Spirits Industry Launches Campaign in Support of DtC Shipping in Illinois

The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), American Distilling Institute (ADI) and Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), three of the nation’s leading organizations representing distillers large and small, joined forces with the Illinois Craft Distillers Association to launch “Ship My Spirits,” a grassroots coalition with the common goal of modernizing the spirits marketplace by allowing direct-to-consumer shipping of distilled spirits.

“Wineries in Illinois and from across the United States have been able to ship directly to consumers for more than three decades,” said Nick Nagele, vice president of the Illinois Craft Distillers Association. “These shipments create jobs, support Illinois farmers, generate tax revenue and protect small manufacturers. There is no logical reason to prohibit distillers from doing the same thing wineries already do. The Ship My Spirits campaign is a great way to share that message with legislators.”

The Illinois Legislature is currently considering two bills sponsored by Senator Celina Villanueva and Rep. Kevin Olickal which would allow distillers to ship their spirits products directly to adult consumers just as wineries have done for more than three decades in the state.

“Direct shipping is a critical step to secure the future of our industry,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO of the ACSA. “Not only do we know we can do this safely and responsibly, but we have also seen how direct shipping has created an important lifeline for our community of craft producers who are currently facing so many small business challenges.”

ShipMySpirits.org, the coalition’s website, has an interactive map where consumers can click on their state to learn about the laws regulating spirits shipments and other data related to the spirit industry’s impact in the state. The site highlights that the spirits industry supports more than 79,000 jobs in Illinois and has an economic impact of more than $7.8 billion.

“Allowing direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits in Illinois will drive consumer interest which will support the growing craft distilling industry in the state,” said Erik Owens, president of ADI. “Further, the marketplace has changed, and consumers have grown accustomed to spirits DTC shipping. The ‘Ship My Spirits’ campaign provides a quick and easy way for consumers to get involved and let their voice be heard in the legislature.”

Visitors can take action through the site by sending letters to their legislators on the issue in less than three minutes.

“Consumers want distilled spirits shipped straight from the distillery to their doorbell, and that’s the goal of the ‘Ship My Spirits’ campaign,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS. “Allowing distillers to ship spirits to adult consumers helps modernize the marketplace while increasing consumer choice, building small businesses and increasing tourism. It also creates an on-ramp to distribution for new spirits products. Spirits direct-to-consumer shipping supports consumers, producers, wholesalers and retailers which can make the three-tier system stronger.”

American Craft Spirits Association

ACSA is the only national registered non-profit trade association that exclusively represents the U.S. craft spirits industry. Its mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers, and membership in ACSA is open to anyone.

American Distilling Institute

ADI is the largest small-batch, independently owned craft distillery association in the world. Founded in 2003, ADI has become a beacon for the diverse and inclusive craft distilling community — serving as the go-to source for all information on craft distilling.

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

DISCUS is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S., advocating on legislative, regulatory and public affairs issues impacting the distilled spirits sector at the local, state, federal and international levels. DISCUS members are committed to responsibility and encourage adults who drink to do so in moderation.

Illinois Craft Distillers Association

ICDA works to promote the success, viability and visibility of distilleries throughout Illinois. We do this through leading legislative efforts, engaging in industry education and hosting events like Distillinois with an active board of directors comprised of distillery owners and industry members in Illinois.

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