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Date: Sept. 16, 2021
Publisher: States News Service
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,312 words
Lexile Measure: 980L

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The following information was released by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA):

Campesino Rum, a craft rum company based in Tennessee, was crowned the winner of WSWA's 2021 Brand Battle! This unique brand is founded on transparency and authenticity, featuring the tag line "Unadulterated Straight Rum."

Campesino Rum, founded by Hatton Smith II, who is just 27 years old, is taking the rum category by storm, bringing adventure and a new view of rum to the marketplace.

After the Brand Battle Championship, Smith talked with Michael Bilello, WSWA's Senior Vice President of communications and marketing, as well as WSWA Access craft program manager, to learn more about the Campesino's "wild" founding, future plans and experiences enjoyed thus far in the process.

MICHAEL BILELLO: Congratulations on your win! You faced stiff competition -- all championship contenders presented unique and promising brands with incredible products. As you enjoy this victory and look ahead, how are you feeling about business opportunities and distribution partnerships?

HATTON SMITH II: It feels great! It feels like a lot of things I've thought about for the past two to three years are finally starting to come into place. It takes something like WSWA's Brand Battle to give a brand like mine a chance. To ensure things continue to fall into place, I'm a big proponent of visualization and concentrating on a mission and a purpose. Campesino Rum has a purpose and it's what I laid out for the judges during the competition.

Winning the rum category and now the championship will hopefully lead to the next step of national distribution and becoming a household brand.

MB: During your pitch, you spoke about how you got your unique start with rum -- while living in a jungle! During this time, you were connected to the wildlife and the folks who lived there. Both are well represented in your brand. Can you speak about these experiences?

HS: When I left the U.S,...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A675719599