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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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Distilled Dispatch October 11 2016


October 12, 2016 | Volume 1, Issue 12
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: 
In the Spirit of Collaboration


Tonight marks the debut of a great short film from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a national think tank, titled I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit. The Distilled Spirits Council lent a hand in the film’s production and is partnering for screenings in D.C. and around the country. The film's underlying message is that the innovation and collaboration needed to produce whiskey reflects the underlying tenets of our country.  

Whiskey is a distinct spirit – it is history, science, time, risk, ingenuity, intensity — all in a glass. And like America itself, whiskey is equally known and appreciated for its diversity and individual expression.

The film also makes the case that the history of whiskey is the story of freedom – the freedom to connect and create. From the farmers and distillers, to the restaurant owners, consumers and beyond, whiskey shows us how people create value for each other.  

CEI has been an incredible partner in highlighting our product’s role in broader societal and historical issues, but also in expanding the reach of our policy messages. Creating partnerships such as these is a great way to cultivate friends with similar concerns, and importantly, to enlist allies willing to advocate on particular policy issues. Our industry has a strong and powerful message – but we often need others to join us in order to share it effectively.

Which brings us to tonight’s premiere at Jack Rose Dining Saloon here in Washington, D.C., a bar that has the largest selection of brown spirits on the east coast. While we showcase our members’ finest products during the screening, the event will be populated by opinion leaders, A-list reporters, public policy influencers, senior Capitol Hill staffers and lawmakers.

The premiere will be a celebration of whiskey and also a touch point to reinforce our underlying policy priorities.

I encourage you to watch I, Whiskey here and raise a toast to outreach and collaboration. 

Scottish Whisky Heritage Tour Brings Top-Tier Media to Source 

The Distilled Spirits Council, in partnership with the Scotch Whisky Association, hosted its biennial Scotch Heritage Media Tour from September 24 – October 1.

The tour, which first started in 2002, aims to promote the Scotch whisky category by exposing influential media to the rich heritage and the diverse flavors of Scotch whisky, while exploring the unique landscapes, history and culture of Scotland.

The week-long journey provided 11 top-tier business, lifestyle and spirits media guests with unique experiences throughout Scotland’s spectacular regions, including the Highlands, Speyside and its islands (Orkney and Islay). Participating members included Bacardi (Aberfeldy), Campari (Glen Grant), Brown-Forman (GlenDronach), Pernod Ricard (Strathisla), Moet Hennessy (Glenmorangie), Edrington (Highland Park), Diageo (Lagavulin), Remy Cointreau (Bruichladdich) and Beam Suntory (Bowmore).

Throughout the week, attendees tasted rare malts, learned about iconic Scotch brands and met with the category’s top master distillers. The tour concluded at the Balmoral in Edinburgh with a dinner hosted by Visit Scotland and special guest Member of the Scottish Parliament and Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

The experiences and education throughout the week should yield positive news coverage for the Scotch whisky category, as well as the spirits community.

For information about future category heritage media tours, please contact Council Director of Public Relations Kelley McDonough at (845) 494-3784 or

Tasting of Pernod Ricard's scotch whisky portfolio at Strathisla Distillery

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Holds Public Meeting on Flexible Pricing 

During the public comment period of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) meeting, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President for State Government Relations David Wojnar urged the PLCB to utilize an open and transparent process in developing its flexible pricing proposal. 

Wojnar expressly asked whether any supplier discount resulting from this new policy would be passed on to consumers or used solely by the PLCB to increase the agency’s margins.

Wojnar suggested the PLCB follow the recommended best practices of NABCA, the control state trade association, and bring industry and regulators together to collaborate on this new policy proposal.

For more information, please contact Council Vice President of State Government Relations David Wojnar at (774) 417-6909 or


Members Can Host Pre-Election Distillery Tours

One of the Council’s top priorities is to reduce the federal excise tax burden for distillers of all sizes. Distillers pay twice as much in taxes as they earn in profit.

As Congress heads into a month-long recess to campaign for re-election, it is an ideal time for lawmakers to visit distilleries, sample products and learn how the distilling sector contributes to the local economy. Distillery visits also provide an opportunity to ask lawmakers to co-sponsor the legislation that will create new jobs and stimulate local economies.

Please let us know if you are interested in hosting an elected official. The Council will extend a formal tour invitation to your senators' and representative’s chiefs of staff and district directors, which can also serve as a great opportunity to publicize your facility in the local media.

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


Council Holds Joint Capitol Hill Reception Highlighting Federal Excise Tax 

The Distilled Spirits Council recently joined with the American Craft Spirits Association, Wine Institute, Wine America, Beer Institute and Brewers Association to hold a Capitol Hill reception for members of Congress and their staffer. The reception was an opportunity to discuss the disproportionately high tax rates paid by the alcohol sector and explain the economic benefits of reducing the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on spirits, wine and beer through the Craft Beverage Modernization Act.  

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

U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) urges lawmakers in attendance to support the Craft Beverage Modernization Act.
Public Affairs

USDA and U.S. Embassy Promotes American Whiskey In Colombia 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in close coordination with the Council, worked with the U.S. Embassy in Bogota on several initiatives to promote American Whiskeys in Colombia. The culmination of a series of Council-led USDA MAP-funded American whiskey promotions included a reverse trade mission in 2014 to the American Whiskey Trail and an American whiskey seminar and filming of a TV cooking show featuring American whiskey cocktails led by a bilingual American mixologist in Bogota last year.

The U.S. Embassy in Bogota also recently visited Washington, D.C., and Virginia to film four episodes of its TV show, SaborUSA, a campaign to increase U.S. consumer-oriented agricultural exports to Colombia. The Council coordinated a visit to the Mount Vernon Estate and Distillery where the film crew interviewed Steve Bashore, Mount Vernon’s Master Distiller, who discussed the history of American whiskey; George Washington as a distiller; and how American Whiskey differs from other types or whiskey.  In addition, the episodes also will include an interview with American mixologist JP Fetherston, who discussed how to make classic American cocktails using American Whiskeys available in the Colombian market. These segments will begin to air in Colombia in mid-October 2016 and then uploaded to YouTube.  

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

George Washington's Historic Mount Vernon, Steve Bashore and the host of SaborUSA, Karina Correa
Mixologist JP Fetherston and the host of SaborUSA, Karina Correa 

Distilled Spirits Council Promotes Michele Famiglietti, Appoints Kelly Pike Poulsen

The Distilled Spirits Council last week announced the promotion of Michele Famiglietti to senior vice president of member relations and the appointment of Kelly Pike Poulsen as vice president of federal government relations.

In her new role, Michele will assume primary responsibility for member recruitment and services, grassroots advocacy and management of the association’s many events.  Michele has been at the Council for 15 years, promoting the equal treatment of spirits on Capitol Hill, expanding international market access for spirits and facilitating the exponential growth in the number of U.S. distilleries over the previous decade.

Kelly most recently served as vice president of government affairs at the American Frozen Food Institute over the past two years.  She also served in a government affairs capacity at the National Association of Home Builders and previously worked for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives over a period spanning eight years.  She is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

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

Industry Relations
Council Vice President of Government Relations David Culver attends the annual "Come Si Chiama" bocce tournament with host Congressman John Larson (D-CT)

October 11-12
Distilled Spirits Council
Market Access Program
Bar Convent Berlin Exhibit
Berlin, Germany
January 7-11

NABCA Board Meeting
Miami, Fla.


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