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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 September 20 2016


September 28, 2016 | Volume 1, Issue 11
Kraig Naasz

President’s Perspective: 
School Spirits Squashed – Examining the Stanford Case


Stanford University faced significant backlash last month after mishandling its response to a very public sexual assault case involving swimmer Brock Turner, who was convicted of his crime. Hoping to silence critics during his final days in office, Stanford University President John Hennessy attempted to put this controversy to rest by blaming spirits products.
The blow back from Stanford’s new campus spirits ban was swift and uniformly negative. The Council called the response inappropriate and misplaced when addressing the serious issue of sexual assault on campus. Perhaps more impactful was the intense negative reaction from virtually all other stakeholders.
Colleen Daly of the organization End Rape on Campus summed up many responses stating the policy “perpetuates the myth that alcohol, rather than the rapists, cause rape.”
Editorial Boards, feminist organizations, educational experts, conservatives, liberals, the student body and virtually every other stakeholder group panned the new policy as window dressing. A few of the sample headlines include:
Kraig Naasz


Campus alcohol misuse and abuse is an issue the distilled spirits industry takes very seriously. We have developed numerous programs over the years to encourage responsible decision making by college students through the spirits sector’s Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. 
Some effective approaches outlined in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s CollegeAIM include:
  • Normative awareness programs that provide students with personalized information about their alcohol consumption in comparison with actual use by their peers;
  • Cognitive-behavioral approaches that help students who are identified as having alcohol abuse problems, set goals for limiting their consumption;
  • Self-monitoring approaches involving repeated assessments using a daily diary over weeks, months or years;
  • Brief alcohol screening and interventions;
  • AlcoholEdu online program;
  • Feedback-based approaches that use a web-based assessment to personize feedback about students’ alcohol use, risk, expectancies, perceptions of social norms and drinking motives.
Imprudent policies are not effective. Instead, universities should work with families, law enforcement and industry to set procedures that are effective in addressing harmful drinking. These efforts should be evidence-based, relay that all forms of alcohol are equal, and recognize that the consequences of alcohol abuse are attributable to the consumption pattern, not the type of alcohol consumed.

Council Leads Joint Effort Directed to Surgeon General

The Distilled Spirits Council recently led a joint effort among seven industry trade associations expressing our shared concern to the Surgeon General and U.S. Public Health Service Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy about an upcoming report on the health effects of drugs, both illicit or otherwise, as well as alcohol misuse.

The letter requested the Surgeon General to “reject calls for the inclusion of unproven population-based policy recommendations aimed at consumers in general rather than abusive drinkers.”

In addition, the associations requested a meeting and urged that the report be subject to a public comment period before final adoption.

The letter was signed by Kraig R. Naasz, president & CEO, Distilled Spirits Council; Robert P. Koch, president & CEO, Wine Institute; Michael J. Kaiser, director of public affairs, WineAmerica; Margie A.S. Lehrman, executive director, American Craft Spirits Association; Robert Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association; Victoria I. McDowell, president & CEO, Presidents’ Forum; and Bill Earle, president & CEO, National Association of Beverage Importers.

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

Industry Relations

“Spirit of Mount Vernon” Heritage Dinner and Rare Auction Huge Success

The Distilled Spirits Council’s 15th “Spirit of Mount Vernon” heritage dinner and rare spirits auction held on the lawn of Mount Vernon raised more than $300,000 for Mount Vernon. This brings the grand total for the history of this event to more than $4 million.

The gala dinner was attended by more than 700 guests, including members of Congress, Ambassadors, CEOs of major trade associations, industry leaders and the media.  In addition to the Council, the event was sponsored by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Council of Life Insurers, International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Association of Manufacturers, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. 

During the event, two new members were inducted into the George Washington Spirit Society. The 2016 inductees include: The Honorable Mark Warner and Dr. Peter Cressy, former president and chief executive officer of the Distilled Spirits Council.

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

Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz with George Washington Spirit Society inductees the Honorable Mark Warner and Dr. Peter Cressy.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) addresses George Washington's legacy and background as a distiller at the Spirit of Mount Vernon Gala.

TTB Proposes Changes to Alcohol Import Reporting 

The Distilled Spirits Council recently submitted comments in response to the Tax and Trade Bureau's (TTB) proposed rulemaking on amendments to streamline the importation of distilled spirits, wine, beer and malt beverages. TTB’s proposed rulemaking is part of a government-wide initiative to establish an electronic "single window" that allows companies to transmit electronically data required by U.S. agencies when importing goods. Providing importers the option to file all data required to import goods into the United States via a single "electronic window" will reduce administrative burdens and costs.

The Council strongly supports TTB’s efforts and provided several recommendations as to how to further streamline the import process to facilitate trade in the U.S. marketplace.

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


Expanded Spirits Sales Would Raise over $4 Million for Montgomery County, Md. 

Distilled Spirits Council Chief Economist David Ozgo recently told the Montgomery County Agency Stores Working Group that allowing stores that currently sell wine and beer in Montgomery County, Md., to also sell spirits would generate significant additional revenue.

Sales of distilled spirits in Montgomery County are only 1.4 gallons per adult – 42 percent lower than expected for the area. The most significant factor leading to low sales is lack of access. The County has only 0.34 spirits outlets per 10,000 adults. By contrast, in the rest of Maryland, there are 3.02. Research shows that there are vast sales gains to be had as the number of outlets approaches 2.00.

According to a recent county survey, residents overwhelmingly approve of allowing beer and wine stores to carry spirits. If just 100 current licensees are allowed to carry spirits, the county is projected to net $4.1 million.

For more information, please contact Council Regional Vice President Jay Hibbard at (207) 831-8285 or

Public Affairs

LCBO Improves Consumer Convenience; Modernizes Retail Experience 

The Distilled Spirits Council recently commended the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) for modernizing its retail experience by launching, an online shopping portal that will allow consumers access to more than 5,000 different products that they can then pick up or have delivered directly to anywhere in Ontario.

The online shopping portal creates greater virtual shelf space for producers, offers added variety and convenience to consumers and will generate additional revenue for Ontario.

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

Industry Relations
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) (center) and his Chief of Staff Jeff Michels (right) tour House Spirits with CEO Tom Mooney (left) and Council Vice President of Government Relations David Culver

September 24 – October 2
Scottish Category Heritage Media Tour

October 11 & 12
Distilled Spirits Council 
Market Access Program
Bar Convent Berlin Trade Show

Berlin, Germany

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