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Bark and Bitter wins Two Gold Medals for Novara Bitter Aperitivo in the IWSC 2022 Alternative Drinks Awards

14 Jul 2022

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO – JULY 14, 2022 - Bark and Bitter is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a gold medal in the IWSC 2022 for Novara Bitter Aperitivo and an additional gold medal in the IWSC Low/No Drinks & Soda competition presented by Double Dutch Drinks. This is an outstanding achievement, as this is the first competition entered by Bark and Bitter, and its prestigious rating of 95 from the IWSC judges comes just over a year after Novara Bitter Aperitivo first launched. Futhermore, Novara’s golds represent the only ones awarded to a North American product in this year’s awards.

With over 50 years’ experience, IWSC awards are among the highest honours in the industry. Entries undergo a structured and rigorous tasting process using the ‘double-blind’ method, meaning samples are tasted in pre-poured glasses so that judges never see a bottle. Each spirit is judged by a whole panel in sync, allowing for group discussions. All gold-awarded drinks are re-tasted by a member of the independent Judging Committee to give the final seal of approval

View the full list of 2022 IWSC alternative drinks results here.

“It’s an incredible honour to bring home not only one, but two gold medals from such a highly regarded competition this year!” said Nick Nemeth, founder of Bark and Bitter. “As a self-funded company making our products ourselves in small batches, it is so rewarding to have our hard work from the last few years recognized on such a large, international stage. We count ourselves lucky to be in such esteemed company with so many, much larger brands we’ve admired greatly for quite some time.”

Novara is a non-alcoholic Italian-style Bitter Aperitivo made from a complex blend of 8 traditional whole herbs and botanicals, delivering the flavour you'd expect from a traditional Italian Aperitivo, with none of the alcohol. One of the first Canadian entrants to the burgeoning non-alcoholic spirits category, this unique aperitivo delivers a balanced, lightly bitter backbone and a fresh burst of citrus peel and pith, making it well suited for no and low alcohol cocktails such as the Spritz, Negroni, and more. For more information on Novara, including featured recipes and where to purchase, visit

 About Bark and Bitter

  • Bark and Bitter is an independent non-alcoholic spirits producer founded in 2021 by Nick Nemeth, and based in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • Novara Bitter Aperitivo is the first of a series of botanical-driven non-alcoholic spirits alternatives from Bark and Bitter made for mixing in cocktails and modelled after traditional spirited cocktail staples
  • A portion of sales from all Bark and Bitter products are donated to Canadian organizations supporting the hospitality industry on initiatives focused on mental health and substance use support. These organizations include The Bartender’s Benevolent Fund, Not 9 to 5 Organization, and the Mind the Bar Foundation.

 About the IWSC

  • With over 50 years of experience, the IWSC, or Club Oenologique as it was called back in 1969, was the first official wine and spirit competition. 
  • Over the years it has become both the model and the paradigm wine and spirit judging, inspiring companies, organisations, industries and individuals alike. 
  • The IWSC is the go-to platform for having wines, spirits, and alternative drinks tasted and reviewed by leading decision-makers from both the off and on-trades, as well as by key influencers, providing access to new distribution channels, local or global exposure, product benchmarking, greater brand awareness and expert feedback.
  • IWSC recommendations are promoted and circulated around the world to a carefully targeted audience.


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