FILE - Distillery

(The Center Square) – Some national groups are getting behind the Illinois Craft Distillers Association to back legislation to allow direct-to-consumer shipping of distilled spirits.

The Illinois Legislature is considering two bills, House Bill 3160 and Senate Bill 2069, that would allow distillers to ship their liquor products directly to adult consumers just as wineries have done for more than three decades in the state.

The American Craft Spirits Association, American Distilling Institute and Distilled Spirits Council of the United States have joined the Illinois group to launch the “Ship My Spirits” campaign.

Nick Nagele, vice president of the Illinois Craft Distillers Association, said state laws are outdated because his industry is relatively young. 

“There were zero craft distilleries in the state of Illinois until the mid-2000s and today there is about 50, so we as distillers and our customers and consumers just haven’t had a chance to really establish the need and make enough noise and tell the story that this is something we want,” Nagele told The Center Square.  

The spirits industry supports nearly 80,000 jobs in Illinois and has an economic impact of over $7.8 billion, according to the coalition. 

“Allowing direct-to-consumer shipping for spirits in Illinois will drive consumer interest, which will support the growing craft distilling industry in the state,” said Eric Owens, president of ADI. “Further, the marketplace has changed, and consumers have grown accustomed to spirits DTC shipping. The ‘Ship My Spirits’ campaign provides a quick and easy way for consumers to get involved and let their voice be heard in the legislature.”, the coalition’s website, has an interactive map where consumers can click on their state to learn more about the laws regulating spirits shipments and other data related to the spirit industry’s impact in the state. 

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.