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Hello Everyone!

I've registered with ADI to better understand the craft distilling movement, which I strongly support and hope to advance through my position as Spirits Category Manager for Burke Distributing, located just outside of Boston MA.

While I have never distilled myself, I have done just about everything else in this crazy business we find ourselves in.

Almost 10 years ago now, I began researching cachaca, a Brazilian cane spirit, which I eventually took into national distribution. Along the way I dealt with hiring and firing distributors, doing my own PR, building websites and managing SEO, doing promos, attending WSWA, Tails of the Cocktail, etc.... After that I worked with numerous brands of spirits in most of the major markets, finally ending up in MA managing a spirits portfolio for a distributor.

I wanted to present myself as a resource to everyone if I can assist by answering your question on any aspect of this business beyond the distillation of spirits.

For example:

-What markets should I be in?

The largest markets for spirits in America are: California, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Each market is different. Different regulations, different taxes, different players. My advice, stick close to home. While the grass may look greener in other markets, supporting a distant state will require market visits and competing with brands that have a local following. Be that local brand that has an unshakable following.

-How do I find distributors?

Each state will have different routes to the consumer. Most states have distributors, and you'll have to find a balance between someone who is tiny (who may not pay you quickly) and someone who is huge (who may not pay any attention to you). You can either follow in the footprints of another supplier that you respect, copying their distributor network or visit a market to see for yourself. If you are visiting a market, visit craft centric stores, cocktail bars, make connections, and ask the buyers whom they would recommend. Also try to obtain an old copy of the Beverage Media (if published for that state) http://www.beveragemedia.com/ which will list most distributors, their brands and their contact details.

So in summary, please feel free to ask me any questions if I can be of any help.


David Catania

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