The Winners of BTI’s Annual Packaging Competition

While Beverage Testing Institute’s beverage evaluations occur year-round, our highly anticipated packaging competition is held only once annually. 

To determine the year’s best packaging submissions, we assemble a diverse group of experts: distributors, buyers, beverage directors, and designers with keen eyes for contemporary form and key insight on what draws consumer attention. Each panelist conducts a solo evaluation, taking time to consider each product individually and independently of any others within a given submission category. 

The following design categories are evaluated for each product:

Creativity Fresh and original concepts and execution

Graphic Design Images, text, and arrangement thereof

Form Shape, texture, and mass

Style Relationship of the package elements to the character of the product and its projected image

Functional Innovation Technological, pragmatic, and design breakthroughs

The panelists enter detailed observations and rank entries along a scale for each of these design categories. Once the evaluations have been completed, BTI’s proprietary analysis methodology software aggregates the data and determines the winners of that year’s packaging championships. 

And so, without further ado, here are the winners of Beverage Testing Institute’s 2020 Packaging Championships, accompanied by a little in-depth information on why our experts agreed that these products achieved their design goals. 

Beer

 

With “rich concept, illustration, color, print quality, and brand cohesion,” Indeed Brewing’s submissions earned multiple medals for their cans and case, with panelists taking a special liking to their consistent presentation of ingredients and tasting notes.

 

 

Lift Bridge Brewing’s case submission had a winning color scheme and made good use of custom illustration. 

 

 

 

“Great artwork” and a “unique approach to design and visuals” showed that Common Cider Company’s can composition was as thought-provoking as it was medal-winning. 

 

Spirits

The “classy appearance” of this glass didn’t disappoint. Panelists found it “lovely to pour into, sniff from, and sip from,” and hopefully the folks at Stölzle are celebrating by swirling a dram in this winner. 

 

 

These labels were “absolutely exquisite, beautiful, captivating, and rich with story” and our panelists send “high praise for the design team, illustrators, and printer.” Both Barnacles and Espanita would be proud additions to any bar, home or professional. 

 

 

 

Newer to the market, Belfour’s covetable decanter-style bottles and attention-grabbing catchphrase, “The Spirit of Champions,” resulted in classy packaging highlighting a brand that “you certainly can’t just walk past on the store shelf.” 

 

 

Already one of BTI’s high-scoring spirits, Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey has quality packaging to match. “It strikes all the right notes to keep it competitive within its class” and the “small touches” show that “this is a more premium product.” 

 

 

 

“Baseball fans rejoice: there’s a whiskey gift for you.” Cooperstown Distillery’s “incredible” bottle and “clever” details came together nicely in this winner. 

 

 

 

“Classy, well-crafted, incredible label work” created intricate continuity in Koval’s bottle series, leading panelists to infer that “what’s inside will also be thoughtfully crafted.” 

 

Wine

 

Jam Jar’s “lovely little 4-pack” had great pattern integration and fun design. 

 

 

 

A range of thoughtful methods resulted in these wine label winners. VARA’s “gorgeous presentation” invited panelists to take a “deeper, longer look at this package’s lovely understated crisp presentation” and Bella Luna’s rich embossing established an “elegant and classic” brand identity. Creating personal connections in their designs, Greetings from the Willamette Valley’s art direction did a good job of “evoking memories while encouraging the consumer to make some new ones” and St. Hilaire Cellars’ use of hyper-localized labels was a “powerful tool” invoking a “sense of belonging.” 

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"The consistency and broad consumer reach of BTI ratings and reviews really solidified the quality message of our artisan brand and helped us build a well-distributed and highly regarded specialty portfolio of beers."
Laurent-Xavier Gilbert,
VP Development at La Brasserie Unibroue
"The BTI rankings have an effect on what restaurants put on their wine lists, and ultimately on what you might be drinking."
Joe Gray,
Editor, Chicago Tribune
"BTI is still the outstanding tasting organization, uniquely independent. Keep up the good work!"
Jan Wells,
VP of Marketing, Cannon Wines
"Beverage Testing Institute is a professional operation with a professional approach. I like that they are committed to truly blind tastings and that their reviews are comprehensive and informative. We highlight the reviews in our tasting room and post them on social media; the consumer response is very positive. "
Edwin Richards,
Winemaker/Owner, Adastra
“Our BTI awards have helped us with our US distribution. Sales have increased form 0 cases to 250 cases in just a couple of months. We opened two new accounts in Seattle and New York.”
Eduardo Aguirre Victoria,
Terre de Vignerons
“[BTI's] Tastings.com is well known as a main reference for connoisseurs, experts and followers of spirits.”
Otto Flores,
Ron Barcelo
"We have used Tastings.com (BTI) for the last 5 years and couldn’t be happier. They always have great customer service and support! Not only do they have detailed professional reviews and tasting notes, the addition of the metallic stickers and shelf-talkers help us capture customers, and drive bottle sales. The trophies, medals, and printed awards are displayed as center pieces in our tasting room. Their website is easy to navigate and has great product information."
Mike Huffman,
Whidbey Island Distillery
“Our winery has had BTI rate our wines for a number of years. We use the bottle stickers and shelf talkers for both education and to enhance our marketing. We have had distributors request bottle stickers, and during wine pourings, we use the shelf talkers as a customer take away. We appreciate the information written by BTI since we find it to be concise, descriptive, informational, and a well rounded review of our wines.“
Janet Soderberg,
Alamira Wines, Vistaflores Estate
When we found out that our 20 year Pappy Van Winkle had been entered in BTI's 1997 World Spirits Championships and received their 99-point rating, that’s when we started getting calls from distributors around the country looking for our whiskey.

That was a benchmark moment for our business. Every time we received a high rating from BTI over the years, interest increased for our brand.

We owe a lot to the Beverage Testing Institute for our success.
Julian P. Van Winkle, III,
President, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
BTI has been our go-to partner for our alcohol awards program for years now, providing quality reviews of our wide selection of wines, beers and hard seltzers. The unique quarterly submission process allows our team to highlight new, trending and seasonal offerings and the staff at BTI is always responsive, collaborative and supportive to help us reach our goals.
Carrie Reitz,
Corporate Buying US, ALDI Inc.
The trust that consumers, major retailers, distributors and suppliers have for BTI makes their reviews and recommendations an invaluable complement and a huge asset to the success of Atlas’ bespoke label brands. I enthusiastically recommend their tools and services to anyone in the control or private label beverage program spaces.
Jim Cosma,
Atlas Imports

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