With the entry deadline for MHW Ltd.’s “Make Your Mark on the USA” Brand Pitch Competition quickly approaching, MHW is excited to share more information, as well as a feature on last year’s winner, Good Liquorworks.

The competition is in it’s second year and gives international beverage alcohol brands the chance to win $15,000 worth of MHW’s U.S. importation and distribution services to enter or expand into the U.S. market and a $2,500 Associate Corporate Membership to Women of the Vine & Spirits for business development and networking.  Brands can submit their pitch with supporting materials of their choice, as well as their plan for entering or expanding into the U.S. market. Once the judges review these, the top three highest scoring brands compete live on stage at Bar Convent Berlin. Last year, these brands included Moersleutel Craft Brewery, Bombarda Rum Company, and Good Liquorworks. The brands get the chance to present their best pitch, with commentary following from the independent panel of judges from various backgrounds and tastings going in throughout the audience. After the live presentations, Good Liquorworks scored the highest and was presented with their prize!

We had the honor of interviewing the Good Liquorworks founders about the product and their experience with the competition last year.

What is Good Liquorworks’ mission?

Alcohol is agriculture. That’s the guiding principle behind Good Liquorworks: that whatever we put into the bottle, it all traces back to a farm, an ecosystem, and a shared earth. So when we set out to build a truly sustainable alcohol brand, we knew we had to go beyond recyclable glass and recycled paper. We had to start at the beginning: at the farm. From there, we started looking into byproducts. Good Liquorworks was built on the idea that existing raw materials are always preferable to newly-grown ones. In this case, using existing coffee fruit waste allows us to avoid growing more grain. In doing so, we lower the waste footprint of the coffee industry, while simultaneously lowering the resource footprint of the alcohol industry. It’s win-win. Also, crucially, it tastes good.

What made you want to enter the pitch competition?

We’re real ideologues about what we do. Every time we walk into a bar, we start soap-boxing about how much fermentable sugar there is, piled high on farms around the world, waiting for someone to come and make alcohol from it. So a pitch competition isn’t that much different from a regular Friday night. The main difference is that co-founder Mark Byrne delivered the pitch without a martini in his hand.

What was your favorite part of the competition?

Seeing other young brands coloring outside the lines is thrilling to us. The start-ups in this industry have great energy to them, and we love to meet other entrepreneurs who are as hopeful as we are about the future of booze.

What are Good Liquorworks’ goals in the years ahead?

You’re just going to have to keep watching.

What advice do you have for brands entering the competition?

An alcohol brand doesn’t begin and end with a label. We see a lot of companies that make that mistake: cool name, great pack, expensive-looking website, and then they just fill the bottle with sourced grain ethanol, or follow a centuries-old mash recipe. Listen, having a novel supply chain is a marketing asset. The more attention you pay to your raw materials, the more compelling your brand is to consumers–and judges.


Final Details

We look forward to the continued success of Good Liquorworks and can’t wait to see who the next winner of the “Make Your Mark on the USA” Brand Pitch Competition will be!

The deadline to enter this year’s competition is September 17. Finalists will be announced on September 24, and the final judging round for the top three finalists takes place live at the largest international spirits conference Bar Convent Berlin on the main Tasting Stage on October 10, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. This year’s judges include Amanda Blue, COO and President of San Francisco Wine & Spirit Competition; Deborah Brenner, Founder and CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits and Diverse Powered Brands; Gary Gruver, Director of Beverage, Global, U.S. and Canada of Marriott Hotels; Shayne Hoyne, Director of Altos Planos and Olly Wehring, Digital Editor, Global Drinks Intel. We are sure their expertise and insight will be of upmost value to all contestants and look forward to their feedback.

Remember to enter by September 17 or come witness the magic on stage at Bar Convent Berlin!