December 5, 2021
Today is exactly 88 years to the day that the United States overturned prohibition laws. Known throughout history as Repeal Day, Americans regained their legal right to enjoy a drink whenever they pleased. And although alcohol has remained legal, what has now become an even larger issue is prohibiting small grassroots distilleries like ours from getting their bottles into the hands of loyal customers.
Wineries in New York have been able to directly ship their products to consumers for more than three decades, and there is no reason distilleries shouldn’t be afforded the same opportunity. In fact, with the temporary allowance of spirits Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) shipping during the pandemic, we proved this is a safe and convenient way to reach our customers. Allowing DTC shipping of spirits will help us recover from the pandemic, support future growth, increase jobs and boost tax revenue for the state.
Under an executive order from then-Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York distillers were able to ship DTC during the pandemic as a temporary economic relief measure, but the measure expired in June 2021. New York was one of seven states that temporarily allowed DTC shipping of spirits during the pandemic in an effort to support the decimated hospitality industry.
As President of the NY State Distillers Guild, I’ve helped to create a campaign in partnership with Spirits United, a grassroots platform powered by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) with the goal of ensuring adult consumers can responsibly enjoy distilled spirits where, how and when they want. It urges consumers to reach out to their legislators and ask them to pass permanent DTC shipping of spirits and cider.
Our goal with this campaign is not to take away any sales from local retail stores. In fact, I encourage all of our fans to purchase your products directly from your favorite New York state liquor store. They have given us a chance that we are grateful for, and are the most immediate way to get our products in your hands.
However, with 205 NY craft distillers, over 2100 craft Distillers around the United States and all of the many iconic brands built by large companies, there just isn’t enough room on the shelves for everyone. We would love every New York State retailer to carry each one of our products, but in some cases it’s just not physically possible.
So, the more bottles that get sold direct to consumer, creates more financial stability for a small distillery. If our brands are allowed to grow, then we create more jobs, generate more taxes, use more New York agricultural products and above all may become a brand that can generate enough consumer demand, to earn a productive spot on our retailer partners’ shelves.
If you’d like to help, please click on the link (Spirits United) and fill out the form that will be sent to your local official. It should take less than 1-minute and in turn will help to make a tremendous amount of change for small distilleries in New York State.
Thank you for your time and support.
Founder, Head Distiller Do Good Spirits