Craft Spirits Weekly
Welcome to the 204th issue of Craft Spirits Weekly. This newsletter is dedicated to bringing you the news most important to the craft spirits distiller. Check your inbox every Thursday to find a curated selection of articles and news pieces from CRAFT SPIRITS magazine and the American Craft Spirits Association. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
December 31, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) — ACSA is pleased to report that on the heels of Association discussions with HHS Chief of Staff Brian Harrison and senior HHS leadership, together with an intensive outreach campaign over the past 48 hours to congressional legislators and members of the media, HHS has withdrawn the FDA’s scheduled $14,060 fees to craft distillers who produced hand sanitizer in 2020. ACSA will be a key stakeholder as HHS and FDA review future processes. As such, these alarming and sudden payments will no longer be due on February 11, 2021. (
Craft Spirits Producers Head into 2021 with Permanent FET Relief
Following approvals in the U.S. House and Senate, on Sunday night, December 27, the President signed the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) as part of an omnibus and stimulus package, giving the country’s 2,200 craft spirits producers much-needed, permanent tax relief and parity with their counterparts in beer and wine, who have enjoyed lower rates for many years. Federal excise tax (FET) reform has been ACSA’s top legislative priority, and the President’s signing today marks a major victory for the distilled spirits industry. In addition to the hardships the industry faces as it crawls back from distillery closures due to COVID, distillers faced a 400 percent tax hike come January 1, 2021 without legislation.

Prior to Sunday’s passage, the American Craft Spirits Association, together with other major beverage industry groups, worked tirelessly to rally support for FET relief, which was set to revert back to $13.50 from $2.70 for the first 100,000 proof gallons removed from bond annually. CBMTRA had garnered tremendous bipartisan support with endorsement by more than three-fourths of the House and Senate. This permanent extension provides significant, continued relief, and marks the culmination of more than a nine-year push for tax parity. (
Upcoming Webinar: Deciphering the 2020 Stimulus and Government Funding Legislation: What's in it for My Small Business?
On Friday, January 8 at 3pm EST/2pm CST/1pm MST/12pm PST, ACSA public policy adviser Jim Hyland will detail what's in the massive government funding and stimulus package just signed into law by the President. Upon conclusion of this Zoom meeting, you'll know what other provisions may impact your business, beyond FET relief. We created this "crash course" on this 2020 legislation for your convenience, unless you plan to peruse thousands of pages on your own. 
Kōloa Rum Debuts Kōloa Kaua'i Reserve Five-Year Aged Hawaiian Rum
Hawai'i’s award-winning Kōloa Rum Co. announces the launch of the brand’s third aged rum release with the debut of its single-barrel Kōloa Kaua'i Reserve Five-Year Aged Hawaiian Rum. Bottled at cask strength, Kōloa Kaua'i Reserve Five-Year Aged Hawaiian Rum is artfully distilled and gently aged in charred American white oak barrels at its Kalāheo Distillery. (
Deerhammer Releases Collaboration with Crooked Stave
Deerhammer Distillery of Buena Vista, Colorado, presents the second bottle in its Progeny Series crafted in collaboration with Denver-based Crooked Stave. Cask Savant is now available in limited quantities at Colorado retailers. (
The Craft Spirits Podcast: Jeff Kanof of Copperworks Distilling Co.
Jeff Kanof is the vice president and co-owner of Seattle’s Copperworks Distilling Co. and an ACSA board member and secretary/treasurer. In this episode, Kanof discusses federal excise tax reform; his journey from law to distilling; a passion for beer that he shares with Copperworks co-founders Jason Parker and Micah Nutt; and some recent releases from the distillery, including Copperworks Washington Peated American Single Malt Whiskey. 

This episode of The Craft Spirits Podcast is brought to you by Anton Paar. Proofing can be hard, so let Anton Paar, the world leader in beverage analysis, help. Visit to find out how you can get in touch with an Anton Paar expert who has worked with distilleries ranging from startups to the biggest producers on the planet.(
ACSA's Judging of Craft Spirits Now Open for Entries!
ACSA is thrilled to announce that its 8th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits is now open for entries! ACSA takes great pride in conducting a rigorously professional judging program that recognizes the best craft spirits in the categories of Vodka/Grain, Gin, Brandy, Rum, Ready-to-Drink, Whiskey, and Specialty Spirits.

Register now to take advantage of early bird fees. General registration fees are Jan. 2-Feb. 28. The late riser fee will be from March 1 until registration closes on March 12.

All spirits must be received by March 17, 2021. The competition is open to all producers of craft spirits in the United States. Due to COVID-19 we will not be accepting international entries in this year's competition.

Early Bird: $200 per entry
General Fee: $250 per entry
Late Riser: $275 per entry
Brooklyn Gin Awarded Best in Show at 1st Craft Spirits Packaging Awards
ACSA and CRAFT SPIRITS magazine announced the medalists of our inaugural Craft Spirits Packaging Awards. Sponsored by the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), the competition celebrates the best in craft spirits labels and packaging. The awards were announced last week in a virtual awards ceremony emceed by CRAFT SPIRITS magazine editor in chief Jeff Cioletti. Becky Harris, ACSA president and president and chief distiller at Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., personally thanked the program’s sponsor, GPI. Its president, Scott DeFife, presented Best of Show to the makers of Brooklyn Gin. (
Special Thanks to Our Craft Spirits Packaging Awards Sponsor:
TTB Publishes Final Rule on Standards of Fill
The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced it will publish a final rule in the Federal Register that, among other things, amends TTB's regulations that govern wine and distilled spirits containers by adding seven new standards of fill for wine and distilled spirits.

The new container sizes for distilled spirits are:
  • 1.8 L
  • 900 mL
  • 720 mL
  • 700 mL
These new container sizes will provide bottlers with flexibility by allowing the use of the added container sizes, and will facilitate the movement of goods in domestic and international commerce, while also providing consumers broader purchasing options.

The final rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Learn more about the standards of fill for distilled spirits.
Brough Brothers, Kentucky's 1st Black-Owned Distillery, Now Open
Brough Brothers Distillery, the first and only Black-owned distillery in the state of Kentucky, opened its doors for business earlier this month in Louisville. (
Join Us for Craft Spirits Live on Instagram
Join ACSA for Craft Spirits Live, our Instagram Live show. In each episode, a leading craft spirits producer invites us into their distillery for 30 minutes of engaging conversation and a virtual tour—as well as an opportunity to answer all of your burning questions.

January 6th: Alex Laufer, One Eight Distilling
January 13th: Karen Hoskin, Montanya Distillers
January 20th: Rob Masters, The Family Jones
January 27th: Richard Anderson, Iron Fish Distillery
February 3rd: Lorna Conrad, Corsair Distillery

Not sure how Instagram Live works? Click here to learn more.
RNDC and LibDib Unveil and Expand Data Analytics Initiatives
Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) and LibDib unveiled a joint data analytics lab that is developing AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms for the two distributors’ wholesale digital commerce experience. (
Got a question? ACSA's got the answer.
In these challenging times, seek advice and lend your knowledge in ACSA's online forums. Our main forum topics include crisis management, services, TTB, safety, technical, equipment & materials, legislation, business and marketplace.
Read the Latest Issue of Craft Spirits Magazine
The American Craft Spirits Association proudly presents the January issue of CRAFT SPIRITS magazine.

This issue includes:

  • All of the medalists from the inaugural Craft Spirits Packaging Awards
  • A feature story on distilleries reviving pre-Prohibition distilleries and brands
  • A look at the benefits of using specialty malts
  • Alluring cocktail recipes from ACSA members
  • And much more!
Send News to Craft Spirits Magazine
Do you have exciting stories to share about your distillery? Keep us posted on new products, events, trends, tips and more by sending us a note at
The American Craft Spirits Association is the only national registered non-profit trade association representing 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. 

ACSA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the eligible voting members of the Association. Voting members must be independent licensed distillers (DSPs) annually removing fewer than 750,000 proof gallons from bond (the amount on which a Federal Excise Tax is paid.)