Maine Distillers Guild

Maine Distillers Guild

With over 2,000 distilleries across the country and counting, there might not be a bigger time for the distillery industry in the country than there is in Modern America!

And to help facilitate further growth and development, several distillery organizations have cropped up in the last few years, to help better connect different distilleries in the same state with each other, as well as several other joint efforts and goals.

Maine, which has recently become quite the hotspot for new distilleries in the last 20 years, is no exception, with its guild to help better organize this vibrant industry, the Maine Distillery Guild (or MDG).

In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you’ll need to know about this guild, whether you’re interested in connecting for business reasons, or just curious about the state of distilling in Maine itself.

What Is The Maine Distillers Guild?

Before we start going into more details, let’s start with the basics first!

The Maine Distillers Guild is a nonprofit organization that has been established to help promote the growth of the distilleries and the wider distillery industry across the state of Maine.

This can take a lot of different forms, from helping secure and protect the agricultural and economic interests of its associated distilleries, as well as better connecting and linking different distilleries across Maine with each other.

How Do You Join The Maine Distillers Guild?

If any of those objectives sound like they may be interesting to you 9or perhaps a distillery that you run, then you may be curious as to how you can join the guild yourself.

There are plenty of ways that associated financial institutions, companies, and individuals can become linked with MDG.

If you are a distiller, then you can become one of the distiller members of the guild (full list described below).

If you are an individual retailer, company, farm, or any other kind of supplier, you can apply to become an associate member of the guild.

These are the following levels of membership that you can sign up for with MDG:

  • Friend Membership. For this level of support to Maine distillers, you will be featured as a small (linked) placement on the Guild’s list of associates and any promotional materials that are sent out. You’ll also get preferred tickets to exclusive events that the guild holds. This is a membership for folks who are lovers and supporters of the industry, rather than companies or distillers themselves.
    • The cost for this level is usually around $300 per year.
  • Ally Membership. If you’re signed up for the Ally membership, this level gets you a larger/medium (linked) place on guild promotional items and associate lists, and you’ll even get 4 VIP tickets to organized guild-hosted events. This is a tier for smaller investors and businesses who want to support distilleries across Maine, rather than larger companies or distilleries. You’ll also be given semi-annual emails to guild membership!
    • This level costs $1,000 per year.
  • Patron Membership. Currently the highest-paid tier of membership, this level gives you prime placement on any guild promotional items and associate listings that come out of the guild. You’ll be sent 8 VIP tickets to guild-organized events and even a 15 presentation by the guild itself on what their plans and current objectives are. This is a tier for people who are truly committed to the continued success and growth of distilleries across Maine.
    • This tier costs $5,000 per year, but there are only a limited number of places available for this tier, with only 2 currently.

Many famous brands across Maine, such as Maine Spirits and the New England Label, have become associated with the guild through these tiers.

Maine Distillers Guild (1)

Distillers In The Maine Distillers Guild

Aside from the associate memberships, there are also plenty of distilleries that are members of the guild, of course.

Also known by the guild as ‘The Guilded Twenty’, these are currently the distillers listed through MDG as official members:

  • Bartlett Spirits of Maine
  • Batson River Brewing & Distilling
  • Blue Barren Distillery
  • Chadwick’s Craft Spirits
  • Hardshore Distilling Co.
  • Liquid Riot Bottling Co.
  • Maine Craft Distilling
  • Maine Distilleries, LLC
  • Mossy Ledge Spirits
  • New England Distilling Co.
  • Northern Maine Distilling Co.
  • Round Turn Distilling
  • Sebago Lake Distillery
  • Split Rock Distilling
  • Stone Fort Distilling
  • Stroudwater Distillery
  • Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery
  • Three of Strong Spirits
  • The Spirits of Maine
  • Wiggly Bridge Distillery

Other Key Details

Of course, for the main event and exciting details like the ones that we’ve covered above to be possible, the more mundane details also need to be covered.

State Fees

Combining the filing fees, the $100 small distillery application, and the farmers market participation, the current state fee costs for distillery upstarts in Maine come to around $175, not including taxation on the spirits that you produce (currently 5.5%).

Licensing Requirements

To set up a distillery in Maine as a legitimate business, you will need to submit all the necessary documentation.

  • A distillery license.
    • Small distilleries distill, package, and distribute less than 50,000 gallons per year.
    • Normal distilleries are counted as distilling, packaging, and distributing more than 50,000 per year.
  • A permit for both the ability to distill alcohol, as well as purchase and own the distillery equipment (both separate permits)

Guild Distillery Guidelines/Rules

Although the MDG has no stated rules for signing up as a member, applicants for guild membership must be 21 or older.

What Next?

So, with such a young organization already being so successful, what exactly can we expect next from Main Distillers Guild?

Well, despite the already 20-strong distiller membership that the guild has going for it, it will likely continue to grow its network and connection with other, smaller distilleries across the state, to give a truly state-wide presence and support network that can cooperate with members across the whole of Maine.

The same goes for finding more associates and businesses that are willing to work with the guild.

Final Notes

So, as you can see, with the Maine Distiller’s Guild helping out, the future looks bright for the distilling business across Maine!

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