WASHINGTON, D.C., 05/27/2021 – Today, WSWA is pleased to announce the June contenders for the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 2021 Brand Battle Tournament. On June 8, the tournament opens with the exciting and competitive Vodka and Gin category. Tournament Tuesdays in June continue on June 15 for Tequila, followed by Ready-to-Drink on June 22 and Rum on June 29.
Competitions for the four additional categories (Wine, Low-Alc/No-Alc/Mixers, Whiskey/Whisky/Bourbon/Scotch, and Cordial/Liqueur/After-Dinner Drink) will take place every Tuesday at 1:00 pm EDT in July and August, except for July 6 and 20.
Each week, 4-6 craft and emerging brands will get the chance to pitch their product directly to a panel of distributors on a global stage. The knowledge and insight of the judges is invaluable and will provide actionable and constructive feedback for contenders and viewers. The winner from each category will then move on to the ultimate Brand Battle Championship on September 14 to determine the 2021 Brand Battle Champion.
With applications for all categories now closed, the selection committee reviewed over 120 applications for the eight different categories. All applicants, including those selected in each category, can be found in the Brand Battle Directory.
“As a member of the Brand Battle selection committee, the brands that have been admitted into this year’s competition make me very excited because the level of detail, professionalism, diversity and creativity is truly inspiring,” said Sara Harmelin, vice president, Digital Innovation at Allied Beverage Group. “Picking top contenders from the pool of innovative applicants in each category was a challenge. I cannot wait for people to connect with the industry’s next hot brands.”
To aid the contenders with their Brand Battle submissions and pitches, WSWA Access, WSWA’s initiative for craft, startup and small production wines and spirits, released programming leading up to application deadlines. The important information shared by WSWA Access was reflected by many contenders.
“I am both proud and humbled to compete in WSWA’s Brand Battle Tournament and am very excited for the world to meet Mico,” said Subir Singh, the co-founder and president of Los Angeles-based Mico Spirits. “I have been able to sharpen my pitch skills through WSWA’s Access craft program, so I feel prepared to pitch our traditional Tequilas and newly developed Tequila-based RTDs to such an experienced panel of judges on June 15,” he added.
As with years passed, the contenders selected bring unique and promising products to the table.
“We are thrilled to be chosen by the selection committee to be a contender in the Brand Battle Tournament,” said Ben Williams, co-founder of Houston-based Highway Vodka. “What started as a hobby has now become Houston’s premier vodka distillery. We can’t wait to take the stage and share our unique, hemp seed vodka with the world.”
June 8 – Vodka & Gin
- Blackleaf Vodka
- Du Nord Social Spirits
- Highclere Castle Gin
- The Highway Distillery
- Romeo's Gin
- Waterloo Gin
June 15 – Tequila
June 22 – Ready-to-Drink
- Passion Tree Hard Seltzer
- Post Meridiem Spirit Company
- Romeo's Gin (RTD Cocktails)
- Roseade USA
- Troop Beverage Co.
June 29 – Rum
Contenders selected for the additional categories will be shared at a later date.
Each session can be watched for free. Registration for every category is now open:
About 2021 WSWA Brand Battle Tournament
WSWA will be holding the 2021 Brand Battle Tournament virtually and has extended the event series for craft, start-up and small production wine and spirits into a bracketology-style tournament. Brand Battle will showcase rising brands with unique stories, packaging and flavor profiles in an engaging digital environment while panels of wholesaler judges provide valuable, thought-provoking insight and feedback to competitors across eight different product categories. Whether you are interested in competing or viewing the competition, you are sure to walk away with greater knowledge of the industry and see hot emerging trends and products.
To learn more, please visit www.wswa.org/brandbattle.
About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.