Largest Consumer Spirits Competition Pivots to In-Home Kits, Sets New Records

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — SIP Awards has grown into a movement that is gaining traction across the spirits industry. The only competition with consumers as judges, the SIP Awards provides small and big brands — local and international — an opportunity to receive unbiased consumer feedback.

From its inception 12 years ago, the SIP Awards International Spirits Competition brought together consumers at local venues to taste and judge spirits and mixers. This year, in the wake of a global pandemic, SIP Awards had to quickly evolve and pivot their annual event into an at-home tasting experience. “At first we didn’t know how COVID-19 would impact our event but time was not on our side and we needed to find a way to have consumers evaluate spirits safely.” – SIP Awards Founder & CEO Pouya Hashemi

In comparison to last year’s event with 146 judges, the SIP Awards 2020 revolutionary digital experience hit a record-breaking 212 judges who evaluate spirits in the comfort and safety of their homes. With more judges providing feedback, this contributed to a more accurate and broader rating method for the spirit and mixer brands.

Breaking industry standards, the first of its kind, at-home tasting kit included a signature NEAT Tasting Glass and 12 curated samples ranging from a bargain $2 bottle to an ultra-premium $1,600 bottle. Judges are carefully vetted and extensively screened to ensure there is no affiliation with marketing, wholesalers, or distributors tied to the spirits industry. Utilizing innovative technology, SIP Awards integrated a unique barcoding system to identify the location of the brand samples. Leaving no room for error, this system tracks the sample from the kitting process and delivery to the evaluation provided by the consumer judges.

Despite the pandemic, the number of entrants for this year’s competition increased, keeping to the tradition of setting new records. Making history, a diverse combination of 981 spirits and mixer brands from around the world participated in the first ever at-home spirits tasting competition.

Winning a SIP Award is a milestone for brands that speak directly to their target audience, consumers. Awards include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Double Gold, Platinum, and Best of Class in over 100 categories. The most sought after, Consumers’ Choice Award, honors a brand’s unwavering commitment to their Legacy, Craft, and to the ever-important Consumer Palate, by placing in the SIP Awards two or more consecutive years.

“By having the ability to taste new products and brands, consumers are more open to purchasing those that they enjoyed most. As we continue to see more new products and brands, The Innovation Award was introduced as a way for our consumer judges to really honor and highlight brands that are doing something different and unique in the marketplace.” – SIP Awards Director, Cher Holmes

The SIP Awards have uniquely positioned themselves in an exploding spirits industry and yet again, introduced new standards that continue to revolutionize the spirits competition realm.

For a complete list of the SIP Awards categories, winners, photos, and info visit:

About the SIP Awards

The SIP Awards provides a unique competition for spirit brands to gain exposure, feedback, and recognition from unbiased consumers. As the only blind tasting competition of its kind, the SIP Awards offers a platform for brands to showcase their products to their most discerning audience. To learn more about the SIP Awards competition or for a complete list of this year’s winners, visit


Amanda Deak
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