Control State Best Practices Awards

Entries for the 2021 Best Practices Awards are now open. Winners will be featured in the Fall 2021 issue of StateWays and honored at the NABCA Administrators Conference.


DEADLINE EXTENDED! Entries are now due FRIDAY, JULY 23.

CLICK HERE to view photos from the 2019 awards ceremony, and scroll down to read about their innovative programs and campaigns.

What are the Best Practices Awards?

The StateWays Control State Best Practices Awards launched in 2015 to recognize control state agencies that are leading the industry in innovation, education and enforcement. Any beverage control agency from the U.S. and Canada is eligible to enter the awards, which are given in eight categories. In addition, one standout is selected as the overall winner, serving as a model for other agencies to follow.

The awards showcase the best parts of beverage alcohol control, which is especially important in today’s political and economic climate. Winning agencies are not only supporting their states or counties with tax revenue, they’re making a difference in their communities through education, regulating sales and service through enforcement and assisting private businesses with efficient distribution systems.

We encourage every control jurisdiction to enter the awards and share your successes with the rest of the industry. Good luck!

Entry Process

Entries are due FRIDAY, JULY 16.

Only include programs that were active at some point between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 (agencies are not allowed to win the same category two years in a row). Entry categories include:

  • Best Consumer Education Program
  • Best Trade/Licensee Education Program
  • Best Distribution Innovation (includes warehouses)
  • Best Retail Innovation (government-owned stores)
  • Best Technology Innovation
  • Best Stakeholder Outreach Program (includes legislators)
  • Best Enforcement Program
  • Best On-Premise Partnership
  • Best Off-Premise Partnership (licensed stores)

Include a description of the program’s origination or a mission statement, results you’ve seen so far, metrics you’re tracking to determine effectiveness, and future plans for the program. No need to include all details – we’ll be following up with the winners for more in-depth interviews. A few paragraphs is more than enough.

Additional Information

  • One winner will be selected as the “Best of the Best.” States that enter more than one category will increase the likelihood they’ll be considered for this award.
  • Agencies may enter a program in any or all of the categories. Please enter each category only once.
  • All winners will be chosen by the editorial staff of StateWays magazine.
  • No jurisdiction may win more than one award in 2020.
  • All winners must make staff members available for interviews with StateWays editors. Images and additional information may also be requested.

Award and Recognition

The overall winner will be featured on the cover of the Fall issue of StateWays, which will be presented as part of the 2021 NABCA Administrators Conference in Portland, Maine. All winners will be profiled in that issue, showcasing the reasons they won. In addition, winning agencies will receive an awards plaque to share with their internal and external constituents.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Best Practices Awards, please contact the StateWays editorial staff:

Previous Winners

Featured in the Fall 2020 issue of StateWays:

Overall Winner: Twice as Nice (New Hampshire Liquor Commission)

Other category winners: The Rest of 2020

Best Technology Innovation: Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division
Best Distribution/Warehouse Innovation: Virginia ABC Authority
Best Retail Innovation: Virginia ABC Authority
Best On-Premise Partnership: Idaho State Liquor Division
Best Off-Premise Partnership: Ohio Division of Liquor Control
Best Trade or Licensee Education Program: Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery
Best Consumer Education Program: Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services
Best Stakeholder or Legislative Outreach Program: Montana Department of Revenue Alcoholic Beverage Control Division

Featured in the September/October 2019 issue of StateWays:

Overall Winner: Buckeye State Branding (Ohio Division of Liquor Control)

Other category winners: The Rest of 2019

Best Consumer Education Program: Virginia ABCA
Best Retail Innovation: Pennsylvania LCB
Best Warehouse Innovation: Iowa ABD
Best Technology Innovation: Nova Scotia
Best Stakeholder Outreach: Vermont LCB
Best Enforcement Program: Montgomery County DLC
Best On- and Off-Premise Partnership: New Hampshire Liquor Commission

Featured in the September/October 2018 issue of StateWays:

Overall Winner: Best in Class (Oregon LCC)

Other category Winners: The Rest of 2018

Best Enforcement Program: Vermont LCB and Montana ABC
Best Technology Innovation: SAQ (Quebec) and Maine BABLO
Best Distribution Innovation: Montgomery County DLC and Virginia ABC
Best Stakeholder Outreach: Minnesota “SMART” and Utah DABC
Best Retail Innovation: New Hampshire Liquor Commission
Best Trade/Licensee Education Program: Pennsylvania LCB
Best On-Premise Partnership: Alabama ABC Board
Best Consumer Education Program: Idaho SLD

Featured in the September/October 2017 issue of StateWays:

Overall Winner: Granite State Greatness (New Hampshire Liquor Control)
Best Consumer Tasting Program: Windom, Minnesota
Best Warehouse Innovation: Oregon LCC
Best Consumer Education Program: Virginia ABC
Best Retail Innovation: Pennsylvania LCB
Best Trade/Licensee Education Program: Iowa ABD
Best Technology Innovation: Idaho State Liquor Division
Best Legislative Outreach Program: Montgomery County DLC

Featured in the November/December 2016 issue of StateWays:


Overall Winner: Keystone of Success (PA Liquor Control Board)
Best Technology Innovation (TIE):Simplified Workflow (Brooklyn Center, MN)
Best Enforcement Program: Local Outreach Builds Relationships (Virginia ABC)
Best Warehouse Innovation: A Public-Private Partnership (NHLC)
Best On-Premise Innovation: Embracing Maine’s Distillery Growth (Maine BABLO)
Best Retail Innovation (1 of 2): Keeping it Local (Idaho State Liquor Division)
Best Retail Innovation (1 of 2): Highlighting Canada’s Best (Manitoba Liquor and Lottery Corporation)
Best Trade of Licensee Education Program: Educating & Engaging with Video (Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division)
Best Consumer Education Program: The Check’s On the Bag (Liquor Hutch in Hutchinson, Minnesota)

Featured in the November/December 2015 issue of StateWays:

SW-ND15Overall Winner: Virginia’s Signature Success

All Other Categories: The 2015 Control States Best Practices Awards

Best Responsible Consumption Program: Pennsylvania LCB and North Carolina ABC
Best Technology Innovation: New Hampshire Liquor Commission & Iowa ABD
Best Legislative Outreach: Oregon LCC
Best Retail Innovation: Idaho State Liquor Division
Best Enforcement Program: Montgomery County DLC