DistilleryTrail - The United States of Distilleries, Bottles Sales, Cocktails to Go, DTC Shipping Survey 2021

Craft spirit distilleries have grown exponentially across the United States over the last 20 years. We’ve gone from a handful of distilleries in a handful of states to having at least one distillery in every state in the nation.

Ever since the end of Prohibition the government agency now known as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau or simply the TTB has set the standards for beer, wine and spirits across the country. The definition for spirits like bourbon – America’s Native Spirit, Tennessee Whiskey, Vodka, Absinthe, etc. have been established at the federal level while states set many of the standards for distilleries within their borders. For the most part allowing local jurisdictions to establish their own rules is a good thing but over the last nearly 100 years it’s created a patchwork of regulations that vary widely by state. What spirits makers can do in one state does not necessarily apply in another state. The patchwork creates both opportunities and challenges for makers as well as consumers as they tour this great land tasting the best spirits often made from locally grown grains, sugar canes or fruits.

We surveyed distilleries in every state plus D.C. to pull together real-world answers to give distillers and their fans a snapshot of what to expect in each state. This data was accurate when collected but with today’s pandemic going on some of these rules like Cocktails to Go (CTG) or Direct to Consumer (DTC) shipping are being re-written day by day. And some temporary orders allowing things like CTG may expire based on state controls.

We asked distillers across the country a series of about a dozen questions. Some of the responses are pretty straight forward while others are a bit surprising. For example in the Sooner state of Oklahoma you cannot sell or buy a bottle of spirits from the distillery. Can you imagine this visitor experience. “Wow, I love your gin. I’ll take two bottles.” Distiller, “Great, you’ll have to go pick it up at the local liquor store.” Hmm, time to adjust some laws there to help out these small businesses. 

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DistilleryTrail - The United States of Distilleries, Bottles Sales, Cocktails to Go, DTC Shipping Survey 2021 INFOGRAPHIC
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And sample sizes vary from a low of 1/2 ounce all the way up to unlimited. It’s kind of hard to taste a bourbon, a whitedog, a vodka and a gin if you are maxed out at 1/2 oz. And on the other end of the scale where 25% of the states have “unlimited” samples, distillers were quick to point out that if anyone seems to have imbibed in too many samples they will quickly and responsibly be cut-off.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty and look at the survey responses. The data below is all sortable. The default view is sorted by state so you can quickly find things but if you want to see who can ship bottles from the distillery Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) then simply click the heading and you will automatically sort the list. 

And if you would like to see a summary of the data take a look at the related infographic version of this story here. One note, some of this information like cocktails to go is changing daily as the country deals with the horrific pandemic. That said, read on, and start making your plans to support one of the 2,200 plus craft distilleries across the country. If you are planning a visit it is highly recommended you call ahead to make sure the distillery is open for visitors or the gift shop is open for socially distanced purchases.

–––––– FEATURED SUPPLIERS ––––––

A Survey of 50 Distillers from 50 States and D.C.

State Do you offer samples at the distillery? Is a tour required for samples? Are samples free, paid or both? What size samples can you serve? Do you offer samples at festivals, liquor stores, etc. Are bottle sales allowed at the distillery? How many bottles or liters can you sell per person per day? DTC: Can you ship bottles intrastate from the distillery? (In-State) DTC: Can you ship bottles interstate from the distillery? (Out of State) Which states can you ship to? Can you sell Cocktails to Go? Sunday Sales Control State
AL Yes No Both Unlimited Yes Yes 3 x 750ml No No Yes - Perm No Yes
AK Yes No Paid 3 oz. No Yes 5 x 750ml No No AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases No Yes No
AZ Yes No Paid 5 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Perm Yes - Perm AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases Yes - Perm Yes No
AR Yes No Free Unlimited Yes Yes Unlimited No No No Yes No
CA Yes No Paid 6 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes 2.25 liters Yes - Temp No Yes - Temp Yes No
CO Yes No Both Unlimited Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes No
CT Yes No Both 2 oz. Yes Yes 1.5L *Not more than 5 gallons in any two-month period. No No AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases Yes - Temp Yes No
DC Yes No Both Unlimited Yes Yes 3 x 750ml Yes - Perm Yes - Perm AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases Yes - Temp Yes No
DE Yes No Paid Unlimited Yes Yes 12 x 750ml No No Yes - Perm Yes No
FL Yes No Free Unlimited No Yes 6 bottles per year per brand No No No Yes No
GA Yes No Paid Unlimited No Yes 3 x 750ml No No Yes - Perm Yes No
HI Yes No Paid 3 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Perm Yes - Perm AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases No Yes No
ID Yes No Free 3 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes Yes
IL Yes Yes Paid 3 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes No
IN Yes No Paid 7 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes No
IA Yes No Both 2 oz. Yes Yes 9 liters No No Yes - Perm Yes Yes
KS Yes No Both 1/2 oz. per product Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes No
KY Yes No Both 1.75 oz. Yes Yes 9 liters Yes - Perm Yes - Perm AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases Yes - Temp Yes No
LA Yes No Both Unlimited Yes Yes 12 bottles per month No No No Yes No
ME Yes No Both Unlimited Yes Yes Unlimited No No No Yes Yes
MD Yes Yes Both 2 oz. Yes Yes 3 Bottles Yes - Temp Yes - Perm Yes - Temp Yes No
MA Yes No Both 4 x 1/4 oz. per product Yes Yes Unlimited No No No Yes No
MI Yes Yes Both Unlimited Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Perm Yes Yes
MN Yes No Free 3 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes 1 x 375ml No No No Yes No
MS Yes No Both 4 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No No No Yes
MO Yes Yes Paid 3 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes No
MT Yes No Both 2 oz. Yes Yes 1.75L No No No No Yes
NE Yes No Both Unlimited Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Temp No Yes - Temp Yes No
NV Yes No Free 2 oz. Yes Yes 12 bottles per month. **Not exceed six month per year. Max of 72 bottles per year. No No AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases Yes - Temp Yes No
NH Yes No Both 1/2 oz. per product Yes Yes Unlimited No No AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases No Yes Yes
NJ Yes Yes Both 3 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes 5 liters No No Yes - Temp Yes No
NM Yes No Free 6 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Temp Yes No
NY Yes No Paid Unlimited Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Temp No Yes - Temp Yes No
NC Yes Yes Free 6 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes 8 liters No No Yes - Temp No Yes
ND Yes No Both 1.75 oz. Yes Yes 12 x 750ml per month No No AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases No Yes No
OH Yes No Paid 4 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes 2 liters No No Yes - Perm Yes Yes
OK Yes No Both 3 oz. No No 0 No No No Yes No
OR Yes No Free 1 oz. Yes Yes 2 Bottles Yes - Temp No No Yes Yes
PA Yes No Both 3 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Perm No Yes - Perm Yes Yes
RI Yes No Paid 1.5 oz. Yes Yes 1 x 750ml or 2 x 375ml No No AK, AZ, CT, HI, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, RI, DC & Military Bases Yes - Temp Yes No
SC Yes Yes Paid 3 oz. Yes Yes 2.25 liters No No No No No
SD Yes No Free 12 x 1/4 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No No Yes No
TN Yes No Paid 4 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes 5 gallons No No Yes - Temp Yes No
TX Yes No Both 1/2 oz. per product Yes Yes 1500ml per person every 30 days, Max of 750ml per bottle No No No No No
UT Yes No Paid 5 x 1/2 oz. No Yes Unlimited No No No No Yes
VT Yes No Free 1.5 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Temp No Yes - Temp Yes Yes
VA Yes No Paid 4 x 1/2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Temp No Yes - Temp Yes Yes
WA Yes No Both 1/2 oz. per product, maximum 2 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited Yes - Perm Yes - Perm Yes - Perm Yes No
WV Yes No Free 3 oz. No Yes 10 gallons No No No Yes Yes
WI Yes No Free .5 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No No Yes No
WY Yes No Both 3 oz. Yes Yes Unlimited No No Yes - Perm Yes Yes

Looking to find a distillery in your neighborhood or another state while you are traveling (safely of course)? Visit our Distillery Directory to find every distillery in the country. You can view Distilleries by State here or start with a list of Distillery Trails here.

I also what to shout out a big “Thank You” to all the distillers that took the time to contribute to this research.

Stay tuned, stay safe, and let us know if something has changed in your state. You can email us anytime at Info@DistilleryTrail.com.

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