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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

Category Sales Manager for Wine, Spirits, Beer at Bi-Rite Family of Businesses

Liz has been a wine/cheese professional in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 10 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 acted as faculty for 5 years. Bi-Rite Market has been Liz’s professional home for over 9 years. She is now the category manager for alcohol for the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses.

Brittany Smail

Freelance Writer & Editor

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 9 years. When not tinkering with cocktails at home, you can find her reading at one of San Francisco’s many excellent breweries.

2024 Judges

Gibson Thomas

Founder, Edible Marin & Wine Country

Jeremy Siegal

Chief Legal and Strategy Officer, Feed

Anna Smith Clark

Consultant, Anna Smith Clark Consulting

Sarah Shaw

Operations Manager, Rye on the Road

Hans Baldauf

Founding Principal, BCV Architecture + Interiors

Erin Sylvester

Founder and President, Sylvester/Rovine Selections


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, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,** as exemplified through integrating these  practices:
    • Creating a safe and healthy work environment where employees receive a fair wage, are safe and respected at work and have access to the resources they need to keep themselves healthy.
    • Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
    • Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
    • For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.**

*We will consider IPM practices for certain fruits on a case-by-case basis.
**Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.

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 (Aperitifs, Digestifs, Fortified Wine)
  • Low ABV
  • Zero-Proof*
*Entries into the Zero-Proof subcategory must be intended to be consumed on their own or as the main component of a drink. For any non-alcoholic products intended as a mixer for a cocktail, please see the Elixirs category.