Awards, Competitions, Sydney

2010 Australian Bar Awards Results – Now with Photos

It all happened at the Hilton last night, with Bar week drawing closer to a close.

A broad representation of the industry filled the ballroom, to hear the results, to celebrate ten years of the awards and to have a decent crack at getting smashed, responsibly, of course.

Ian Burrell, Ambassador of Rum with Priscilla from Sou Soul in Melbourne

Ian Burrell, Ambassador of Rum with Priscilla from Sou Soul in Melbourne

Anyhoo, you’re probably reading this because you weren’t at the awards, or you were there but pushed the boat out a touch too far.

Best New Launched Product.

Miss Russia at the Bar Awards

Miss Russia at the Bar Awards

The first award of the night went to Russian Standard vodka. Beam Global administer the brand here in Australia, but they bought a little Russian charm to the event, in the guise of Miss Russia. The leggy model’s purr and smile quickly caught the attention of the room, and ever the entrepreneu, Dave Spanton capitalised , auctioning thirty minutes of her company off to charity. Perhaps the surprise of the evening was that Cafe Pacifico’s Phil Bayly was the man with his hand in the air. I hope she likes tequila.

Best Training Program

Went to the boys from Diageo’s Alchemy. Investment in training is ever increasing in the market here, with legends of bartending being flown around the globe to teach, train and tour the lucky country.

Brand Ambassador of the Year

The Mixxit team must have only missed out by a whisker of winning the best program prize. Dylan Howarth managed to scrape back some semblance of honour taking out the individual award.

Small Stand Award

Without question went to Bacardi, the Blind Tiger speakeasy, overseen by the debonair David Cordoba, international daiquiri ambassador. It was all about story, setting and sharing the love and passion that goes into making the world’s favourite white rum and the simple expression of sugar, sour & strong; perfectly diluted into a very special dream state.

Large Stand Award

Goes to Philip Morris. They wouldn’t let me in last year, and I didn’t try this, so they obviously aren’t in it for the PR.

Cocktail List

Brisbane bar, The Bowery, takes out this prestigious prize. I really sweet speech shows just how much the recognition means.

Best Food Offering

Team Laruche after claiming their prize

Team Laruche after claiming their prize

Laruche, again from up in Brisbane, takes out the prize. Might be time to book a flight and go and check out my Northern neighbor.

New Venue Design

Down scale speakeasy-cum-saloon, Shady Pines, takes home the bacon. Special shout outs to eBay and Bunnings for supplying the goods.

Best Drinks Selection

This can be found at the Crown & Sceptre in Adelaide. Might have to visit the festival state too.

Bar Manager of the Year

Sebastian Derbomez from Hemmesphere takes out this one. His speech is great, for the first two minutes. After that he starts to ramble about the lot of Bar Managers everywhere. Dave Spanton finally intervenes. Bravo.

Best Marketed Venue

Lee from the Victoria Room has some kind words to say about family run and owned venues. Vive la petite revolution! While he claims to have no knowledge of marketing, his plug for the Fluffy Duck Blazer would make any spruiker proud.

Best Nightclub

The lights go down for Kit & Kaboodle. Teamwork seems to have deserted them as they fumble the thankyous in the speech. No one knows this now, but they’ll have another chance after dinner.

Outstanding Contribution

Naren Young at the Sydney Bar Awards

"I owe it all to Tom Cruise" Naren Young has a few words on making an outstanding contribution

Naren Young deservedly honoured for his efforts behind the bar and in articulating the whole thing in words too. His speech is great, starting with an acknowledgement of the role of Tom Cruise in his career, and that inability to grow a beard is no impediment to making a contribution. His thanks at the end are heartfelt and more than a few eyes aren’t dry around the room.

Best Bar Team

Rollicking on to the stage with no shortage of gay abandon, the team from the Black Pearl in Melbourne proudly lift the trophy, and the new addition to the Hysted repertoire, the finger mustache. Curled, of course.

Best Specialty Beer Venue

Goes to the Local Taphouse, from Sydney. “Beer is the new black” a five word speech that says it all.

Best Wine Bar

Team Gazebo takes it out again, only t his time it’s the new venue in Crown St, The Winery, that will have an award upside down on the roof.

Rookie of the Year

Goes to the stunning and talented Elle Wormald, from Eau de Vie. Great to see a lady taking away one of the individual prizes. Hopefully a sign of great things to come.

Best Operator – Single Venue

Sebastian, Liz and Lisa from 1806 in Melbourne take out the prize.

Best Small Bar

Little laneway legend, Grasshopper, from Sydney takes this one out. Great to see the small bar legislation working well.

Cocktail Bar of the Year

Jason Crawley kicks things off with a great joke about whales. The winner is a whale of the industry, Der Raum, from the streets of Melbourne takes it out. Flavour fog ahoy!

Best Music Venue

X&Y from Brisbane take this one away. Can you hear the people sing?

Best New Bar

Eau de Vie gets an award! Great result for Sven and the team. Consumer recognition from Gourmet traveller and now the trade. This place is my favourite bar for a reason.

Hotel of the Year

The multi faceted Ivy proves you can in fact be all things to all people…

Multiple Venue Owner

Keystone Hospitality lift the trophy.

New Hotel of the Year

The Flinders Hotel gets an award! Most of the folks who aren’t already there are going now. Make mine a Red Hook!

Bar of the Year

Hugos Manly proves there is a reason to visit the insular peninsular.

Bartender of the Year

Bartenders get the girls - Jason Williams with his prize

Bartenders get the girls - Bartender of the Year, Jason Williams with his prize

Jason Williams from the Galley Room in Melbourne takes the top prize. Adam Brewer from Cloudland in Brisbane 3rd & Chris Denman from X&Y came 2nd.

Gratuitous Spanton Shot

Gratuitous Spanton Shot

It was a great night and showcased the strength and development of the bar industry in Australia. Well done to the Spanton team and all the winners.

Awards, Competitions, Industry News, Legends of Bartending

Bar Week Cometh.

Like Bartender Christmas, it rolls round once a year. Sydney town is inundated with Tom Cruise wannabees, full of dreams and staring wide eyed at the big city. Well, not really, but it’s a nice thought.

Festivities kicked off yesterday with the Bartender’s Brunch at Cafe Pacifico and the Bacardi Daiquiri Party at the marble bar at the Hilton.

Those of you who aren’t working can head down to the Argyle Hotel in the Rocks for the Bartender of the Year competition. Things kick off at half ten and run pretty much all day.

Later tonight the Coney Island Bartender Bumfight will pit bar teams from around the country against each other as they turn out classics without the help of a recipe. It’s on at Victoria Room and round one will get underway at 8.30pm.

Tuesday promises to be a little quieter, probably a good day to visit the Barshow and then think about the Whisky & Punch Bartender Olympics, starting at 6.30pm down at the Argyle.

Wednesday is all about the Bar Awards dinner at the Hilton. Winners, Losers & piles of intrigue (or at least debauchery.) Official after party is at Goldfish in the Cross, or you can go renegade at the Flinder’s Hotel for the unofficial one.

It’s going to be a big week.


Shine on with your crazy diamonds

Yesterday was close day for voting on the 2010 Australian Bar Awards. After whizzing through my votes, I made a quick visit to and was extremely pleased to see that Ueno Hidetsugu has been confirmed for Bar Show next month.

Some will know Ueno-san from the Magnificent Seven launch video or perhaps will have seen him hand carving ice into balls, or as he is now more famous for, diamonds.

He, along with an extremely small group of other Japanese masters have been responsible for launching a set of influences that is strong around the world of bar tending right now. Seamless mixing glasses, obscenely long bar spoons, hand carved ice, gold plated everything and perhaps best known, the mystical hard shake.

Having been to Tokyo and visited the standing bars, I have one overwhelming memory of hospitable perfection, a focus on detail, economy of movement and utterly focussed service. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say and what he might share.

Ueno-San will be presenting The Art of Japanese Bartending in the Mixology Theatre at 2:00pm – 2:40 pm on Wednesday 22 September (Day 2) of the Sydney BarShowexhibtion. Do not miss this amazing opportunity to get up close a personal with one of the world’s leading bartending personalities.

For further information and to purchase your 2 Day Seminar Pass


Sydney Bar Show announced

The show must go on, they say, and it appears that it will. Details are still quite sketchy but it appears that the 2010 edition will be Rumtastic. UK Rum Ambassador, Ian Burrell sounds as though he has both made a commitment and being reading his Australian history.

“I find it an honour and privilege to be invited to host the Rum Shack at the Sydney Bar show 2010. Australia is the only country to have had a RUM REBELLION…not even Jamaica has done that yet!”

Should any of you both be in the hospitality trade and into long term advance planning, you might wish to committ this to your diary, frankly, your memory is probably woefully inadequate for this task. Sydney BarShow 2010will take place on Tuesday 21 & Wednesday 22 September at The Royal Hall of Industries, on Lang Road, Moore Park (next to Entertainment Quarter) in Sydney.

Information and registration details can be found here:

Attached to the show is the Bar Awards, celebrating 10 years, the awards is a true celebration of the industry in Australia. I can only hope that I will be lucky enough to be invited this time as well.