Saving Craft Distilleries

We can play a role on saving craft distilleries. It’s not difficult to understate the current state of play.

Over 40% of all revenue evaporated overnight with COVID shutdowns. This posts isn’t about the pros or cons of those realities. This post is about the necessity to save craft distilleries from permanent closure.

What can we do?

The first order of business needs to be the modification of direct to consumer shipping rules for craft distilleries. It’s completely unfair that wineries receive far more favorable legislation than distilleries. The argument made for DtC is overwhelming. People want it. COVID mitigation is enhanced by allowing craft distilleries to ship to customers.

“Focusing on [DtC] really is the greatest potential for growth for the industry by far,” says Dan Farber, founder of Osocalis Distillery in Soquel, California—one of the states whose governors issued executive orders enabling consumers to order spirits online to be fulfilled by distilleries via third-party carriers.

“For any small business the size of a craft distiller, basically all of their sales are going to be direct-to-consumer.” From “Let’s Be Direct” article in AmericanCraftSpirits.org

Delivery should NOT be limited to the distillery’s state residents. Nationwide shipping should be allowed.

Again from AmericanCraftSpirits.org. “Any arguments against DtC shipping tend to hinge on the safety issue.

Opponents to direct shipping often posit that beverage alcohol could get into the hands of underage drinkers more easily if their parents aren’t home to sign for them.

But, Farber points out, that argument falls apart when you consider the sophistication of today’s shipping services.

Third-party carriers have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safe and legal delivery of beverage alcohol, he says. “I can think of no other sales transaction in the alcohol industry where we have perfect transparency and perfect documentation of every sale that is made,”

Farber adds. “If you’re worried that an underage person gets a bottle of booze in their hand, this is the best way of ensuring [that doesn’t happen] because we have all the records. [Carriers] can document every shipment, they have tracking numbers, they have IDs. They’ve done it successfully with wine.””

What can you do locally?

Craft spirits magazine

Read Art Decelle’s article in the July issue of Craft Spirits Magazine. The write up on Hurdles to DtC not only lay out the issues but give practical advice as to what you may be able to do to promote and support craft distillers in your state.


For local laws on what distillers may be able to do, hit this page.

screen grab of survey of tasting room laws
Check Out Local Tasting Room Laws

“Craft distillers as a group must become part of the political fabric of their respective state capitals.” Art Decelle

Consumers likewise need to thoughtfully consider their brand purchases. Alcohol purchases at retail levels are up this year. The craft distiller making truly hand crafted expressions is suffering massive losses thanks to the closing of her most consistent source of revenue. The tasting room.

google results showing losses in the craft spirits industry
The state of the craft spirits business

Let’s work together to assist the local craft distiller. For one of its efforts, Shared Spirits Marketing is curating the craft spirits for NextUpattheMic.com.

This music/comedy/craft spirits effort is about paying musicians, comedians, and craft distillers. Support them with a ticket purchase to one of their shows.

Become a fan of the local brand and support them on social and ask for them by name in states where they are distributed.

When you see ways Shared Spirits Marketing may assist, shoot us a message. We want to help.