You can visit your favorite winery and pick up a bottle of your favorite wine. If you would like to order another bottle you can call the winery or visit their website to place an online order in 47 states and have that same bottle of wine delivered directly to your door.
On the other hand, you can visit your favorite distillery and pick up a bottle of your favorite distilled spirits. If you would like to order another bottle you can call the distillery or visit their website to place an online order and have that same bottle of spirits delivered to your door but only in 11 states.
You see, having distilled spirits delivered directly from a distillery to your door is not allowed in 39 states. Most of the laws governing such things were written soon after the passing of the 21st Amendment in the 1930s.
‘Ship My Spirits’ Effort to Push for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Shipping of Distilled Spirits
Three organizations including the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), and American Distilling Institute (ADI) have joined forces 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 New York and from across the United States have been able to ship directly to New York consumers for more than three decades,” said Founder and Head Distiller of Do Good Spirits and President of the NY State Distillers Guild Brian Facquet.
“These shipments create jobs, generate tax revenue and protect small manufacturers. There is no logical reason for not granting distillers the same opportunity. In fact, with the temporary allowance of spirits DTC shipping during the pandemic, we proved this is a safe and convenient way to reach our customers. The Ship My Spirits campaign is a great way to share that message with legislators.”
The New York legislature is currently considering two bills, S4245-A/A3275-A and S556/A2513 which would permanently allow distillers to ship their spirits products directly to adult consumers just as wineries have done for more than a decade in the state.
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“Direct shipping is a critical step to secure the future of our industry,” said CEO of ACSA Margie A.S. Lehrman. “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, from tourism declines due to COVID, the rising costs of grains, to global glass supply shortages.”
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. For example, the site notes that the spirits industry supports 94,000 jobs in New York and has an economic impact of more than $8.5 billion.
“Allowing direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits in New York will drive consumer interest which will support the growing craft distilling industry in the state,” said President of ADI Erik Owens. “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.”
“Consumers want distilled spirits shipped straight from the distillery to their doorbell, and that’s the goal of the ‘Ship My Spirits’ campaign,” said President and CEO of DISCUS Chris Swonger. “The DTC law in New York needs to be modernized to increase consumer choice, build small businesses and tourism, and create an on-ramp to distribution for new products. Allowing distillers, large and small, to direct ship supports consumers, producers, wholesalers and retailers which continues our support of the three-tier system.”
Visitors can take action through the site by sending letters to their legislators on the issue in less than three minutes.