The third annual Drink Outside the Grape Competition is now open for online entries. Now in its third year, DOTG is an international competition. In 2017 entries came from the U.S., Canada, Estonia and India.

The purpose of the Drink Outside the Grape Competition is to allow “sibling beverages” to grape wine, i.e. fruit wine, mead, cider/perry and fruit brandy (eaux-de-vie), to be evaluated in their own classes, by broad-minded industry professionals who are not biased by grape wine models.

Also, this competition excludes standard (non-blended) grape wines, to avoid comparisons to these other categories, and provides a level playing field for each category to compete within itself (in specialized classes), so that each category, and class, gets a fair evaluation.

The explosion of the regional craft beverage industry across the U.S. and the world shows the popularity of these categories; mead and cider are currently the fastest-growing categories of (low) alcoholic beverages. Drink Outside the Grape provides the means for them to be evaluated in a fair way.

Entries are judged fairly, without grape wine bias, by veteran industry members including category specialists.
  • Entries are judged in their own categories and grouped by residual sugar.
  • Besides Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals there are awards for Best of State/Province and Best of Category.
  • Competition awards help give fruit wine, cider and mead the legitimacy they deserve, in their own right as quality craft beverages.

Deadline for entries is July 30th; shipping arrival deadline is August 1st, and the judging is August 8th. For more information and online entry, visit