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J&L Wins Record 5th Golden Bar Award from Diageo

New York, NY -Diageo, the world's leading beverage alcohol company, honored spirits, wine and beer distributors at the Eighth Annual Golden Bar Awards at Lincoln Center in New York City on Thursday night.

Ivan Menezes, President and CEO of Diageo North America, said at the event, "Tonight, we honor and commend Diageo's distributors for their dedication and hard work over the past year." He continued, "The Golden Bar Awards recognize the best in the industry, and there is no better place than Lincoln Center to celebrate the great performances our distributors have demonstrated over this past year."

The Golden Bar Awards, the beverage alcohol industry's equivalent of the Academy Awards, celebrates distributors and brokers from across the United States for their excellence in the marketplace and the important role they play in their communities.

Larry Schwartz, Diageo USA President, said, "It is Diageo's strong relationships with our distributors that help drive the success of our companies. Tonight we celebrate and honor the best in this industry and our joint commitment to the business."

The Golden Bar Awards recognize distributors and brokers for performance across brands including Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Guinness and Beaulieau Vineyard. Awards are also given for corporate citizenship, innovation and the grand prizes go to the distributors of the year for beer, wine and spirits.

This year, Diageo also recognized several of its agency partners for excellence in marketing, advertising, brand public relations and social responsibility programs. The winners of these awards were voted for and decided by Diageo's distributor partners for programs which truly engaged consumers and achieved high standards of performance.

In total 45 statuettes, 43 made of 24 carat gold, and 2 made of platinum, were awarded to distributors. 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®, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

J&L Ventures, LLC received the 2011 Diageo Golden Bar Innovation Launch Award for Beer and Progressive Adult Beverages (PABs). This award recognizes the superior launch execution for a new product and gauges depletions vs plan, distribution and distributor challenge results. This is the 5th Golden Bar Award for J&L and 4th in a row, which gives J&L more Golden Bars than any other Diageo beer distributor since the awards were started in 2004. J&L has previously won Golden Bars for Innovation Launch- Beer (2010), Consistency- Beer (2009), Beer Excellence- Progressive Adult Beverages (2008), and Beer Excellence- Flavored Malt Beverages (2006).

Diageo Golden Bar

Please visit the Diageo Golden Bar Awards website for more information.

North Georgia Distributing Co: Rome, GA Classic City Beverages: Athens, GA Jackson Beverages: Griffin, GA Triangle Wholesalers: Columbus, GA Macon Beverage Company: Macon, GA Beverage South: Augusta, GA Better Brands of South Georgia: Albany & Valdosta, GA Beverage South of Aiken Columbia: West Columbia, SC