Deasy bill passes House; would create distilled spirits industry board

HARRISBURG, May 2 – A bill to establish a Pennsylvania Distilled Spirits Industry Promotion Board was passed by the state House today and will now go to the Senate for consideration, according to the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Dan Deasy. 

“Here in the legislature, we’ve made significant changes to the craft distillery industry, which has led to record growth and expansion,” said Deasy, D-Allegheny. “We’ve gone from four limited distilleries in 2012 to more than 150 now. The growth is exciting and important for commerce jobs in Pennsylvania, but the spirits industry faces unique challenges unlike those seen in the production of wine and beer.” 

Deasy, who serves as chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, said Pennsylvania has created marketing and research promotion boards for both wine and brewed beverages.

“Our limited distilleries deserve the same level of support and opportunities that other industries are provided,” he said. 

The board would be comprised of appointees designated by the governor and legislature and will be charged with awarding $1 million in grants for the use of promotion, marketing and research-based projects that benefit the industry. 

“I think the Pennsylvania distilling industry has made great strides over the years, and with this board could reach new levels of production and success,” Deasy said.