DTC from distilleries, breweries, and retailers: What to expect in 2021


60 minutes


Understanding state regulations and the tax compliance landscape

Wineries can access 97% of U.S. consumers through licensed direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipments and have enjoyed channel growth of over $1 billion in recent years. But what about shipments from distilleries, breweries, and retailers? Although they don’t have the same market access, these segments are also growing rapidly and are expected to expand their market footprint in 2021.

The landscape in 2021 will be more competitive than ever. Manufacturers, retailers, marketplaces, and delivery apps will all seek innovative ways to attract and retain new customers. As new players enter the market and existing players look to up their game, it’s important to fully understand compliance and how to operate within the myriad state regulations.

Join industry experts Jeff Carroll, (General Manager, Avalara for Beverage Alcohol), Jay Hibbard (VP, Government Relations, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States), Marc Sorini (General Counsel, Brewers Association), and Tom Wark (Executive Director, National Wine Retailers Association), as they lead a candid conversation on what 2021 will bring for DTC retailers, marketplaces, breweries, and distilleries.

We’ll cover:

  • What’s the current landscape?
  • What can we expect in terms of legislative change and litigation in 2021?
  • Will breweries and distilleries approach DTC differently?
  • Delivery vs. shipment: Will the lines get blurred? 
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About the panelists

Jeff Carroll 
General Manager, Avalara for Beverage Alcohol

Jeff is General Manager of Avalara for Beverage Alcohol (formerly Compli). As Chief Product Officer at Compli, he oversaw the development of software solutions, sales and marketing, business development, and compliance research. Prior to Compli, Jeff was VP of Compliance and Product at ShipCompliant. He regularly speaks about and advises customers on beverage alcohol compliance issues, particularly in the areas of direct shipping and sales tax. Jeff holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Operations from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Leeds School of Business and a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Jeff and his family live in Boulder, Colorado.

Jay Hibbard
Vice President of Government Relations, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)

Jay Hibbard currently serves as Vice President of Government Relations for DISCUS, where he manages state government relations including legislative issue management, regulatory compliance, state policy development, and implementation. Jay is a native of Portland, Maine, and holds a Masters in Law and Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Political Science and Associate Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Maine. He has owned his own retail business, served as executive director of two nonprofit associations, and ran his own public affairs firm for 15 years.  A former elected member of the Portland (Maine) City Council, Jay is now a resident of Florida.

Marc Sorini
General Counsel, Brewers Association

Marc Sorini, General Counsel for the Brewers Association, is a beer lover and homebrewer who has served as a counsel for small and independent craft brewers for more than two decades. Marc holds a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center and when he’s not contemplating beverage alcohol law, he's homebrewing with his adult kids.

Tom Wark 
Executive Director, National Wine Retailers Association (NWRA)

Tom Wark began his career in the wine industry as a wine maker and publicist in 1990, after graduating with a Masters in Diplomatic History. In 1994, he opened his own consultancy, Wark Communications, which serves small and medium-sized wineries and wine-related companies with media, communications, and marketing services. Tom has also served as Executive Director of the National Association of Wine Retailers since 2007. He founded the Wine Blog Awards in 2007 and helped launch the first Wine Bloggers Conference in 2008. In 2019, Wine Industry Advisor named him as one of the Wine Industry’s Most Inspiring People. In 2020, Wine Business Monthly named Tom one of the Wine Industry Leaders, Changemakers, and Influencers. Tom lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with his wife, their son, and their Italian Greyhound.