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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.

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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 March 22, 2016


March 22, 2016 | Volume 1, Issue 3
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective

Great attention is being given to the presidential primaries, and appropriately so, but the undercard races in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are also critically important to the spirits and hospitality sectors.

There is a large enough majority in the House that barring a wave election, we can expect Speaker Paul Ryan will still hold the gavel when the 115th Congress convenes in January 2017. However, when looking at control of the Senate, the Republican's 54-seat majority is in serious jeopardy. 

It is clear when examining the races, Democrats have fewer risky seats to defend. Colorado and Nevada are the main concerns with Colorado leaning Democrat and Nevada a toss-up, according to the Cook Political Report. 

Republicans on the other hand will be fighting to defend seats in six states President Obama carried twice: Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. It is interesting that the swing states of Florida and Ohio may be key to both the presidency and control of the Senate.

The last time the Senate flipped control during a presidential election year was 1980, so it is not that common in American politics. As the election nears we expect to see significant financial support and focus shift to contested Senate races, as well as any House races that appear close.  

The Distilled Spirits Council is supporting candidates that understand the importance of the spirits, hospitality and agri-tourism sectors. In particular, we utilize the Distilled Spirits Political Action Committee (DISPAC) to help fund the campaigns of our champions in Congress, thereby aiding their important work of growing our nation’s economy and holding the line on taxes.

Election Day is just eight months away. We encourage you to help us ensure the voice of the spirits sector is heard by supporting individual candidates, your company's political action committee or DISPAC. Let's make sure hospitality matters to the candidates between now and November and beyond. 

Utah Allows Spirit Tastings at Distilleries

Utah distilleries can now offer on-site tastings, which puts spirits producers on equal footing with breweries and wineries. Patrons can sample 2.5 ounces of spirits, five ounces of wine or 16 ounces of beer in a 24-hour period.

For more information, please contact Vice President David Wojnar at (202) 682-8805 or

Louisiana Tax Increase Blunted

A Distilled Spirits Council-led coalition successfully limited the size of a tax increase on spirits sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards and supported by some within the industry. The proposed tax hikes were in response to a $4 billion budget shortfall created by falling oil and gas prices. The Louisiana legislature ultimately raised alcohol tax rates on spirits tax 21 percent, versus a 25 percent increase for beer and 567 percent increase for wine. 

For more information, please contact Regional Vice President Dale Syndrowski at (202) 682-8806 or

Spirits Sales Approved for New Florida High Speed Trains

Legislation supporting the operation of high-speed rail service between South Florida and Orlando recently passed the state legislature with a Council-backed provision authorizing operators of railroad transit stations to obtain licenses to sell alcoholic beverages, which would supersede local permitting requirements.

For more information, please contact Regional Vice President Jay Hibbard at (202) 682-8836 or


Tennessean: Whiskey Makes a Comeback

USA Today picked up part of a series on whiskey’s incredible growth originally reported by the Tennessean’s Lizzy Alfs. As Council Chief Economist David Ozgo describes, “The consumer just has an incredible fascination with the product, and the marketplace is responding with a variety of well-crafted, easy-to-drink products.”

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8840 or


FDA Menu Labeling Enforcement Delayed

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced it will delay the menu labeling enforcement date until one year after it issues final guidance. The FDA has indicated that the final guidance is expected to be published later this year. The menu labeling requirement was initially passed as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, however, enforcement has been delayed twice while FDA attempts to finalize its guidance.

For more information, please contact General Counsel Lynne Omlie at (202) 682-8824 or


Super Premium Irish Whiskies Popular for St. Patrick's Day

The Council leveraged the St. Patrick’s Day holiday to promote news that Irish Whiskey has grown 600 percent in the last 10 years. Outlets such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Fortune and WTOP provided recommendations on which super premium products to try this St. Patrick’s Day, while other outlets cited the Council’s numbers. Over all, the Council’s efforts generated nearly 175 million media impressions.

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8840 or

Public Affairs

Council Sponsors Lecture at American Medical Women's Association

The Council sponsored a lecture on high-risk drinking on college campuses last week during the American Medical Women’s Association’s annual meeting. Dr. Jessica Cronce from the College of Education at the University of Oregon presented the psychological and social factors leading to alcohol misuse by college students.

For more information, please contact Senior Director of Scientific Affairs Dr. Ramona Dumitrescu at (202) 682-8862 or

Industry Relations
DISCUS CEO Kraig R. Naasz & SVP of Government Relations Mark Gorman attended the American Beverage Institute meeting held annually in conjunction with the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas
DISCUS Vice President of Government Affairs David Culver hosted an Irish Whiskey tasting for Congressman Jerry McNerney’s (D-CA) annual St. Patrick’s Day event

April 4 - 5
American Distilling Institute Conference and Expo
San Diego, Calif.

April 11 - 12
Distilled Spirits Council
Military Sales Committee Meeting
Jacksonville, Fla.

Distilled Spirits Council
Market Access Promotion
April 12
Cape Town, South Africa
April 13
Pretoria, South Africa
April 14
Johannesburg, South Africa 

April 18-21
WSWA Convention & Exposition
Las Vegas, N.V. 

June 7-8
Distilled Spirits Council
Annual Policy Conference
Washington, D.C.

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