Distilled Spirits Council - Call to Action, Call Your Representative 2020

All businesses in the hospitality industry are struggling to survive during this horrific Covid-19 pandemic and the related shutdowns. Many craft distillers across the country depend on walk-in sales and tourism for up to 40% of their sales. Nationally distillers have already seen a reduction of 31% in their workforce and a loss of $700 million in sales this year. With a daunting tax increase looming things could get ugly fast.

Distilled Spirits 400% Tax Increase to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2021

This is not a chicken little calling out that the sky is falling. No, the sky will truly be crashing on the distilled spirits makers on January 1, 2021 if nothing happens. It is not a question of if distilleries will close their doors, but a question of how many distilleries will close their doors if the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is not made permanent or at the very least kicked down the road and extended for another 12 months. If this is not made permanent or extended the results will be catastrophic for the craft spirits makers across the United States.

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States - The Leading Voice and Advocate for Distilled Spirits - Representing the Leading Producers and Marketers

“Our nation’s craft distillers, winemakers, brewers and cider makers have been among the hardest hit during COVID-19,” said the CBMTRA Coalition. “Significantly increasing taxes on these small businesses even in normal circumstances would be devastating, but to do so during a pandemic would undoubtedly force many of them to close. Congress should give these businesses a fighting chance by passing the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act as soon as possible. Only then will they have the opportunity to recover from the harsh economic impacts of COVID-19 and be able to continue to support other vital industries in their communities.”

Day of Action participants are encouraged to call, tweet and email their members of Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation by visiting the Spirits United website here.

The campaign is sponsored by the CBMTRA Coalition, a group of beverage alcohol trade associations including Distilled Spirits Council of the United States – DISCUS, Brewers Association, Beer Institute,  American Craft Spirits Association – ACSA, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, the United States Association of Cider Makers and American Mead Makers Association.

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American Craft Spirits Association

The coalition added, “We need everyone’s help – from supply chain partners to loyal customers – to ensure Congress makes this legislation, which is critical to the survival of hospitality businesses across the country, permanent. It takes just minutes to make a difference for these businesses in our communities.”

Introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), the legislation will make permanent reforms enacted in 2017 that create a fair and equitable tax structure for brewers, winemakers, distillers, cider makers and importers of all beverage alcohol. The bill currently has 346 cosponsors in the House and 74 in the Senate.

Below are the contacts for each of the organizations if you need additional information or would like to find out what additional steps you can take to make a difference in this very important topic.

CBMTRA Coalition - 2020
Association Contact Email Phone
American Craft Spirits Association Alexandra Clough alexandra@gatherpr.com 516-428-7210
American Mead Makers Association Vicky Rowe vicky@mead-makers.org 919-414-9911
Beer Institute Dan Roth droth@beerinstitute.org 202-737-2337
Brewers Association Ann Obenchain ann@brewersassociation.org 720.473.5341
Distilled Spirits Council Lisa Hawkins lhawkins@DistilledSpirits.org 202-682-8840
U.S. Association of Cider Makers Michelle McGrath michelle@ciderassociation.org 616-259-8828
Wine Institute Gladys Horiuchi communications@wineinstitute.org 415-356-7525
WineAmerica Michael Kaiser mkaiser@wineamerica.org 202-223-5172

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