Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Inc
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States logo.png
Founded1973; 46 years ago (1973)
Merger ofBourbon Institute,
Distilled Spirits Institute,
Licensed Beverage Industries Inc
Legal status501(c)(6)[1]
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Deirdre Mahlan [1]
Chris R. Swonger[1]
SubsidiariesDISCUS PAC 527(f),
Revenue (2016)
Expenses (2016)$17,102,359[1]
Employees (2016)
Volunteers (2016)

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) is a national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. DISCUS was formed in 1973 by the merger of three organizations (the Bourbon Institute, the Distilled Spirits Institute, and the Licensed Beverage Industries, Inc.) that had been in existence for decades.

Members of DISCUS represent approximately 70 percent of all distilled spirits brands sold in the United States.[2] Members are: Bacardi USA, Beam Inc., Brown-Forman Corporation, Campari America, Constellation Brands, Diageo, Florida Caribbean Distillers, Luxco, Moet Hennessy USA, Patrón Spirits Company, Pernod Ricard USA, Remy Cointreau USA, Sidney Frank Importing Company, and Suntory USA.[3] In addition to full membership, DISCUS offers a Craft Distiller Affiliate Member program with 63 members as of March 2013.[4]

In May 2016, the council said it dropped its DISCUS acronym and will use "Distilled Spirits Council" for the short form of its name in order to "modernize the association's public presence".[5]


The Council developed a set of voluntary guidelines that they suggest the spirits industry and council members follow;[6] the code provides for a review board to review complaints about advertising and marketing materials in the marketplace. In 2003, DISCUS began issuing semi-annual public reports describing the review board complaints and decisions; as of March 2013, DISCUS has posted some "pre-publication" results on its website to show preliminary drafts of the content in its reports prior to publication of a final semi-annual code-of-conduct action report.[6] (As of October 2016, the most recent semi-annual report on the DISCUS website was for a period that ended more than six years earlier.[6])

Lobbying efforts[edit]

DISCUS lobbies on behalf of the distilled spirits industry on policy and legislative issues; the association's team of lawyers, economists, scientists, lobbyists and public affairs professionals work to support legislation that increases adult market access to spirits products, including laws expanding Sunday spirits sales and spirits tastings. DISCUS also works to protect the distilled beverage industry from increased alcohol taxes and to reduce tariffs and trade barriers on spirits products across the globe.

Programs and funding[edit]

Alcohol abuse prevention[edit]

The spirits industry has initiated and supported responsibility programs to promote responsible and moderate alcohol consumption. DISCUS developed an educational tool kit and distributed it to more than 3,000 health professionals.[7]

American Whiskey Trail and George Washington's distillery[edit]

DISCUS has launched several initiatives to promote and preserve the cultural history of distilling and spirits in the United States, most notably in the creation of the American Whiskey Trail and the reconstruction of the distillery built by George Washington near his home at Mount Vernon. Since 2000, DISCUS member companies and wholesalers have contributed more than $2.1 million to rebuild the distillery, which was one of the largest whiskey distilling operations in early America.

Washington's Mount Vernon distillery marks the beginning of the organization's American Whiskey Trail, a DISCUS program promoting the cultural heritage and history of spirits in America. Launched in 2004, the trail features operating distilleries and historic sites in five states.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Guidestar. December 31, 2016.
  2. ^ About Us, DISCUS official web site.
  3. ^ Member Companies, DISCUS official web site.
  4. ^ Craft Distiller Affiliate Members, DISCUS official web site.
  5. ^ "Distilled Spirits Council Announces Rebrand". The Spirits Business. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol Advertising and Marketing, DISCUS official web site.
  7. ^ Educational Tool Kit on Beverage Alcohol Consumption Archived July 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, DISCUS official web site.

External links[edit]