Top Distilled Spirits Trade Group Crowns Winner at its 1st ‘Innovation Showcase’
Lallemand DistilaBact LP, a dried bacteria product used to make sour mash, won the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States’ first “Innovation Showcase” competition at the 2021 DISCUS Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.
The product is a new approach to the traditional sour mashing method. It is a tailored bacterial inoculant designed to ferment alongside yeast and mimic the sour mash process in a way that is meant to be more readily available to smaller producers.
The competition was in the style of the popular show “Shark Tank.” The competition was judged by Sarah Barrett, executive editor, Wine and Spirits Daily; Mark Menezes, principal, Acadia Strategic Partners; and James Restivo, VP of account development, Nielsen IQ. The Showcase was hosted by Heather Firtszche, CEO and co-founder of The Spearhead Group. Each contestant was given 15 minutes to present. The winning product was presented by Mitch Codd, technical sales manager at Lallemand Biofuels & Distilled Spirits.
The second-place winner was Siponey, a canned cocktail with an environmentally friendly mission. Third place went to Pratt Industires for a sustainable, e-commerce packaging solution.
The first-, second- and third-place winners received prize packages ranging in value from $5,000 to $20,000 including a $10,000 cash prize for the showcase winner.
The other finalists selected from more than 50 submissions were Smart Start, Cleveland Whiskey and Solido.
“The Innovation Showcase generated a ton of energy and excitement at our annual conference and highlighted the creativity and ingenuity happening in the spirits sector,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org, in a news release. “Innovation is happening everywhere throughout our industry – from product development to sustainability — and this was an awesome opportunity to feature some of the best and brightest ideas that will make our great industry stronger.”
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