The finalists have been announced in the People’s Choice Spirits Awards, as well as the shortlist for the People’s Choice Wine Awards, now in its sixth year.
Judging sessions took place in Manchester and London, with over 160 people taking part. The panels comprised enthusiastic drinks consumers (chosen from an application process), alongside trade judges and drinks professionals.
It is the only national drinks competition to include consumers in the judging process and uniquely, it has ‘drinking or buying moment’ categories, to make it even more consumer friendly.
New for 2023 were categories for UK produced spirits including Rum: Local Heroes. Most of the entries received for the competition were from individual producers, with rum being the ‘most entered’ spirits category, closely followed by whisky and gin.
To reflect the boom in ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, a ‘Home Serves’ category was created and attracted some fantastic entries.
Commenting on the 2023 event, Janet Harrison, founder of the People’s Choice awards, said: “We had the most no and low alcohol wines and spirits ever this year, helped by a new category called ‘Lite with Bite’ for spirits with an ABV of 0.5-18%. It was also great to see more cans being submitted for the ‘Great Outdoors’ category.”
The next stage involves the shortlists being announced in the Best Spirits Retailer and Best Independent Bar categories, the latter being sponsored by Master of Malt Trade. Once the shortlists are announced, there will be a UK-wide public vote to determine the winners, which will be revealed at the awards ceremony at The Stoller Hall, Manchester on Tuesday 28 February 2023.
Matt White (Manchester’s Finest and Steph’s Packed Lunch presenter) will be the MCs for the night, with Helena Nicklin, from The Three Drinkers, being the main presenter for the evening.
All finalist and medal winning wines and spirits from the 2023 competitions will be added, for free, to the unique Drinks Finder on the PCDA website. This innovative search facility is designed to drive consumer traffic, through the site, to find the best wines and spirits, via a handful of the most popular drinking occasions.
This is in addition to certificates, medal stickers, on-going promotion and social media support for the winners.
Tickets for the awards can be found here
The finalists for spirits can be seen here