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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 May 3 2016


May 3, 2016 | Volume 1, Issue 6
Kraig Naasz

[Editor's Note: From time to time, I will ask others to share important thoughts in this space. Below is commentary from Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility President & CEO Ralph Blackman]

The Value of Tough Conversations During Prom and Graduation: Be a Resource

There seems to be a cultural expectation among some youth that drinking during prom, graduation and other senior spring events is some sort of initiation into the "real world," Unfortunately, many parents either agree or turn a blind eye.

Underage drinking is harmful, irresponsible and illegal, and can lead to poor decision-making and bad judgment. Therefore, it’s crucial for parents to face this issue head on with their teenagers. Research shows that parents are the number one influence on their child’s decision to drink alcohol – or not. Discussing underage drinking with your teenager may seem daunting (trust me, I’ve been there a couple of times), but there are ways to ensure the conversation goes smoothly. Parents have an opportunity to be a resource for their teens when they open the lines of communication.

Here are three tips for parents on navigating these conversations with teenagers:

1. Be Honest – Your teens may approach you with questions about your own experiences with alcohol and partying. Instead of shutting them out, be honest about what you’ve learned. This gives them the confidence to come to you again.
2. Practice Tough Decision Making – Present your teens with data and hypothetical situations, and ask them how they’d handle themselves. Talking through different possibilities will make them feel more prepared when they’re faced with a difficult decision.
3. Be a Role Model – Taking every opportunity to model safe behavior is crucial. Show your teen that you drink responsibly and always have a safe ride home. Your teens pay more attention than you realize.

Parents, don’t accept underage drinking as inevitable — no matter the occasion. For more tips on handling prom and graduation season, click here.

Ralph Blackman is President & CEO of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (, a national not-for-profit that has led the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking for 25 years and is funded by Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA.

Registration Opens for Distilled Spirits Council Legislative Policy Conference

Registration is now open for the Distilled Spirits Council’s 2016 Legislative Policy Conference, which will take place June 7–8 in Washington D.C. The conference is co-hosted by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), and members of the Council and ACSA are invited to participate.

The program will feature TTB Administrator John Manfreda and his senior staff; updates on key federal and state legislation; an economic overview of the spirits sector by Council Chief Economist David Ozgo; and an update on export opportunities.

The thrust of the conference will feature distillers, both small and large, conducting meetings with their members of Congress.The purpose of those meetings are to push for a reduction of the federal excise tax on spirits; stress the importance of trade legislation in bringing American spirits to international markets; and convey the positive economic impact the spirits category contributes to the U.S. economy at the federal, state and local level.

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Washington Capitol at a discounted rate. Please note the room block will close on Monday, May 9, or once the block is filled – whichever comes first. Please complete this form to register.

For more information, please contact Vice President of Government Relations Michele Famiglietti at (202) 682-8819 or

Industry Relations

Council Submits Comments on FDA’s Proposed Rule Establishing "Gluten-Free" Labeling Requirements

The Distilled Spirits Council last week submitted comments in support of gluten-free labeling for spirits made from gluten-containing grains (barley, rye, triticale and wheat). In particular, the Council echoed the the FDA's own reasoning that “[b]ecause distillation is a purification process… it is unlikely that gluten (or any other protein or protein fragments) is present.”

At the Council’s request, Spirits Canada, spiritsEUROPE and the Scotch Whisky Association also filed comments supporting the FDA’s proposal to allow gluten-free labeling for spirits. The Council also urged the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which has labeling jurisdiction over spirits, to revise its policy regarding gluten content statements for spirits to mirror FDA's proposal.

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

FDA Issues Final Guidance on Menu Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week issued its final guidance on menu labeling rules, which the agency will begin enforcing in May 2017. The menu labeling requirements were adopted as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and apply to restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations.

Calorie counts for alcohol beverages must be listed if they are standard menu items included on a menu or menu board. Importantly, the final guidance allows the use of TTB's calculation method as advocated by the Council rather than those of the FDA. The menu labeling requirements do not apply to alcohol beverages that are on display such as bottles behind a bar used to prepare mixed drinks.

The Distilled Spirits Council is spearheading a coalition of alcohol associations and working closely with the National Restaurant Association to help guide implementation of the menu labeling rules.

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


Media Tour of American Whiskey Trail Highlights Spirits Heritage

A group of 18 international and U.S. journalists, representing publications such as Forbes, Huffington Post, CNBC, BBC, Montreal Gazette and Süddeutsche Zeitung, last week explored the history of whiskey-making in America. The group traveled along the American Whiskey Trail, a cultural heritage and tourism initiative sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council and Historic Mount Vernon.

The five-day tour was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program and began at the reconstructed George Washington's Distillery at Mount Vernon. It also featured historic landmark distilleries in Kentucky and Tennessee including Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel, Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Bulleit. Along the way, journalists visited with master distillers for some of the world’s most iconic whiskey brands and learned about the unique character, heritage and tastes of Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

The journalists also met small distillers from the region at a special tasting event and toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Keeneland Racetrack.

For more information, please contact Director of Public Relations Kelley McDonough at (845) 494-3784 or

International and U.S. reporters learn of the rich heritage of George Dickel Distillery from Distiller Allisa Henley.
Jack Daniels Master Distiller Jeff Arnett leads reporters through a whiskey tasting.
The reporters enjoy a regional small distiller whiskey tasting with USDA official Teresina Chin (left) at the Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville, while an Angel's Envy representative (right) offers a sample to German reporter Tim Rahmann.

Council Comments on Mexico’s Proposed Spirits Standards

The Council last week submitted comments to the Mexican government regarding inconsistencies of its proposed regulations with U.S. standards of identity regulations.

The Council raised concerns about aging requirements, maximum alcohol content requirements, the use of analytical parameters, and labeling requirements for specialty products that could either prevent U.S. spirits from entering the Mexican market or require significant changes to product labels for U.S. spirits sold in Mexico. In addition, the Council sought clarification with regard to the certification and conformity assessment procedures for U.S. spirits imports into Mexico. The U.S. government, at the Council’s request, is expected to raise similar concerns with the Mexican government about its proposal.

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for International Affairs Christine LoCascio at (202) 682-8894 or

South Africa Market Access Trip Generates International Media Coverage

The Distilled Spirits Council’s Market Access Program trip to South Africa successfully highlighted American whiskeys throughout Africa. Master Distiller Dave Pickerell was featured on CNBC Africa and broadcasted across the entire continent during the evening news hour. Several additional news outlets covered the whiskey demonstrations that showcased the difference between Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey and Rye.

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for International Affairs Christine LoCascio at (202) 682-8894 or

Industry Relations

May is Tavern Month

May is Tavern Month, and the Council is joining with our industry partners, including the American Beverage Licensees, to celebrate America’s historic tradition of hospitality. Since 1953, Tavern Month has served to support local hospitality businesses, promote the responsible service and enjoyment of beverage alcohol, and educate the public about the economic engine formed by the tens of thousands of on-premise beverage licensees throughout the United States.

Direct retail alcohol sales in on-premise, licensed establishments account for as many as 1.23 million jobs; $31.7 billion in wages and benefits; and more than $76 billion in economic output according to the 2014 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine and Spirits Retailers. When including all sales by on-premise, full-service restaurants and drinking places, those numbers climb to 3.94 million jobs; $96.8 billion in wages and benefits; and over $241 billion in economic impact.

Please visit the American Beverage Licensees website for more information.

Council Promotes Spirits During White House Correspondents' Weekend

The Distilled Spirits Council Bloody Mary Bar was a huge hit at the Saturday brunch before the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Guests, including media, policy makers and celebrities, crafted cocktails using an array of Council member vodkas.

For more information, please contact Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Frank Coleman at (202) 682-8839 or

Tony Goldwyn, a star of the hit ABC show Scandal, enjoys a Bloody Mary.
Distilled Spirits President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz shares cocktails with fellow Yakima, Washington native, actor Kyle MacLachlan, at the Bloomberg White House Correspondents' Dinner reception.
Industry Relations
Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of Government Relations Mark Gorman and Vice President of Government Relations Michele Famiglietti host a Bourbon tasting for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of Government Relations David Culver attends a reception for Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), member of the Ways & Means Committee, with Diageo’s Elizabeth Wise.

May 9-10
2016 Wine & Spirits Summit
Miami Beach, Fla.

May 20-23
NABCA 79th Annual Conference
Orlando, Fla.

May 21
Tennessee Whiskey Festival
Chattanooga, Tenn.

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

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