Kentucky Distillers’ Association & Distilled Spirits Council Partner on “Spirits United” Grassroots Platform

January 17, 2020

For Immediate Release – January 17, 2020



FRANKFORT, Ky. – The historic 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  

“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 percent 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.

Commitment to Responsibility

Spirits United continues to underscore a strong commitment to responsibility as its foundation.  Through Spirits United’s social media content and information on its site, spirits advocates will be encouraged to join industry efforts to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving, and to promote the responsible consumption of beverage alcohol.

Join Spirits United 

Spirits United is an inclusive community for anyone and everyone over the age of 21. To join Spirits United, click here. Spirits United is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Watch “I am Spirits United” here


For more information, contact:

KDA President Eric Gregory, (502) 875-9351

DISCUS Public Affairs, (202) 682-8840

About the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

The Distilled Spirits Council is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the United States.

About the Kentucky Distillers’ Association

The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880 to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information about joining the KDA’s distilling family, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351. Visit and to learn more. 

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT®, BOURBON TRAIL™ and BOURBON WITHOUT BORDERS® are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. #MakeItMemorable – Enjoy Responsibly. 

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly