The Whisky Tasting Club

Craft Distillers Alliance news

I thought you might like to read the latest news from The Craft Distillers Alliance

I hope this finds you well and you had a happy Easter. I am writing just to update you on some very exciting news.
I am pleased to announce that not only have we signed up some impressive new members with more almost certainly set to follow, but we now have a Chairman!
Tomorrow there will be a joint press release from us and the Brazil Agency to announce that Stephen Davies, managing director of Penderyn, is to take up the post with The CDA. I am delighted that he has accepted because he is the perfect choice. I have long admired what he has done with Penderyn, which is a pioneer in the craft distilling field, but at the same time is a relatively sizeable distillery and is internationally respected. And not to put too fine a point on it, Penderyn is a well established British distillery but not a Scottish one.
Stephen himself is a huge force for good. I offered him the post in an honorary capacity because I didn’t want to burden him work wise but he has made it clear that he would like to play an active role. He will be a breath of fresh air and I am looking forward to working with him to take The CDA up another level. I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to know that there will be a little bit less of me!
Penderyn is of course joining The CDA, and as the company is now distributing the whiskies of Taiwanese distillery Kavalan in the United Kingdom, Stephen will suggest it comes on board, too. Indeed the company has already expressed an interest, as has St Georges in England – another one of the big boys.
Indian distiller Amrut also joined this week, as did The Belgian Owl. Other recent additions are Corsair (USA), Wemyss (Scotland), Bondeau (Scotland), Sullivan’s Cove (Australia) and The Great Southern Distilling Company (Australia), and I’m confident that another five to 10 others will have joined or committed to join by the end of the month, taking total membership to 35 plus.
This makes The CDA a real force and after a hectic six months I feel we need to pause for breath, regroup and plan carefully what we do next.
I have received a number of offers from events organisers and while they are all very generous, they involve a considerable financial outlay. I have decided to put all talks on hold with the exception of one – see below – and to meet with Stephen at the earliest opportunity to discuss and plan a summer and autumn strategy. Among the issues up for discussion are:

* A presence at the Boutique Bar Show in Manchester in May.
I have postponed in depth talks with the BBS until June with a view to a formal alliance in time for the Boutique Bar Show in London in September, but if any members are willing to pay £300 towards a CDA stand in Manchester I am prepared to travel up and represent us there.

* A formal partnership with the Boutique Bar Show from September
The rapid growth of The CDA has created a few issues as to how to make this work financially. One option is to launch a ‘show within a show’ as a partnership.

* The possibility of a consumer roadshow. This would either be in partnership with existing regional whisky events organisers or organised through contacts we can use within The CDA

* A whisky and music event in October. Not dissimilar to Pure, which was a great idea but was badly executed.

Everything’s up for discussion and debate so feel free to chip in with ideas. And if you’re interested in Manchester, please give me a call.

Onwards and verily upwards.
Dominic Roskrow

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