Growth Brands Awards

The Growth Brand Awards have recognized successful beverage alcohol brands since 1997. Growth Brands are divided into four categories (Fast Track, Rising Star, Established Growth Brands and Comeback Brands) for beer, wine and spirits. The wine and spirit winners are announced each year in the April/May issue of Cheers, while beer winners are announced in the October/November issue.


We are now accepting 2018 case sale information in order to determine the 2019 Growth Brands winners in wine and spirits. For more information about the 2019 program, please contact Manager of Information Services Marina Velez at or 763-383-4400 x2212.



The winning brands are determined by the Beverage Information & Insights Group, which tracks case sales throughout the year. All awards are given based on sales the prior calendar year. To be eligible, wine and spirit brands must have met the following criteria:

Rising Stars: Must be less than five years old and have exhibited growth in each year of the brand’s lifetime, reaching at least 20,000 9-liter cases in 2016.

Fast Track: Must have exceeded 100,000 9-liter cases in 2016, with double-digit growth in each of the past four years. The brand must also be at least five years old.

Established Growth Brands: Must be a top seller, moving a minimum of 400,000 9-liter cases annually. It must also have grown in each of the past four years.

Comeback Brands: Previous award winners that have rebounded in sales to at least the previous award-winning level, following a recent decline.

Hall of Fame: Brands that have received at least 15 Growth Brand Awards over the years, in any category.


Beer, flavored malt beverage and cider Growth Brands must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the awards:

Fast Track: Domestic brands must have exceeded 9 million 2.25-gallon cases; imports and microbrews must have exceeded 1.5 million 2.25-gallon cases. Either must have double-digit growth over each of the past four years.

Rising Stars: Must be less than five full years of age and have exhibited substantial growth over the past few years.

Established Growth Brands: Top-selling brands that have grown moderately or substantially over the past four years. Brands must have exceeded 3 million 2.25-gallon cases.

Comeback Brands: Previous award winners that have rebounded in sales to at least the previous level after a recent decline.

Hall of Fame: Brands that have received at least 10 Growth Brand Awards over the years (may only enter the Hall of Fame in a year they win another category).



The following brands have been inducted into our Hall of Fame due to their sustained success and growth:

SPIRITS: Juarez Tequila and Jameson (2018); Bombay Sapphire, Hennessy, Patron, Remy Martin, Sauza and Svedka (2017); Burnett’s Vodka, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, Ketel One, Maker’s Mark and SKYY (2015) 

WINE: Chateau Ste. Michelle (2016); J. Lohr (2015)

BEER: Pabst Blue Ribbon (2016); Blue Moon, Corona Extra, Corona Light, Dos Equis, Modelo Especial, Pacifico, Shiner Bock, Stella Artois and Yuengling Lager (2015)



Below are links to the magazine features announcing each year’s winners, as well as coverage of the award receptions held each year as part of the WSWA and NBWA Conventions.

2018 Growth Brands Awards

  • Feature: 2018 Spirits Growth Brands (Coming soon)
  • Feature: 2018 Wine Growth Brands (Coming soon)
  • Photos: WSWA Reception (Coming soon)
  • Feature: 2018 Wine & Spirits Hall of Fame (Coming soon)

2017 Growth Brands Awards

2016 Growth Brands Awards

 2015 Growth Brands Awards

2014 Growth Brands Awards

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