Spirited Awards® Judging Code of Conduct

  • There is a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and discrimination among our Co-Chairs and Committee Members (Judges). Should it come to our attention that a Co-Chair and/or Committee Member violates these expectations of conduct, they will be removed from the committee immediately.
  • Judges should refrain from discussing nominees and potential winners on social media outlets in the context of the Spirited Awards
  • Judges should not discuss votes, particularly any tiebreakers for the winner (if applicable), with anyone outside of the judging committee. 
  • Any harassing, campaigning, or other activities meant to sway a Committee Member’s opinion and vote may be considered soliciting, and must be reported to Charlotte Voisey, Overall Chair and Alex Smith, Spirited Awards Director.

Spirited Awards Judging Rules

  • Judges are not eligible to vote in any category in which they or their workplace are nominated.
  • Judges are only eligible to vote in the categories or awards their committee is assigned.
  • Regional Judges are only eligible to vote for establishments that they have visited within the last 5 years. 
  • If a Regional Judge has not been to at least 5 of the bars in that category or tasted at least 5 products, etc., a judge is required to abstain from voting in that category due to a presumed lack of knowledge. 
  • Judges are encouraged to conduct outside research i.e. tasting new products, frequenting establishments, reading media coverage, websites, and listening to podcasts in order to best inform their decision. 
  • Judges are asked to look beyond the nominee itself, and take issues of character, representation and reputation into consideration when voting, paying particular attention to adherence to no-tolerance on sexual harassment, and diversity.
  • Judges are encouraged to carefully read the writing samples and menu submissions for categories that apply. These files will be made available through OpenWater.
  • Committee Members will not be privy to the final list of Spirited Award Winners.


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