Iowa Distillers Alliance

Iowa Distillers Alliance

Iowa, which sits in the upper mid-west of the US, is filled with rural communities and hundreds of independent businesses that work hard to serve their communities. The number of independent distilleries in Iowa is on the rise, and the Iowa Distillers Alliance exists to help put them on the map and ensure their success.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Iowa Distillers Alliance.

What Is The Iowa Distillers Alliance?

Like other distiller’s alliances, the Iowa Distillers Alliance works hard to ensure there is a fair marketplace for distilleries within Iowa.

Many of the distilleries in the area are small, family-run businesses that need extra support and attention. The Iowa Distillers Alliance works with legislation to support and grow the distilling industry in the area.

Members Of The Iowa Distillers Alliance

According to the Iowa Distillers Alliance website, the following distilleries are active members of the alliance:

  • Iowa Legendary Rye
  • Werner Distilling
  • Lonely Oak Distillery
  • Iowa Distilling Company
  • Dehner Distillery
  • Cedar Ridge Distillery
  • Broadbent Distillery
  • Paradise Distilling
  • S&B Farmstead Distillery
  • Sipp’n’ Sweet Corn Whiskies
  • Artisan Grain Distillery
  • Mississippi River Distilling Company

Distillery Growth In The States

In recent years, an abundance of small, independent distilleries have cropped up throughout the U.S.

Entrepreneurs have taken the industry into their own hands and started crafting inventive, authentic, and locally-produced drinks such as vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, rum, and many more.

Although it’s simple enough to buy generic, mass-produced alcohol in your local grocery store, sales from independent distilleries are on the rise, suggesting that consumers are seeking more local liquor to quench their thirsts.

In a nutshell, the industry continues to boom as employment in distilleries rises, and profits raked in by local distillery tours and tasting rooms continue to grow.

Distilleries In Iowa

Although we’ve seen this growth throughout the country, it’s still in its infancy in Iowa.

There are many established distillers in the area that have been mass-producing liquor for decades, and until recently, there’s been limited competition from other independent distillers.

However, the opening of more rival distillers in recent years has led to more tourism and a welcome economic boost for the area.

People are keener than ever to taste the variety of liquor that Iowa has to offer, and this is why the Iowa Distillers Alliance is necessary.

State Fees

Distilleries will usually need to apply for a Class A Native Distilled Spirits License at $300.000 per year.

Other licenses for wholesale manufacturing, wholesaling, and importing may also be applicable.

For more information, consult the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division website.

Licensing Requirements

  • Be a U.S. and Iowa resident
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have not had a previous license revoked
  • Have a good financial standing and reputation

Your premises should also adhere to certain requirements such as:

  • Be in good repair and clean
  • Have at least one restroom
  • Be owned or under the control of the applicant

Distillery Restrictions/Laws

  • You cannot use your distillery to manufacture or distribute moonshine
  • Smoking is prohibited on the premises
  • Your alcohol should include no added caffeine or stimulants

*Restrictions may vary depending on your license. For more information, contact the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.

What Has The Iowa Distillers Alliance Done For Iowa’s Distilleries?

So, what role does the Iowa Distillers Alliance play in the landscape of the local economy?

“Sell By The Glass” Law

In 2017, company owners, in partnership with the Iowa Distillers Alliance, pushed the state to pass new legislation that would allow them to sell the products they make by the glass.

This was a win for both distilleries and the local community and gave independent businesses a greater chance of increasing profit, and sustaining healthy independent distilleries for years to come.

The law was welcomed by locals who enjoyed trying more inventive drinks and having a more accessible way to support their local businesses.

Iowa Distillers Alliance (1)

“House File 2431”

This was also discussed alongside the sell-by-the-glass law in Iowa.

House File 2431 allows Iowa distilleries to increase the number of bottles they sell, from two per customer to a standard twelve-bottle case.

This was beneficial to both distilleries and locals in the area.

House File 2431 also allowed Iowa distilleries to increase production.

Prior to implementation, state-imposed caps limited production, but with this abolition came the opportunity for Iowa distilleries to produce as much as they desire, increasing the potential for profit and customer satisfaction.

The bill, also branded as an “economic development bill”, received significant support from committees, and was largely made possible by the support and pressure of the Iowa Distillers Alliance, which works hard to put Iowa on the distillery map, and reduce its dependence on importing alcohol from other states.

Promoting Local Distilleries

The alliance argues that although Iowa still imports most of its alcohol from other states, it has the natural resources needed to produce its own local liquor.

So, in order to put Iowa on the distillery map, the alliance encourages locals to visit the distilleries, take part in tasting rooms and tours, and make a simple commitment to drink local.

Push For New Legislation

The achievements already made possible by the Iowa Distillers Alliance have helped nurture a significant increase in local support.

Since they created their own website, they’ve helped provide a space for locals to contact their local lawmakers via online forms.

By encouraging such support, more pressure is put on lawmakers to change the distillery regulations in Iowa, and make it a more accessible and profitable landscape for independent businesses.

How Many Distilleries Are In Iowa?

There are currently 20 distilleries in Iowa:

  • Templeton Rye Distillery
  • Werner Distillery
  • Revelton Distillery
  • Paradise Distilling Company
  • S&B Farmstead Distillery
  • Sipp’n Sweet Corn Whiskey
  • Matriarch Distillery
  • Mississippi River Distilling Company
  • Iowa Legendary Rye
  • Lonely Oak Distillery
  • Iowa Distillers Alliance
  • Iowa Distilling Company
  • Distillers Grains Technology Council
  • Foundry Distilling Co.
  • Century Farms Distillery
  • Dehner Distillery
  • Cat’s Eye Distillery
  • Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery and Distillery
  • Broadbent Distillery
  • Artisan Grain Distillery

Mississippi River Distilling Company is considered the largest in Iowa.

Can You Distill Your Own Alcohol In Iowa?

Yes – but there are restrictions. As long as you’re not using your distillery to make moonshine, it’s legal to own a still in Iowa.

However, there are no specific laws regarding the production of non-alcoholic beverages in a distillery, and you will not need a permit to distill oil, vinegar, water, etc.

If you’re opening a distillery in Iowa, you can apply for a distillers license or a micro distiller license depending on your needs.

You’ll have to submit your application electronically and pay the appropriate fee, which may be subject to change.

If you’re thinking of opening a distillery in Iowa, contact your local lawmakers, or the Iowa Distillers Alliance, for more information.

The Bottom Line

Although independent distilleries are a booming business in the states, those found in Iowa are still a work in progress.

The Iowa Distillers Alliance works hard to put Iowa on the distillery map, and help local businesses in this rural community develop strong connections with their consumers.

The alliance has helped push through several transformative bills which ensure the continued success of Iowa’s growing distillery economy.

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