Growth Brands Hall of Fame
The Growth Brands Hall of Fame was created in 2015 to recognize brands that have shown sustained growth over a long period of time. Inductees must have won at least 15 Growth Brand Awards over the years (since the program’s inception in 1997). This year, seven spirit brands and one wine brand qualified for that honor. These eight brands are the best of the best, and we congratulate them on their accomplishment. We hope that younger brands, or established brands closing in on 15 Growth Brand Awards, will aspire to one day join them in the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame Entry Criteria
Each Hall of Fame winner must have at least 15 Growth Brand Awards out of 19 years that the Beverage Information Group has presented them. They can be in any category – Fast Track, Rising Star, Established Growth or Comeback Brand. All statistics are compiled by Adam Rogers, manager of information services for the Beverage Information & Insights Group. For more information about the Hall of Fame or other research products, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CLASS OF 2015
The seven spirits and one wine brand inducted this year have won a total of 134 Growth Brand Awards over the years. Brands on the cusp below will be eligible for next year’s Hall of Fame if they win a 2016 Growth Brand Award based on 2015 calendar year sales.
Burnett’s Vodka (Heaven Hill Brands), 17 Growth Brand Awards, Inducted 2015
Since its introduction in 1991, Burnett’s Vodka has led flavored vodka innovation. Now available in 37 flavors, including its original 80 proof and 100 proof, the brand offers the largest portfolio in the vodka category. Burnett’s was awarded a Fast Track Growth Brand Award in 2015.
Named for a former Welsh sea captain and governor of Jamaica, Captain Morgan is the only rum in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Sam Bronfman, President and CEO of Seagram’s drinks company, arrived in the Caribbean in the 1940s and established the Captain Morgan Rum Company after establishing trading relationships with distillers across the region.
When the company subsequently purchased the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica, Bronfman bought an age-old family recipe for spiced rum from two Jamaican pharmacists. That recipe would later become the inspiration for Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, which was introduced in 1983. Since then the portfolio has grown to include Silver Spiced, Parrot Bay, Tattoo and a number of other variants.
Chateau Ste. Michelle (Ste. Michelle Wine Estates), 15 Growth Brand Awards, Inducted 2015
Opened in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the founding winery of Washington state and owns 3,500 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates brand was named a Comeback Brand for 2015, in addition to being the only wine inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame class. The winery has been producing European varietals under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967 and is overseen today by Head Winemaker Bob Bertheau. Its vineyards include Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek, which are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified.
Crown Royal (Diageo), 18 Growth Brand Awards, Inducted 2015
First introduced in 1939 and available in the U.S. since 1964, Crown Royal is the category leader in Canadian Whisky. The brand began in Canada during a visit by British monarchs King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. To mark the occasion, the brand’s founder tested more than 600 blends before creating what they considered to be the best whisky. It was packaged in a glass bottle, wrapped in a purple cloth bag and presented to the King and Queen. By 1941, the brand had caught on with the Canadian people and its original production of 100 cases was expanded to wider distribution.
Johnnie Walker (Diageo), 18 Growth Brand Awards, Inducted 2015
Johnnie Walker’s storied history begins nearly 200 years, ago when the brand’s namesake began selling whisky at his grocery store in Scotland. In the 1860s, John Walker’s son, Alexander, created the square bottle and label the brand is known for. Today the brand is available in more than 200 countries in expressions including Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Gold Label Reserve, Platinum Label, Blue Label and several small-release expressions.
Ketel One (Diageo), 15 Growth Brand Awards, Inducted 2015
Ketel One is made at a 324-year-old distillery founded in 1691 and overseen by 11 generations of the Nolet family. The vodka was first introduced to the U.S. market in 1983. Distilled in Holland, Ketel One was named an Established Growth brand for 2015 and rounds out Diageo’s four Hall of Fame brands. Every batch of the vodka is tasted and approved by a member of the Nolet family before it’s released, making the family’s lineage a key component in the authenticity and craftsmanship of the brand.
Founded in 1953 by Bill Samuels, Sr. in Loretto, Kentucky, the Maker’s Mark Distillery is now a National Historic Landmark, welcoming visitors and Bourbon lovers to the brand’s homeplace. Since that time, the brand has introduced Cask Strength and Maker’s 46 to the portfolio. The Beam Suntory brand is overseen today by COO Rob Samuels, Bill Sr.’s grandson.
The first batch of Maker’s Mark was ready in 1959 and Marge Samuels, Bill’s wife, came up with the name, hand-torn label, bottle shape and idea to hand-dip each bottle in red wax. She was recently inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, in recognition of her connection to the industry and the Maker’s Mark brand, being instrumental in everything down to the look and feel of the distillery.
SKYY Vodka (Campari America), 18 Growth Brand Awards, Inducted 2015
Since 1992 when it was created in San Francisco, SKYY vodka has challenged conventional wisdom in the vodka category. Known for its limestone filtration and cobalt-blue bottle, the brand has introduced a number of innovations over the years, including SKYY Infusions and the recently-released SKYY Barcraft. In only 23 years on the market, SKYY has received 18 Growth Brand Awards.