The exceptional quality of Sobrii’s non-alcoholic spirits was recently recognized by expert judges at two major spirits competitions, which saw Sobrii going toe-to-toe against some of the best traditional and non-alcoholic spirits in the world.
“We enter them [spirits competitions] because there's a certain prestige involved,” explains Sobrii founder Bob Huitema. “It’s a fairly rigorous process.”
Sobrii 0-Gin and 0-Tequila both took home bronze medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) 2022. Founded in 2000, the SFWSC is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in North America.
This year’s SFWSC saw more than 70 international judges sampling over 5,000 products during two weeks of blind tastings in April to decide which are medal-worthy. Bronze medal winners are described as “well-crafted spirits that are commercially sound, modestly attractive, and free from significant flaws; these winners are excellent examples of their categories.”
Sobrii 0-Gin was also awarded a bronze at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2022. The ISC receives thousands of entries from almost 70 countries around the world, which are evaluated by panels of over 75 judges through blind tastings. Products are awarded scores based on their aroma, appearance, taste, and finish.
“We’re competing against tons of different products and people from all over the world and going through a blind tasting test, so there’s some objectivity to the end result,” says Huitema, adding that he hopes these wins will help convince customers that are on the fence about trying Sobrii that it’s worth taking a chance on.
Huitema sees Sobrii’s wins as stamps of endorsement from experts that Sobrii 0-Gin and 0-Tequila can hold their own against their traditional counterparts. “These are spirits competitions, so we’re with judges that are a little more accustomed to the alcoholic versions of it. To be recognized is quite remarkable,” he says. The judging panels for both competitions are made up of seasoned experts that include bartenders, educators, blenders and distillers, as well as drinks writers.
Shay Waterworth, editor of Drinks International, the brand behind the ISC, says the competition has seen an increase in the number of entries within the non-alcoholic spirits category over the past several years. Sobrii was judged alongside almost 800 other entrants in the ‘Low or No Alcohol Distilled Spirits’ category.
“The continued demand from consumers to find premium alternatives in order to reduce their consumption has been the key driving force behind this change,” says Waterworth, noting he has also been impressed with the quality of the non-alcoholic spirits entered in the competition.
Huitema says he’s especially honoured by the recent wins because the competitions also saw Sobrii facing off with some of the biggest global players in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
“We’re created in Canada and we have a very small organization and we’re competing against multinational [companies],” he says. “It's like an independent film winning against a big Hollywood studio.”