(ANNAPOLIS, MD)–The Brewers Association of Maryland, Maryland Distillers Guild, and Maryland Wineries Association thank Governor Hogan & Comptroller Franchot for authorizing direct-to-consumer shipments of Maryland beer and spirits.
“In these times of fast-changing consumer preferences, this authorization allows members ultimate flexibility when marketing and selling their products,” said Sarah Healey, president of the Brewers Association of Maryland, and manager of Milkhouse Brewery in Mt. Airy.
Since the crisis began, the primary sales channels for brewers, distillers, and wineries (on-site visits and wholesale) have largely dried up. Curbside and delivery were brand-new sales channels but were limited by a customer’s proximity to the producer. Wineries had a tool giving them an advantage over breweries and distillers: direct shipping.
Jaime Windon, president of the Maryland Distillers Guild and producer of Lyon Rum in St. Michaels, has heard the value of shipping from her peers nationwide but has also felt it from her customers. “Demand for shipment has been intense, and this order allows the industry to be nimble and meet the market where it has evolved,” said Windon. “This is a new lifeline for sales.”
Maryland residents are utilizing home delivery and shipping services more than ever during this time. Neighboring states have proven that this serves to satisfy consumer demand while being regulated to ensure compliance with all alcohol service and delivery rules.
Judy Crow, co-owner of Crow Vineyards in Kennedyville and president of the Maryland Wineries Association, noted that wineries have been shipping since 2011. “The industry supports this announcement and is grateful for Governor Hogan’s thoughtful and steady leadership to support the craft alcohol industry,” said Crow.
The state’s alcohol producer industry supports over 29,5000 jobs, and over $3.5 billion in economic activity annually, according to an economic study on Value-Added Agriculture by Grow & Fortify and BEACON. The Governor’s announcement directly impacts the supply-chain of Maryland grown and processed raw materials that are used in the production of craft beer, wine, and spirits.
On behalf of the entire alcohol producer industry, we thank Governor Hogan, Lt. Governor Rutherford, Sec. of Commerce Schulz, and Comptroller Franchot for their continued guidance, support, and fact-based leadership throughout this period of uncertainty.
About Grow & Fortify
Grow & Fortify is built to support value-added agricultural organizations and the businesses they represent. We’ve gathered a team of professionals to support agricultural startups and ensure the financial viability of our land, and ultimately, our community. Our mission is cultivating an environment where value-added agricultural producers, startups, operators, and growers innovate and thrive. We grow the organizations & businesses that fortify Maryland’s agricultural heritage. Grow & Fortify is currently contracted to manage the Brewers Association of Maryland, the Maryland Distillers Guild, and the Maryland Wineries Association. For more information about Grow & Fortify, and to view the “Value-Added Agriculture in Maryland” economic impact study, please visit growandfortify.com.