The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s Annual Convention & Exposition is returning to Orlando, Florida.

The event is set to take place from March 31 to April 3 and will bring together brands and distributors to showcase all of the new and interesting things happening in the wine and spirits world this year. While we’re looking forward to all of the events, including the inaugural Retailer & Consumer Day, we’re most excited about Brand Battle, which is taking place for the fourth year in a row.

Brand Battle 2018 Winners

Brand Battle 2018 Winners

Brand Battle is like Shark Tank for the alcoholic beverage industry, where up-and-coming brands pitch live in front of an audience of wholesalers, suppliers and media. Judges represent major distributors like Republic National Distributing Company, Breakthru Beverage Group, Young’s Market Company and more. This panel offers candid feedback on everything from packaging and messaging to market placement. Audience members hear directly from distributors what attributes they’re looking for in potential partners, so it’s a prime opportunity to spot incoming trends and gauge whether competitors will become winning brands in their markets. This year, Brand Battle will be part of the convention’s General Session, which guarantees a large and engaged audience.

Brand Battle 2018 front row discussion

Brand Battle 2018

Brand Battle’s 2018 winner, Gray Whale Gin, used the competition to help launch its handcrafted small-batch gin, taking home the Hot New Now Media Award and a Spirits Tasting Competition silver medal. Big winners in 2017 were Chapel Gate Whiskey and Bedlam Vodka, the latter of which was featured in a Jason Derulo video and at ESPN’s ESPY Awards pre-party.

Brand Battle 2018 Winner Gray Whale Gin

Brand Battle 2018 Winner Gray Whale Gin

In addition to bragging rights, Brand Battle winners receive a $2,000 cash prize and two complimentary registrations to the 77th Annual Convention & Exposition in 2020. Winners’ brand information will be shared on the convention website, mobile app, social media channels and in official press releases.

Watch highlights of last year’s action-packed Brand Battle to help get you pumped for the 2019 competition! We’re excited to see which of these amazing brands will be placed in the spotlight during this year’s event.