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The SB Awards

The SB Awards


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 calibre of entries we received when we launched The Spirits Business Awards last year was yet more proof of what an incredibly creative and diverse industry we work in,” said Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Business.“Through these awards we want to recognise the people and brands who continue to push the boundaries of innovation – including those working hard behind the scenes. From new product development to sustainable efforts, there is much to be celebrated across the spirits industry.”

Key Information

Entry Deadline: 31 August 2023
Entry Fee: £179 + VAT
Ceremony Venue: London, UK
Ceremony Date: November 2023


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 2021. 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 PR Company

  • Going to the public relations company whose work across the board or on a specific project pushed their clients product or image to the fore. This winning company will not only demonstrate its commitment to gaining coverage but will display new and challenging ways in which it has caught the attention of the trade or the consumer press. :
  • 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.

Culture & Tourism

    • 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.
      • Cultural contribution to the spirits industry

      • This category rewards an individual book, film, piece of artwork or cultural artifact that brings awareness to an area of the spirits industry. Perhaps you’ve written a book, or directed a film, documenting and exposing a particular region, country or community’s relationship with an area of spirits production or consumption. Please note, entries to this category must be for individual artifacts, and cannot include whole collections. Kindly give a detailed description of your contribution and provide the judges with a short extract or photo of the piece.


  • 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.


Previous Winners

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