Raise a glass to...


Good spirits are made by distillers committed to their craft, making responsible choices at every step of the process. Spirits that meet the criteria for entry will be able to trace all of their ingredients, from base distillate to added ingredients, without the use of genetically modified crops and without artificial additives.


The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the spirits community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the spirits standard are and who will be judging this year.



Liz Rubin

Department Head of Alcohol and Cheese at Bi-Rite Market Divisadero – San Francisco, CA

Liz has been a wine/cheese professional in the San Francisco Bay Area for 7 years. Her monger/retailer cheese persona began to be realized during her Master’s research at the University of Oregon, where her thesis dealt with the experience of eating and the way in which it builds community and bridges gaps between maker and consumer. That work led Liz to her mongership at Mission Cheese in San Francisco, and the Cheese School of San Francisco, where she has acted as faculty for the past 3 years. Bi-Rite Market has been Liz’s professional home for around 5 years –first at the 18th Street market and now at the Divisadero location where she is department head of both cheese and alcohol, purchasing purchase wine, beer, and spirits for the store. Liz also sells wine and spirits for Sacred Thirst Selections.

Brittany Smail

Server at Pizzeria Delfina – San Francisco, CA

As a bartender and bar manager, Brittany helped build one of Colorado’s most comprehensive bourbon programs before relocating to San Francisco in 2008 to join its thriving cocktail and food scene. She quickly joined forces with the Good Food Awards to promote the growing wave of responsibly and passionately made American spirits. She established the inaugural Good Food Awards Beer and Spirits Garden and has alternately served as Chair of the Spirits and Elixirs categories for the past 8 years. When not tinkering with cocktails at home, you can find her reading at one of San Francisco’s many excellent breweries.

Committee Members


In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, spirits entries must meet the following standards:

  • Made in the USA or US territories.
  • Utilize ingredients that are grown and sourced responsibly, with awareness of origin, seasonality, trade and labor practices.
  • If the primary ingredient is a fruit, it is sourced domestically where possible, and grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers. Where a grain is the primary ingredient there is a strong effort made to use ingredients free of these inputs wherever possible.
  • Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Distilled without genetically modified ingredients, including the use of GM corn to produce grain neutral spirits.
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system.

*We will consider IPM practices for certain fruits on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that modifiers such as bitters, shrubs, syrups, tinctures, concentrates, drinking vinegars and flavor extracts should be entered into the Elixirs category.


Additionally, spirits entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

  • Whiskey
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Agave-Based
  • Sugarcane-Based
  • Fruit-Based Distillates
  • Liqueurs


Christa Cotton

CEO, El Guapo Bitters

Whit Kathner

National Sales Director, Republic Restoratives

Sarah Shaw

Commissary Manager, Rye on the Road

Trevin Hutchins

Bar Director, ONE65

Martin Schwartz

Co-Owner, Bar Casavale, Olympia Provisions

Seair Lorentz

Brand Manager, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery

Nicky Beyries

Bar Manager, Foreign Cinema/ Laszlo Bar

Lisa Nourse

Owner, Lisa Nourse PR + Strategy

Nicolas Torres

Owner/ Bar Director, True Laurel

Alex Powar

Sales Representative, T Edward Wine and Spirits