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Australia’s most unforgettable drinks brands

August 22, 2019
By Alana House

The drinks that stand out in customers’ minds were rewarded at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards with Most Distinctive Brand trophies.

Most Distinctive Brand is one of three consumer judged awards at the Australian Drinks Awards, alongside Fan Favourite and Gaining in Popularity.

The top 200 brands in each category – based on industry scan data – were automatically entered in the brand awards, which celebrate success in beer, cider, wine, spirits and RTDs and were judged via a Thrive Research survey of 4000 consumers.

According to Thrive Insights Director Chris Papadimitriou, the Most Distinctive Brand of the Year award recognises individuality and character as it is perceived by the consumer and demonstrates that the brand is regarded by consumers as providing a unique offering.

“This award presents an opportunity for brands that are doing things differently to be acknowledged and celebrated,” he said.

The winners proved that creative marketing pays off in the minds of consumers. 

The Most Distinctive Rosé, for example, was won by De Bortoli, following the brand being the only winery to be recognised in the prestigious 2019 AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List. The accolade was for its unique Rosé Rosé packaging, which features the first registered colour side-embossed screw cap in the world. With a rose inspired tattoo design, the closure decoration complements the wine variety and the shape of the bottle.

With more than 500,000 wine brands to choose from in Australia, consumers can be confused by all the options available. To cut-through this fragmented market, De Bortoli Wines wanted to create a product that was fully integrated, not just about the taste, appearance or manufacturer, but a product that consumers could identify with on a personal level.

Meanwhile, the brew Lion launched to take on Great Northern, Iron Jack, won Most Distinctive Contemporary Beer. Respondents commented on its “great taste” and, in keeping with its true-blue marketing message, one fan noted that “it tastes like real beer”.

IRI sponsored the Most Distinctive Brand category at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards.

IRI is a leading global provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help FMCG, OTC health care organisations, retailers, and media companies grow their businesses.

“We were thrilled to be part of the Australian Drinks Awards and to sponsor the Most Distinctive Brand of the Year Award,” said Alistair Leathwood, IRI Chief Commercial Officer – Asia Pacific.

“We’d like to congratulate all the brands on their marvellous wins. Behind the scenes, the award reflects a lot of hard work and a huge amount of passion, effort and commitment.

“Australia is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking countries and the liquor industry is leading the world – delivering the best quality, range and offers for Australian drinkers.”

Here’s the full list of Most Distinctive Brand winners:


Classic – Victoria Bitter

Contemporary – Iron Jack

Premium – Guinness

Craft – Balter Brewing XPA




Dark: Untold

Light: Absolut Botanik


Dark: The Kraken 

Light: Crystal Head 

Apertif/Liqueur: Fireball


White: Shaw + Smith

Red: 19 Crimes

Rose: De Bortoli 

Sparkling: Dom PerignonThe Australian Drinks Awards were held in Sydney, on August 22, 2019.