Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Logo of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

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 more than 80 percent of all distilled spirits brands sold in the United States.[citation needed] Members are: Bacardi USA, Barton Brands, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Brown-Forman Corporation, Diageo, Sidney Frank Importing Company, Imperial Brands, Luxco, Moet Hennessy USA, Patrón Spirits Company, Remy Cointreau USA, Pernod Ricard USA and Suntory.



The Council developed a set of voluntary guidelines that they suggest for the spirits industry and council members to follow.[1] The code provides for a review board that reviews complaints about advertising and marketing materials in the marketplace. In 2003, the DISCUS began issuing semiannual public reports describing the review board complaints and decisions. DISCUS' approach to self-regulation has been pointed to as a model by the Federal Trade Commission and has been commended by regulators, industry watchdogs and the media.[citation needed]

Lobbying efforts

DISCUS lobbies on behalf of the spirits industry on policy and legislative issues that impact the hospitality industry and its consumers. 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

Alcohol abuse prevention

The spirits industry has initiated and supported responsibility programs to promote alcohol responsibly and moderation. DISCUS developed an educational tool kit and distributed it to more than 3,000 health professionals.[2]

Funding of academics

DISCUS funds a website maintained by SUNY Potsdam sociologist David J. Hanson.[citation needed] DISCUS and the Wine Institute provided unrestricted grants to fund some of Stanton Peele's work.[3]

Cultural heritage

DISCUS has launched several initiatives to 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 over $2.1 million to rebuild the distillery, which was one of the largest whiskey distilling operations in early America.

The 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 also features operating distilleries and historic sites in five states connected to the history of distilling in the United States.


External links

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