise consumption would be limited to three bottles per customer per day. The bill now heads to Governor Deal for his signature.

For more information, please contact Council Regional Vice President Jay Hibbard at (207) 831-8285 or


Council Participates in AMWA Annual Meeting

Distilled Spirits Council chief scientist Dr. Sam Zakhari met with American Medical Women Association President Dr. Suzanne Harrison at AMWA’s 102nd Annual meeting in San Francisco, where the Council sponsored a session on alcohol and health.  AMWA is the oldest multispecialty organization dedicated to advancing women in medicine and improving women’s health. The Council and AMWA have partnered together for several years on responsibility and moderation initiatives.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari at (202) 682-8837 or  

Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Dr. Sam Zakhari with AMWA President Dr. Suzanne Harrison.

Foreign Agriculture Service Learns About American Spirits

The Distilled Spirits Council recently held a successful briefing for new U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) staff in Washington, D.C. Participating FAS staff will soon be posted at U.S. embassies around the world where they are tasked with supporting U.S. agricultural exports. The briefing highlighted the importance of international trade to the distilled spirits sector and the Council’s priority trade policy issues. In addition, the Council highlighted the importance of the cooperation and support it receives through USDA’s Market Access Program to increase American distilled spirits exports.
For more information, please contact Council International Trade Specialist Robert Maron at (202) 682-8826 or


April 3-5
Distilled Spirits Council Vietnam Market Access Program Events
Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
April 7
Distilled Spirits Council Thailand Market Access Program Event
Bangkok, Thailand
April 23-28
Distilled Spirits Council American Whiskey Trail Media Tour
Virginia, Kentucky & Tennessee
June 20-21
Distilled Spirits Council Annual Public Policy Conference
Washington, D.C.

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