FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that it is partnering with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) in joining Spirits United as a partner to expand the grassroots network throughout the birthplace of bourbon.
Spirits United features important information on key issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides advocates with an easy-to-use online platform to weigh in on subjects that matter to them.
“As the epicenter of bourbon distilling, Kentucky is home to many in the spirits industry and we are thrilled to have the KDA on board as new Spirits United partners,” said Chris Swonger, president & CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org.
“We invite every Kentuckian to join Spirits United, including distillers, supply chain partners, bartenders, mixologists and consumers. We need everyone’s participation to pursue a competitive market for consumers and businesses in Kentucky.”
Founded in 1880, the KDA is the Commonwealth’s voice for Kentucky’s legendary bourbon and distilled spirits industry, which produces 95% of the world’s supply of bourbon and is a leading economic and tourism engine.
Kentucky’s distillers generate $8.6 billion in annual output, more than 20,100 jobs with a $1 billion payroll and $2.3 in current capital investment. The KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail tours recorded more than 1.4 million visits in 2018 with 70% of guests from outside the state.
“For 140 years, our distillers have united under the mission that we are stronger by working together than standing apart,” KDA President Eric Gregory said.
“It’s in that spirit of collaboration and camaraderie that the KDA proudly joins Spirits United in our efforts to responsibly promote, protect, elevate and grow this vital industry.”
Spirits United formally launched in August 2019.
Other Spirits United partners include the American Distilling Institute (ADI), TIPS, Texas Whiskey Association (TXWA), Texas Distilled Spirits Association (TDSA), Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA), and Techniques for Alcohol Management (TAM).
Swonger said Spirits United is having an immediate and positive impact.
Through the Spirits United platform, industry advocates drove over 65,000 communications to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). At the end of 2019, Congress passed a one-year extension of CBMTRA.