Sid Patel On Why USA Spirits Ratings

10/11/2023 Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and USA Ratings on why there was a need for such competition.

If you are at a store looking to buy a spirit, beer, or wine for a dinner with the family, a group night in, or just a fun solo binge — how do you make your pick your bottle? Do you first look at what drink looks great, then find your eyes going to the MRP, followed by quick mental math to find what drink provides the most value for your money and for the occasion? 

The next time you should look for a label that would save you the hassle by ensuring you get a drink that is of great quality, packaging, and worth your spend. That is exactly why I started USA Ratings, says Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and USA Spirits Ratings

“I come from a background of drinks supplier, distributor, and retailer. My private label brands were in more than 2000 accounts in the US, and I have submitted myself to awards for the business reasons I wanted at each stage of my brand. I know what I was looking for from a wine competition” says Sid.

It is that experience that helped Sid along with technical advice that he took from many trade professionals including Tim Hanni MW to write the rules of judging.

USA Ratings was created to reward brands that win on quality, value, and package. USA Ratings wanted to award a brand that makes great products in price and is relevant to today’s consumer. USA ratings want to align with the ‘market’. The market decides what is good and what is bad and the market buys mainly with these 3 criteria: Quality, Value, and Package.

One of the main things in the success of USA Spirits Ratings is its judging panel. Now in its 6th year, USA Spirits Ratings which is Organized by Beverage Trade Network aims to bring the best judging panel so far. Judges must be active trade buyers and involved in the buying decisions.

“We don't have brand ambassadors, suppliers, media, and writers”, says Sid. There is zero influence or distraction in who are the judges. Buyers who buy for their business are the judges as we believe they are the ones who are close to the end consumers we want to try to be to the end consumer as close as we can.

By tasting, sipping, and assessing your products the judges are also the ones that will potentially then go on to then pour and serve them in their outlets.

Steve Beckner CSW Wine & Spirits Buyer

Steve Beckner CSW Wine & Spirits Buyer at Grocery Outlet Retail Chain. Judge at 2023 USA Spirits Ratings.

All winners in the USA Spirits Ratings will receive additional promotional and marketing support from the event organizers, including a full mention in upcoming editorial and press coverage of the event. In addition, social media platforms and channels will be used to promote the winners of the event.

View previous winners

View previous winners. Winners can download Certificates, Order Stickers, and Get professional tasting notes.

Winners to Get Maximum Media Coverage Through Global Drinks Guides Launched by Beverage Trade Network

Stories of winning brands featuring the distillery, distiller, and the winning products shall be picked up by the editors at the Los Angeles Drinks Guide, New York Drinks Guide, Chicago Drinks Guide, and San Francisco Drinks Guide - invaluable resources for spirits consumers in the USA, via the Beverage Trade Network.

Winners to Get Maximum Media Coverage Through Global Drinks Guides

Entrants to Get Customized Shelf-Talkers and Tasting Notes

All entrants will get the tasting notes and shelf talkers for their brands, written by the judges themselves, in a way that a bartender would talk to their customers.

Entrants will now be able to submit cocktails for their spirit brands

Entrants will now be able to submit cocktails for their spirit brands directly from the entry zone.

The USA Ratings pride themselves on being one step ahead by thinking like the consumers who are potential buyers for the top award-winning spirits at the event. In doing so USA Ratings are creating a bridge to connect brands with consumers in increased ways. This newly added feature is a way to do just that as consumers get access to cocktail recipes that they may create from their favourite spirits. 

Entrants for the 2024 ratings will be able to upload their cocktail recipes and images. Cocktails from winning brands will be showcased in the London Drinks Guide, directly to UK drinks consumers. These will also be highlighted on the London Drinks Guide’s social platforms.

Entrants for the 2023 ratings will be able to upload their cocktail recipes and images

The Judging Philosophy

A Competition that will judge spirits in three key areas:

1) Their quality

2) Their value for money

3) What do they look like

To be an award winner you will need to have top-quality spirits, that offer both the trade and the consumer great value for money, and you will need to look good and truly stand out on the shelf and on the back bar.



The USA Spirits Ratings is not about recognizing spirits that achieve the best quality scores, but you would struggle to drink more than a glass of. We want to celebrate spirits that are both enjoyable and easy to drink. spirits that are well balanced, where their acidity, tannins, and alcohol levels all work seamlessly together. That’s the quality factor.

Value for money

You don't need to be the cheapest spirits on the shelf to offer the best value for money. Far from it. Spirits may have a high price tag, but can still offer great value provided it delivers the right quality and taste for spirits at that price point. The USA Spirits Ratings will assess spirits for how much value they offer to customers.

Package and Design

This is arguably the most important part of a spirits brand to get right. For, after all, what a spirits brand looks like is how every consumer chooses the spirits they want to drink with their eyes first. Up to 65% of consumers will try new spirits just because they look good and if you can match that with a price and quality of spirits that offer great value for money, then you are more than halfway home. 

The USA Spirits Ratings will reward those brands that show they understand their customers, and the price category they are operating in and have produced a design and package with the right personality to attract and keep their attention. 

Ratings Organizers

The USA Spirits Ratings has been created exclusively by the Beverage Trade Network, the US drinks events, services, business, and publishing group dedicated to helping drinks producers and brand owners get closer to the buyers, distributors, and retailers that can bring their products to market.

Ankita Okate, Global Events Head and Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network

Behind the scene, Ankita Okate, Global Events Head, and Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network

Beverage Trade Network owns some of the world's leading events and trade shows like USA Trade Tasting, International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in San Francisco and in London, London Competitions, USA Ratings, Sommeliers Choice Awards, Paris Wine Cup, Cannabis Drinks Expo and more. BTN also owns media assets around the world like Sommelier Business, On Trade, Drinks Merchants, London Drinks Guide, New York Drinks Guide, San Francisco Drinks Guide, Paris Drinks Guide, Bartender Business, and more.

Submissions are now open for the 2024 USA Spirits Ratings and brands are encouraged to enter early to save. Here’s How to enter your spirits in USA Spirits Ratings

Get rated by Quality, Value, and Packaging by the top trade buyers in the USA. The international submission deadline is May 31, 2024. Here is how to enter.