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Distilled Dispatch December 27, 2017

 

December 27, 2017 | Volume 2, Issue 7
 
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: Cheers to Tax Reform


As we wrap up 2017, we end the year knowing that Congress has approved and the President has signed the first comprehensive tax reform bill in more than 30 years. The Distilled Spirits Council commends the leadership of the U.S. House and Senate as well as the chairmen of the congressional tax-writing committees for their tireless efforts to enact comprehensive tax reform.

It's welcome news that in the context of a massive tax rewrite, Congress recognized the excessive tax burden faced by the more than 1,200 operating distilleries nationwide by including a two-year version of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which creates a fairer tax structure for all beverage alcohol makers. The Council and its members advocated in support of this tax cut legislation as part of an alcohol producers coalition that includes the Beer Institute, Brewers Association, Wine Institute, WineAmerica and the American Craft Spirits Association and we’re very pleased to see it included in the final tax reform package. 

The Craft Beverage Modernization Act is about more than a tax cut for makers of distilled spirits; it’s about enabling our members to invest back in their businesses and communities across the United States; generating jobs and supporting agriculture and tourism. The Council will continue to educate members on Capitol Hill about the high tax burden that our products face, and adoption of a federal excise tax cut is an important step forward in relieving some of that excessive burden. The Council commends Congress for its efforts to create a simpler, more competitive and equitable tax system through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
 

Top Distillers Gather at Mount Vernon to Craft Special 10th Anniversary Rye Whiskey

Distillers from across the country recently fired up the stills at George Washington’s Distillery to collaborate on a special rye whiskey in honor of the 10th anniversary of the historic distillery’s reconstruction.

Since 2008, when Virginia legalized spirits sales at the distillery, Mount Vernon has sold more than 23,600 bottles of whiskey and brandy and 8,000 whiskey gift sets raising almost $1.5 million in revenue, which benefits the ongoing preservation and restoration of Mount Vernon and its educational programs.

The 10th Anniversary American Rye Whiskey distilling project was a two-day event sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

The event featured top American whiskey distillers, including: Fred Noe, Jim Beam (KY); Elizabeth McCall, Woodford Reserve (KY); Wes and Kyle Henderson, Angel's Envy (KY); Bruce Russell, Wild Turkey (KY); Ted Huber, Starlight Distillery (IN); Brett Carlile, Woodinville (WA); Becky Harris, Catoctin Creek (VA); Matt Hofmann, Westland Distillery (WA); Gordon Working, MGP (IN); Ewan Morgan, Diageo; Dave Pickerell, Hillrock/WhistlePig (NY/VT); and Steve Bashore, George Washington’s Distillery (VA).

For more information please contact Council Director of Public Relations Kelley McDonough at (845) 494-3784 or kelley@distilledspirits.org.
 

Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz discusses the restoration of the George Washington’s Distillery, which shines a light on the important role of distilling in our nation’s history.
Top distillers from across the country toast to the 10th anniversary of the George Washington's Distillery reconstruction.
Top American whiskey distillers collaborated on a special rye whiskey in honor of the 10th anniversary of the historic distillery’s reconstruction.

Congressman Goodlatte Visits River Hill Distillery

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) recently toured River Hill Distillery in Luray, Va.
 
Following the visit, Rep. Goodlatte commented, “Small businesses like River Hill Distillery play a big role in Virginia’s economy. In recent years we have seen the local agricultural industry growing to encompass more diverse types of agribusinesses, including craft distilleries. 
 
“That’s why it was important for me to tour River Hill recently to learn more about their operation and hear how federal policies impact their business. Right now, Congress is working to move forward historic tax reform legislation with the goal of lowering tax rates for families and small businesses, like River Hill, and helping level the playing field for American industry. I’ll continue working to see this important tax relief signed into law and to serve as an advocate in Congress for Virginia agriculture and small businesses.”

For more information, please contact Council Vice President for Government Relations Kelly Poulsen at (202) 682-8831 or kpoulsen@distilledspirits.org.

Rep. Goodlatte (R-Va.) learns the process of distilling spirits and how tax reform would help grow small businesses such as River Hill Distillery.
International
CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett and Distilled Spirits Council Chair Jim Clerkin discuss the prospects of tax reform passage ahead of the Council’s Winter Board Meeting.
Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz toasts CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett on an informative overview of the coming political landscape.

The Hill Names Council’s Naasz, Gorman & Culver Top Lobbyists for 2017

The Hill, one of Washington, D.C.’s premier publications covering Congress, the Administration and politics, recently named the Distilled Spirits Council’s Kraig R. Naasz, Mark Gorman and David Culver to its 2017 Association Top Lobbyists List
 
The Capitol Hill newspaper cited the Council’s efforts on tax reform and reducing the federal excise tax for spirits, wine and beer as a reason for the honor. The Council-backed Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 747/S. 236) garnered the support of 52 sponsors in the U.S. Senate and 285 sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8840 or fcoleman@distilledspirits.org.

Council Testifies on 2020 Dietary Guidelines

Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari recently testified during the initial listening session for 2020 Dietary Guidelines. Zakhari emphasized the importance of maintaining in the Guidelines the current 2015 definition for moderate drinking as well as drink equivalents. He also urged that the 2020 Guidelines incorporate the potential benefits and risks of alcohol consumption as was the case in the 2010 Guidelines.
 
For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari at (202) 682-8837 or samir.zakhari@distilledspirits.org

Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari discusses the science behind alcohol consumption at the initial listening session for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines.
International
Council Chief Economist David Ozgo recently served on a panel discussing spirits trends and the movie I,Whiskey: The Human Spirit during WhiskeyFest in San Francisco.
International
The Distilled Spirits Council recently cohosted a bourbon tasting with the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America for Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) on her birthday.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) toasts Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz and American Frozen Food Institute CEO Alison Bodor at an event cohosted by the Distilled Spirits Council PAC and the American Frozen Food Institute’s FROZEN FOODPAC.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Council Vice President for Government Relations David Culver at an event cohosted with the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America that showcased specialty cocktails featuring New York spirits.
International

Council Toasts Politico Playbook with Holiday Event 

The Council recently cohosted a holiday event in conjunction with Politico, the National Restaurant Association and the Beer Institute for top reporters and senior Capitol Hill staffers to toast Politico’s daily Playbook publication.

The Council showcased the rare and interesting products from member companies, which were the highlight of the event.

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8840 or fcoleman@distilledspirits.org.

Council staff provide samples of exclusive ryes, bourbons, scotches, cognacs and tequilas to reporters, lawmakers and Capitol Hill staffers.

Just in Time for the Holidays!

A recent study in the Annals of Microbiology analyzed sixty samples of ice cubes that were produced at domestic, restaurant and industrial facilities for three different types of bacteria, including bacteria that can survive and/or grow in extremely cold temperatures.

Many samples had high levels of contaminations, including bacteria that can cause infections. 

Different drinks commonly found at bars (whisky, vodka, tonic water, peach tea, coke) were tested for their ability to support bacterial growth. We are pleased to share that across the board nothing grew in whisky. So, this holiday season, please enjoy your whisky on the rocks!  

For more information, please contact Council Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Sam Zakhari at (202) 682-8837 or samir.zakhari@distilledspirits.org

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
Calendar

February 1
Annual Economic Briefing
New York, N.Y.

February 21-22
Board of Directors Annual Meeting
Palm Beach, Fla.
 
June 13-14
Distilled Spirits Council Summer Board Meeting  
Middleburg, Va.

 
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