DISCUS Announces 2019 Craft Advisory Council Led by Ted Huber of Starlight Distillery

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The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), America’s leading advocate for the distilled spirits industry has announced a newly constituted Craft Advisory Council to represent craft distillers’ positions on key policy issues and to enhance the membership experience for its craft members. The DISCUS Craft Advisory Council was first formed in 2010 as the industry grew from a few dozen craft spirits makers to more than 200 at the time. Craft spirits distillery numbers have since grown to well over 1800 strong.

“DISCUS is fully committed to understanding and advancing the issues important to our craft distiller members,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org. “This new Craft Advisory Council, comprised of leaders in our industry, will help us to unite distillers of all sizes to speak with a single, powerful voice.”

As a leadership body, the Craft Advisory Council will weigh in on policy issues impacting craft distillers at the federal, state and local level. The Advisory Council will help organize and activate distillers on policy matters and help guide the organization’s craft distiller-focused programming and benefits.

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The Craft Advisory Council will be chaired by Ted Huber, co-owner of Starlight Distillery in Starlight, Indiana, and currently includes 22 craft distiller members from 21 different states.

“As one of the first DISCUS craft members, I fully understand the critical importance of distillers large and small working together to advance the spirits industry’s public policy agenda,” said Huber. “From securing a permanent federal excise tax cut to urging an end to retaliatory tariffs, there are challenging days ahead. Craft distillers play a significant role in educating lawmakers about these critical issues as well as the role we play in our communities.”

The Craft Advisory Council will hold quarterly calls and meet twice a year, aligned with the DISCUS Board schedule. Craft Advisory Council members include:

Council Member Distillery City/State
Ted Huber (Chair) Starlight Distillery Starlight, IN
Rob Sergent Alpine Distilling Park City, UT
Scott Neil American Freedom Distillery St. Petersburg, FL
Scott Harris Catoctin Creek Distilling Purcellville, VA
Tom Lix Cleveland Whiskey Cleveland, OH
Marc Christensen Dented Brick Distillery South Salt Lake City, UT
Paul Hletko FEW Spirits Evanston, IL
Brian McKenzie Finger Lakes Distilling Burdett, NY
Guy Rehorst Great Lakes Distillery Milwaukee, WI
Amir Peay James E. Pepper Distillery Lexington, KY
Mimi Buttenheim Mad River Distillers Waitsfield, VT
Brady Konya Middle West Spirits Columbus, OH
Rob Cassell New Liberty Distillery Philadelphia, PA
Phil Prichard Prichard’s Distillery Kelso, TN
Chander Arora Red Eye Louie's Vodquila Jemison, AL
Todd Ziegenfus Sagamore Spirit Baltimore, MD
Colin Keegan Santa Fe Spirits Santa Fe, NM
Leanne Powell Southern Grace Distilleries Mt Pleasant, NC
Philip McDaniel St. Augustine Distillery St. Augustine, FL
Gareth Moore Virginia Distillery Co. Lovingston, VA
Lisa Cloutier Whistling Andy Distillery Bigfork, MT
Meredith Meyer Grelli Wigle Distillery Pittsburgh, PA

The rapidly growing number of craft distillers across the nation represent an important grassroots base for the spirits industry. There are now craft spirits distilleries in all 50 states.

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