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2015‐02‐17 Meeting Notes & Follow-Up

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Washington Distillers Guild Meeting 2015‐02‐17, 6‐715pm

@ The Shelter Lounge, Seattle, WA

In attendance:

John Bourdon, Sandstone Distillery

Paco Joyce, Seattle Distilling

Holly Robinson, Captive Spirits

Erica Goodkind, Captive Spirits

Todd Leabman, Captive Spirits

Bill Adams

Todd Buckley, Destiny Spirits

Marc Stifelman, Enthusiast

Katie Phoenix, The Stranger

Sander Raav, USBGWA/Boka/Roccos

Niloufar (Nilly) Park, Altura Law

Dianna Connelly, Alta Vista Insurance

Kirby Kallas‐Lewis, Oola Distillery

Steven Stone, Sound Spirits

Todd Olson, OD Beverage Co.

Robert Clendenen, Silver Spur Spirits

Jason Parker, Copperworks Distilling

Micah Nutt, Copperworks Distilling

Larry Person, Sidetrack Distillery

Linda Person, Sidetrack Distillery

Lexie, Old Ballard Liquor Company

Mhairi Voelsgen, Brovo Spirits

Daleen & Jeff, Batch 206

Will Maschmeier, Three Howls

Meeting Decisions:

  • 2015 Membership dues for distilleries can now be paid for ONLINE
  • Meetings will be held monthly on 3rd Tuesday of Month.
  • Board meetings held monthly (open to full Guild members)
  • Full guild meeting held quarterly
  • Committee meetings as needed

Action Items:

Guild members are encouraged to send letters out to our representatives about the benefits of passing the items on the Guilds Bill list (see follow-up actions below).

Getting other organizations / people to send letters--ask employees, family members, friends, etc.

Templates will be developed for folks to use--coming in March Newsletter. For now, please free-style.


  • Holly introduced current board members.
  • Meeting attendees went around room and introduced themselves and their business, big turnout!
  • Thanked everyone for coming, discussed showing up for meetings and running businesses can be a challenge.

The new board is getting momentum building with upcoming events and communication tools some of the hot topics are as follows:

Using current and new tools for communication: Website, Forum, Social Media, Mail Chimp.

Importance of communication between Guild members, Lobbyist, Olympia, etc�.

Possibility of moving the Quarterly meeting around to different regions of Washington, and of pairing the meeting up with a regional tasting event.

Possibility of recording meetings for members that cannot make the meeting in person.

Board meeting end of last year helped define the Guild�s goals of 2015, committees created.

Developing new associate memberships levels for supporting industries--please send recommended associate members to join via the online MEMBERSHIP page.

The Board will meet 2/24 to lay out the new membership structure & costs.

March 17th, 2015 TAX WORKSHOP:

The first in a series of workshops for distilleries:

--These are educational workshops with hands on information from the many organizations a distillery works with:

--Taxes and Enforcement, at both the State and Federal levels will be topics covered. See newsletter for more details.

Please RSVP for the first workshop, as this will help gauge the size of room required.

Ryan Dorn was introduced to the Guild, he is our new Project Coordinator. He has been writing for some years and started up the Seattle Whiskey Collective. He will be helping the Guild organizing materials, tracking correspondence, organizing the membership drives, working on the website and forum, WA Distillery Trail

Discussions with our lobbyist helped narrow the Guilds list of action items down to a manageable list for this legislation session:

o Non Alcoholic mixers allowed, still limited to 2oz. total pours/tasting.

o Sales at Farmers markets will be allowed.

o Ability for Distillery to host own permit for distillery party.

o In‐State internet sales, this is to clarify the current law

o Sell gift cards at locations outside of distillery

There was agreement on the point that both full & craft distilleries would be included in the action items.

In the future, it may be a good to emulate the Beer and Wine industries, and look for parity along tax lines. Current bills submitted may be lumped together into an Omnibus bill. Uncertain what that would look like for the action items. Stay tuned. For more information please look at the post Jason put on the website.

Possibilities of having an Agricultural rebate in WA, where the rebate is based on the amount of Washington grown ingredients used in process. Could be based on the state reporting document currently filled out.

It was brought up that Kentucky just passed a law allowing cocktails to be served at distilleries. Other states, NY and CO were also listed as states that are moving forward with relief for their distilling industries. Many at meeting hoped WA would do the same. Possibility of using the initiative process next year. Pros and Cons to be weighed, along with costs.

Buying power of the guild: packaging, ingredients�these suppliers may be good allies to help support changes in legislature.

Federal excise tax has a strong possibility of being decreased in the next couple of years, according to the ACSA's Austin meeting this year. Production under 150,000 proof gallons would pay a new lower rate.

The Stranger has said there is an advertising discount for Guild members. Please talk to Katie Phoenix

Meeting locations for upcoming Guild gatherings would be appreciated--dates & town locations will be posted, come the March Newsletter.

If you are interested in hosting in your town, please contact Holly via


Two bills in particular that are in the House:

For Bill 1976: Concerning marketing opportunities for spirits produced in Washington by craft and general licensed distilleries. To see more about the bill, go HERE. Please email the sponsors of the Bill or your district representative.

For Bill 5353: Concerning the service and sales of spirits, wine, and beer. Revised for 1st Substitute: Concerning marketing opportunities for spirits produced in Washington by craft and general licensed distilleries.

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