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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 October 25, 2016


October 25, 2016 | Volume 1, Issue 13
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: 
Pennsylvania’s Consumers Deserve an Open and Transparent Process

On behalf of the Distilled Spirits Council, I commend the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Liquor Control Committee for convening a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 27, to review the “flexible pricing” provisions of Act 39.
By way of background, the Pennsylvania Legislature in June hastily adopted legislation to allow the sale of wine in some grocery stores.  Tucked into the bill was another provision that went largely unnoticed and provides the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) far greater leverage in negotiating price agreements with distilled spirits suppliers.
Unfortunately, it appears the PLCB is attempting to utilize its new-found “flexible pricing” authority to boost its revenue at the expense of Pennsylvania’s consumers and distilled spirits suppliers.  The PLCB’s self-directed deadline of Nov. 1 for implementing new pricing agreements also threatens previously negotiated contracts ahead of the busy holiday purchasing season.

When a supplier offers promotional prices around the holidays or at any other time throughout the year, the price discount is intended to benefit the consumer.  However, under flexible pricing, any supplier discount would be offset with a mark-up by the PLCB.  As a result, the PLCB would increase its margins but the consumer would see no discount in the purchase price.

Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations David Wojnar and Chief Economist David Ozgo appealed to the PLCB at its public meeting on Oct. 5 to suspend any action on pricing until after the holiday season.  Moreover, they advocated for an open and transparent process, in keeping with the recommended best practices of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), by bringing regulators and stakeholders together to collaborate on the implementation of Act 39.

Thankfully, several of Pennsylvania’s leading lawmakers are also raising concerns about how flexible pricing is being implemented and that it will cost Pennsylvania consumers $65 million annually, as the Council’s Ozgo detailed in a statewide op-ed.

In addition, the influential PennLive Editorial Board recently called upon the Pennsylvania Legislature to place a moratorium on flexible pricing and include spirits in any modernization effort.  This seems like a reasonable approach to an ill-conceived policy that will hurt Pennsylvania consumers, who deserve better from their elected officials and the PLCB.


Council Market Access Promotion Trip to Berlin Huge Success

The Distilled Spirits Council Market Access Promotion (MAP) trip to the Bar Convent Berlin on Oct. 11-12 demonstrated that international markets continue to be extremely interested in American spirits. Participants have already reported more than $500,000 collectively in sales from the show and more deals are expected.

In addition to running a tasting booth that highlighted U.S. spirits, the Council also hosted a session featuring Robert Birnkecker from KOVAL who spoke about the growth of American spirits and the distilling sector; Chris Fredrickson from Traverse City who explained the popularity of cocktails and versatility of American products; and Christine Wiseman from House Spirits who led a cocktail demonstration.

Bar Convent Berlin is one of the largest industry trade shows in Europe with more than 12,000 distributors, beverage buyers and mixologists from across Europe. Participating craft distillers included: House Spirits Distillery, Catoctin Creek Distilling, KOVAL Distillery, Vodquila, New Columbia Distillers / Green Hat Gin, Traverse City Whiskey Company, Golden Moon Distillery, Osocalis Distillery, Cleveland Whiskey, Death's Door Spirits, Michter's Distillery and Philadelphia Distilling.

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

Distilled Spirits Council to Showcase American Spirits in Hong Kong and Shanghai 

The Distilled Spirits Council recently announced that it will showcase American spirits products at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair Nov. 10-12, and convene a separate event in Shanghai on Nov. 14. 

As one of the most promising markets for U.S. distilled spirits exports, the promotions in China will showcase American spirits from 16 leading American distillers, including 12 small distillers – many of whom are new to the Chinese market. The Council’s promotions are being held in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP).

The Council will feature an American Spirits Pavilion at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, which is the top event for alcohol buyers and distributors in the fast growing Asia-Pacific region. In 2015, the show attracted more than 20,000 visitors from 75 countries.

For more information, please contact Council Vice President of Government Relations David Culver at (202) 682-8884 or

LoCascio Named Chair of Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC 4)

Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President of International Affairs Christine LoCascio was recently named Chair of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Consumer Goods (ITAC 4) for the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The Industry Trade Advisory Committees are a unique public-private partnership jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and USTR that engage business leaders in formulating U.S. trade policy.

As part of the USTR-led trade advisory committee system, the Department of Commerce and USTR rely on trade advisors to provide detailed policy and technical advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative regarding trade barriers, trade agreements negotiations and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting industry sectors.

LoCascio will serve as Chair of the ITAC4 through February 2018.

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

Council Vice President of Government Relations David Culver meets with Joe Heaton from the Beer Institute to discuss the pathway to passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization Act. 

November 10
Distilled Spirits Council
Executive Committee Meeting
Washington, D.C.

November 10-14
Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair 
Hong Kong & Shanghai, China  

January 7-11
NABCA Board Meeting
Miami, Fla.

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