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Diageo Honors America's Leading Spirits, Wine and Beer Distributors at Sixth Annual Golden Bar Awards

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo honored the country's leading spirits, wine and beer distributors today with the announcement of the Sixth Annual Golden Bar Award winners at www.DiageoGoldenBars.com.

"We are proud to honor the best of the best across beer, wine and spirits, and our desire to pay tribute to them remains stronger than ever. Congratulations to all of our 2009 nominees and winners for their remarkable achievements," said Ivan Menezes, President and CEO, Diageo North America.

Diageo hosts the Golden Bar Awards every year, the beverage alcohol industry's equivalent of the Academy Awards, to celebrate distributors and brokers from across the United States for their excellence in the marketplace and the important role they play in their communities. This year, given the economic climate, Diageo elected to alter the format from a gala event, and is instead honoring nominees and winners online at www.DiageoGoldenBars.com.

Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo USA, said, "The year's challenges in the economy and the industry have made us more keenly aware and appreciative of the outstanding work of our distributors than ever. No matter the format in which we recognize the excellence of our distributors, and no matter the location, one thing has not changed: the Golden Bar Award winners are the best in the industry at what they do and deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated."

The Golden Bar Awards recognize distributors and brokers from across Diageo's brands including Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Guinness and Beaulieu Vineyard. Awards are also given for outstanding Innovation Launches, Control States excellence, and Distributor of the Year. This year Diageo has introduced a new award -- the Platinum Bar -- that recognizes the best distributor in promoting responsible drinking.

In total, 32 statuettes made of 24 carat gold will be delivered to the winners. Each Golden Bar statuette weighs eight pounds, stands more than a foot tall and is produced by R.S. Owens, the company that created the Oscar(R), presented at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A complete list of nominees and winners can be viewed at www.DiageoGoldenBars.com. Below are the categories and winners for the 2009 Golden Bar Awards:


    DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR
    -- Distributor of the Year - Spirits        Reliable Churchill of Maryland
    -- Distributor of the Year - Wine           Washington Wholesale -
                                                 District of Columbia
    -- Distributor of the Year - Beer           Wright Wisner Companies

    SPIRITS EXCELLENCE AWARDS
    -- Spirits Excellence Award - Smirnoff      Reliable Churchill of Maryland
    -- Spirits Excellence Award - Baileys       United Distributors of
                                                 Delaware
    -- Spirits Excellence Award -               Coastal Wine & Spirits of
       Johnnie Walker                            Florida
    -- Spirits Excellence Award - Jose Cuervo   Capitol - Husting Company of
                                                 Wisconsin
    -- Spirits Excellence Award -               Diageo Moet Hennessy,
       Captain Morgan                            Pennsylvania Sales Team
    -- Spirits Excellence Award - Crown Royal   Glazer's of Iowa
    -- Spirits Excellence Award - Tanqueray     Southern Wine & Spirits of
                                                 New England, New Hampshire
    -- Spirits Excellence Award -               Washington Wholesale -
       Reserve Brands                            District of Columbia
    -- Control State Excellence Award -         Southern Wine & Spirits of
       Spirits                                   Virginia
    -- Venture Market Award - Spirits           Johnson Bros, ND, Northwest
                                                 Division
    -- President's Award - Share Growth         Glazer's of Ohio

    WINE EXCELLENCE AWARDS
    -- Wine Excellence Award -                  Capitol - Husting Company of
       Beaulieu Vineyard                         Wisconsin
    -- Wine Excellence Award -                  Coastal Wine & Spirits of
       Sterling Vineyards                        Florida
    -- Wine Excellence Award -                  Reliable Churchill of Maryland
       Chalone Vineyards
    -- Wine Excellence Award - Edna Valley      Coastal Wine and Spirits of
                                                 Florida Vineyards
    -- Wine Excellence Award -                  Glazer's of Ohio
       Acacia Vineyards
    -- Wine Excellence Award -                  Washington Wholesale -
       Rosenblum Cellars                         District of Columbia

    BEER EXCELLENCE AWARDS
    -- Beer Excellence Award - Guinness         Peerless Beverage
    -- Beer Excellence Award - Smithwick's      Alliance Beverage - Phoenix
    -- Beer Excellence Award - Red Stripe       Summit Distributing - Colorado
    -- Beer Excellence Award -                  Houston Distributing Company
       Progressive Adult Beverages
    -- Venture Market Award - Beer              John G. Ryan, Inc.

    GOLDEN BAR CONSISTENCY AWARDS
    -- Golden Bar Consistency Award - Spirits   Empire Merchants North,
                                                 New York
    -- Golden Bar Consistency Award - Beer      J&L Ventures

    INNOVATION LAUNCH AWARDS
    -- Innovation Launch Awards - Spirits       United Liquors LLC, A Division
                                                 of Martignetti Cos. -
                                                 Massachusetts
    -- Innovation Launch Award - Wine           Capitol - Husting Company of
                                                 Wisconsin

    NATIONAL ACCOUNTS EXECUTION EXCELLENCE AWARD
    -- National Accounts Execution              Pacific Wine & Spirits of
        Excellence Award                         California

    ADVANCING RESPONSIBLE DRINKING AWARDS
    -- Advancing Responsible Drinking - Beer    Kramer Beverage
    -- Advancing Responsible Drinking -         The Charmer Sunbelt Group -
       Spirits & Wine                            USA

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).

For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.

SOURCE Diageo

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