SB Awards 2019


The Spirits Business Awards aims to reward those driving excellence across the industry – from retailers and distributors to marketers, brands, distillers and blenders.


Judged by members of The Spirits Business editorial team and a panel of independent spirits experts, the awards are separated into five areas: Retail and Marketing, Sustainability and Innovation, Tourism, Products, and People.


“The Spirits Business Awards has been launched to celebrate outstanding achievements across the breadth of the spirits industry,” said Amy Hopkins, editor of The Spirits Business.


“Our sector is vast and complex, relying on the abilities of people spanning a range of disciplines – many of whom stay out of the spotlight. This new awards series seeks to give praise where praise is due.”


Key Information

Entry Deadline: 8th November 2019
Entry Fee: £179 + VAT
Ceremony Venue: London, UK
Ceremony Date: 2nd December 2019

Highlights From
last Year



Retail and marketing

  • Spirits Retailer of the Year

  • The winner of this award will have no equal and embody excellence in spirits retailing. They will have achieved significant sales growth in the UK or overseas and will have an impressive display of value and range for their customers. This award will be split into five sections, which will be judged separately:
    • E-commerce
    • Supermarket
    • Independent
    • Specialist
    • Travel Retail
  • Spirits Distributor of the Year

  • This award recognises the very best distributors on the global spirits stage in 2019. Our judges will be looking for interesting and varied portfolios in addition to evidence that entrants are committed to continually developing their unique products and services.
  • Spirits Bottler of the Year

  • Is your company the best bottler in the business? If so, we want to hear all about the logistical prowess, creative solutions and finishing flare that your firm has showcased to secure your place above the competition.
  • Best New Marketing Campaign

  • Have you created the most eye-catching campaign of the year? Have you got consumers fighting in the aisles for your brands? Have you inspired unprecedented customer brand loyalty with a super strategy and tangible results? We are looking for dazzling advertising, targeted PR and targeted online/social marketing. In-house and agency candidates welcome.
  • Best Event

  • This category is designed to encompass a range of events, from annual tastings, to exhibitions, masterclasses and seminars. To succeed in this category please clearly illustrate what made your event successful. This should include an explanation of the initial concept, how it was planned and promoted, what it set out to achieve, before clearly stating the results. Please include the timeline, visitor numbers, costs, attendee feedback, and, most importantly, the results.

Sustainability and innovation

  • Distillery Sustainability Award

  • The environment matters and the need for greener distilling is greater than ever. Our judges are looking for evidence of a reduction in your environmental impact and a commitment to sustainable practice. Whether it is reducing water use, introducing renewable energy sources, heat reclamation or anything else, we want to hear about it.
  • Ethical Award

  • Awarded to a company or product that shows commitment to worthy causes, the Ethical Award will consider all types of activities covering community engagement, charity donations, best practice in promoting responsible drinking, and more.
  • Innovation in Production

  • Has your production team come up with a groundbreaking, industry-leading innovation? Has a new process or procedure increased yield or become a world first? This is a technical category and our judges are looking for evidence that your team’s innovation has significantly boosted business or enhanced product quality.
  • Innovation in Packaging

  • It is often said that while the liquid in the bottle wins the second sale, it is the packaging that secures the first. With this in mind, there’s no denying the importance of physical appearance in the spirits world. Here, the judges will be looking for innovation in artwork and packaging.


    • Distillery Consumer Experience Award

  • This category rewards and recognises consumer experience excellence. Tell us how you delight your visitors: it could be an experiential distillery tour, an immersive sampling experience, a purpose-built, engaging visitor centre – or something else. Let us know what makes your distillery special for consumers and why you are so successful.
    • Best Distillery Facilities

    • This category will assess the quality of a distillery’s retail offer, food and beverage options, and any other ‘added value’ services your distillery has on hand. Perhaps your shop drives significant incremental brand revenue, or your restaurant is award winning – let us know why your services are industry-leading.
    • Outstanding Contribution to Spirits Tourism

    • This award seeks to recognise brands, people or trade organisations that have done wonders for promoting a particular area of spirits production – whether Scotch, Cognac, London gin or otherwise.


  • Best New Product

  • This award recognises both launches and re-launches. Judges expect distinction in PR, advertising, consumer research, revived design and packaging, a unique selling point as well as increased store listings. Please note, while the judges are interested in the USP of the product, this competition will not include a tasting.
    Subcategories include:

    • Whisk(e)y
    • Gin
    • Vodka
    • Liqueurs/Speciality
    • Tequila/Mezcal
    • Cognac/Brandy
    • Rum
    • Tonic
    • Low/No Alcohol


    • Blender of the Year

  • Are your blending abilities making waves in the spirits world? If so, we want to hear why you think you deserve to be crowned Blender of the Year. Our judges are looking for evidence of skill, creativity and innovation when approaching the art of blending spirits.
  • Distiller of the Year

  • Have you mastered the craft of distilling over your career in the industry? Our judges are looking to award an individual who has displayed distilling expertise to develop remarkable spirits.
  • Young Achiever of the Year

  • Are you on a meteoric rise to the top of your game? You must be under 35 and have delivered beyond what is humanly possible this year. If so, then you could be The Spirits Business Young Achiever of the Year.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an outstanding and inspirational figure in the world of spirits, whose enduring contribution spans a whole career.

How to enter

Complete our entry form
Register the categories you wish to enter by completing our online entry form.
Upload your entries
Once you have paid our entry fees, you will be sent a link to enter your pitch. You can write up to 500 words for each category on why you should win and upload support material. The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th November 2019.
Awards ceremony
Winners will be announced on 2nd December 2019 in central London. Entry to the ceremony is free of charge for all entrants (subject to capacity).
Publication of results
Results will be published in the January issue of The Spirits Business and will be announced on our website shortly after the ceremony.


To find out more about The Spirits Business Awards 2019, or to discuss sponsorship opportunities please contact:

Rhiannon Morris
+44 (0) 20 7803 2430
This Competition is closed!
Deadline: Friday, 08 November 2019
Results not available yet!

Upcoming competitions

The Brandy Masters 2020

Closing Date: 5th March 2020

The Cognac Masters 2020

Closing Date: 5th March 2020

The Vodka Masters 2020

Closing Date: 22nd July 2020

The American Whiskey Masters 2020

Closing Date: 26th June 2020

The Design and Packaging Masters 2020

Closing Date: 28th October 2020

The World Whisky Masters 2020

Closing Date: 22nd June 2020

The Rum & Cachaça Masters 2020

Closing Date: 21st January 2020

The Gin Masters 2020

Closing Date: 20th May 2020

The Travel Retail Spirits Masters 2020

Closing Date: 24th July 2020

The Scotch Whisky Masters 2020

Closing Date: 23rd April 2020
Click to view more

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