Join Us in Washington, D.C to Fight for Permanent Federal Excise Tax Relief
On Monday May 14th through Wednesday May 16th, ACSA will be teaming up with the Distilled Spirits Council for our Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. We'll be building on the success of last summer's ACSA Fly-In to tackle our next big challenge: ensuring that Congress makes FET relief permanent. We're going to need all hands on deck for the effort and hope you can join us in D.C. in just under two weeks. The public policy conference will include meetings with key Members of Congress, including those from your home state, a briefing with the administrator and senior staff from the Tax and Trade Bureau, an economic briefing on the state of the industry and opportunities to network and feature your brands during receptions with Congressional staff and colleagues. The conference is free to attend (travel expenses are attendees' responsibility. If you need a room, please call ACSA directly as the hotel block has now closed. Contact Carason Lehmann at 803.606.2187). Register here.

Detailed schedule of events at 2018 ACSA & Distilled Spirits Council Public Policy Conference:

Monday, May 14

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Phoenix Park Hotel
520 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Welcome Reception
One Eight Distilling
1135 Okie Street NE, Washington, DC

Tuesday, May 15

8:00 am – 9:00 am
Phoenix Park Hotel Ballroom

9:00 am – 11:45 am
Welcome from Distilled Spirits Council CEO Kraig R. Naasz
and American Craft Spirits Association Executive Director Margie A.S. Lehrman
Phoenix Park Hotel Ballroom

State of the Industry & Economic Trends
● David Ozgo, Chief Economist, Distilled Spirits Council
● Harry Kohlmann, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, Park Street

Federal Government Relations Update
● Permanent Reduction of FET
● Direct Ship Legislation
● Funding for TTB
Arthur J. DeCell, Counsel, McDermott Will & Emery LLC

● John J. Manfreda, Administrator, TTB

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Grab and Go Lunch
Phoenix Park Hotel Ballroom

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Meetings with Leadership and Senior Staff
Capitol Hill
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
“Meet America’s Distillers” Reception
Capitol Hill
Wednesday, May 16

8:30 am – 9:30 am Breakfast Featuring an Elected Official
Phoenix Park Hotel Ballroom
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Congressional Office Visits
Capitol Hill

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch on Your Own
Capitol Hill

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Congressional Office Visits
Capitol Hill
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
American Whiskey Magazine Launch
American Trucking Association
430 First Street SE, Suite 100 Washington, DC
The Craft Spirits Community Gives Back
The craft spirits community is just that—a community. And a huge element of community is giving back. Craft producers have been among the most generous, compassionate businesses in the country. For the past couple of editions of ACSA’s Monthly Mash, we’ve been polling our members about their charitable contributions. The results are in and we found that 89 percent of respondents participate in some form of charitable activity, whether that involves donating money, time, using of their tasting room or any combination of those three.
We recently reached asked some distillers to share details about their contributions.

Maggie’s Farm Rum/Allegheny Distilling (Pittsburgh, PA) in February began donating $1 from every bottle of its White, Spiced, Single Barrel and 50/50 Dark rums sold to animal rescue charities in the area of the sale—including Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Baltimore

Devils River Whiskey  (Dallas, TX) has supported a number of charities since it opened, but president Mike Cameron says the Troops First and and Wish for Our Heroes foundations are particularly near and dear to him. “Both of these organizations represent and support military veterans and their families in times of need,” Cameron says. “I   believe that without the incredible sacrifices that our veterans have made to honor and protect our freedoms as Americans, we would not be able to realize our dream of operating our distillery and enjoy the freedoms that are so often taken for granted.”

Ole Smoky Distillery (Gatlinburg, TN) also is committed to helping our troops. The company is a national partner with the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization that helps support returning veterans and their families. Ole Smoky provides monetary donations and participates in the non-profit's fundraising events. Ole Smoky also has had a huge impact on its local community of East Tennessee with various initiatives, such as its donation to the Santa Fund, which provides gifts to both children and senior citizens. The company also has raised funds to support both employees and the city of Gatlinburg after the 2016 wildfires. 

Boston Harbor Distillery (Boston, MA) partners with New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower with two charities: One Family, which works to prevent homelessness and break the cycle of poverty Massachusetts, and the American Diabetes Association. “Additionally, through auction, items, free tours, complimentary event space, etc., we give about $25,000 a year away,” says founder and CEO Rhonda Kallman. “It’s a lot for a start up, though a good way to pay it forward.”

Copperworks Distilling (Seattle, WA) has directed its charitable efforts to organizations in Washington State that focus on causes that align with its priorities as a company, as well as the priorities of members of the Copperworks team. Those causes include environmental protection and conservation of natural resources, job creation and workforce training in the food and beverage industry, research and health services focused on breast and ovarian cancer and economic development for local farms and farming communities.

The Bard Distillery (Graham, KY) is still in the funding stage, but already has been active throughout its local community, having sponsored tables at special events over the past two years. “Once funded, we will be utilizing our local ‘Opportunity Center’ citizens to package items for our gift store,” reveals co-founder Kim Bard. “This program uses and supports Adults with Disabilities at the local level.”

• When wildfires devastated parts of Sonoma County last fall, Spiritworks Distillery (Sebastapol, CA) supported relief efforts by donating all of the proceeds from a barrel of Cask Strength Straight Wheat Whiskey and dubbed it “Sonoma Strength Whiskey.” The company also regularly donates to non-profits throughout its home state, typically offering a tour and tasting for four people at silent auctions and other fundraising events.

Simple Man Distillery (Alpharetta, GA) has been active in the fight against addiction. “Simple Man Distiller acknowledges that addiction exists and a portion of our proceeds go to help in addiction recovery,” says founder/owner Justin Douglas. “We cannot help those who do not want help, but hope that we can reach someone when they need it.” 

• In its nearly five years of existence, Chicago Distilling Co. (Chicago, IL) has supported more than 100 charities and other not-for-profit organizations throughout the Chicagoland area by donating tours, educational experiences and, sometimes, product.
Spotlight on a Member of the ACSA Family:
Perfecting Your Craft
Avoiding Obstacles with Advanced Planning
It’s the haunting question that keeps everyone awake at night: “What if…”

What if your new distillery or expansion project hits a major road bump? What if you fail an inspection, experience an equipment malfunction, or encounter a dissatisfied investor? Whatever the obstacle, in our experience across multiple industries, we’ve found that the best way to avoid those major obstacles (and sleep better at night) is to extensively develop your concept plan from the start.

Following Haskell’s Project Delivery Model, we recommend starting with clear project objectives. Whether you’re creating a new product, scaling production or launching a new location, it’s critical to not only establish your short- and long-term goals, but also define what success will look like for your project.

“There are a number of different values you can set as a top priority for your project,” says Anthony White, Haskell’s Division Leader for Beer, Wine and Spirits. “Is it the most cost-effective solution, the most aesthetically-pleasing solution or the highest quality product?”
Once your goals are defined, they can be broken down into a milestone schedule that will determine your timeline for completion. From securing financing to passing code inspections to producing your first product for the market, these milestones will keep you on course throughout the project, guiding your decisions, pacing your progress, and ensuring that each stakeholder in your organization (operations, marketing, investors, etc.) has bought in to the same set of expectations.

Next comes the technical details—critical to any distillery plan. Your engineering team should start with a basic block diagram outlining each major step in the production process, and then expand that to a Process Flow Diagram (PFD). The PFD will define your mass-energy balance and dictate important equipment and utility decisions. At this stage, a detailed code analysis is also helpful to prepare for facing municipal and federal regulations.

With the above components in hand, you can complete your planning process with a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM). The milestone schedule, PFD, and code analysis should provide the basis for a projected estimate within 30% of your actual costs so that you can decide how to acquire the necessary financing for your project.

It’s tempting to breeze through this planning process, but the more time you spend on each step, the more you’ll save time and money down the road. Plus, once you have a detailed plan in place, you’ll rest easier knowing that your distillery project is on solid footing. 

Haskell to Sponsor ACSA Safety Webinar Series
ACSA will be kicking off a FREE, ongoing webinar series on distillery safety in the coming weeks. The series, sponsored by Haskell, will focus on a different safety-related topic each month. Details on the inaugural safety webinar will be announced soon, so stay tuned!
Save the Date:
Upcoming Events

June 12th & 13, Brooklyn, NY

June 27th & 28th: Cincinnati, Ohio
ACSA has partnered with Industrial Safety and Training Services to present the first of our Regional Education Programs. Learn about hazard recognition, requirements of written policies, regulatory training, general OSHA compliance and much more over this 2-day class. Register here.
Thank you to our Sponsors!
American Craft Spirits Association