DISCUS Celebrates 50 Years


The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) celebrates 50 years of advocacy on behalf of the spirits industry and adult spirits consumers.

“Fifty years ago, leaders in the spirits industry formed DISCUS to unify the spirits industry recognizing that we are stronger together,” said Chris Swonger, DISCUS President and CEO.  “For half a century, DISCUS has remained a unifier for the industry and a forceful advocate for fair tax and market access treatment at the federal, state and international levels.” 

In 1973, leaders of three separate distilled spirits organizations met at the Bacardi office in Miami to vote on the formation of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, which remains an advocate for the U.S. spirits industry.

According to the March 20, 1973, meeting minutes, “The purpose of the meeting was to consolidate three organizations, The Bourbon Institute, Distilled Spirits Institute, and Licensed Beverage Industries, into a single, fully representative association to be known as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.” The move to form the new trade association was unanimously endorsed by the board of directors of all three organizations.

In recent years, DISCUS has broadened its membership bringing together distillers, large and small, supply chain professionals and industry service partners.  Today, the DISCUS membership includes a board of 17 leading producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States, more than 240 distillers across the country, and 60 partner members representing supply chain and affiliated service companies. 

“Working in unity alongside our members, DISCUS has accomplished many great feats over the decades,” said Swonger.  “As the distilling landscape has evolved over the years, so too has DISCUS.  We are well positioned for the future and are confident the best days for our industry are ahead of us.” 


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