Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards announces 2016 winners

To cap off yet another busy Bar Week, the industry came together last night at the 16th annual Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards to celebrate the past 12 months of outstanding bars across Australia. Always an authoritative lens through which to examine the massive scale of quality bars across the country, the awards ceremony celebrated those who have performed extraordinarily across a large number of categories, providing a comprehensive snapshot of where the industry is at right now, and which drinking dens have been kicking all the right goals.

Big winners from the night include Bulletin Place in Sydney, which was named Cocktail Bar of the Year in addition to seeing their own Pail Hammond named the 1st runner up for Bartender of the Year. It was also a big night for the Swillhouse Group, being that their stunning Restaurant Hubert picked up New Bar of the Year in addition to them being named Bar Operator of the Year, and their Toby Hilton named Bar Manager of the Year. Though it wasn’t Sydney which ended up home to the current Bar of the Year (national), that honour traveled up coast to Brisbane with stalwart bar The Gresham.

See below for the full list of winners and take note, these bars should definitely be on your to-do list for the next 12 months, at least!

New Pub of the Year
Hotel Palisade, NSW

Rookie of the Year
Dale Schoon, Earl’s Juke Joint, NSW

Best Live Music Bar
Lefty’s Oldtime Music Hall, QLD

Regional Bar of the Year
Coal & Cedar Newcastle, NSW

Cocktail List of the Year
Eau de Vie Melbourne, VIC

Gin Bar of the Year
The Barber Shop, NSW

Rum Bar of the Year
The Lobo Plantation, NSW

Most Outstanding Contribution
Tash Conte (Black Pearl VIC)

Phil Bayly Award for Tequila Bar of the Year
Tio’s, NSW

Whisky Bar of the Year
Boilermaker House, VIC

Hotel Bar of the Year
Grain, Four Seasons Hotel NSW

Small Bar of the Year
Cobbler, QLD

Bar Operator of the Year
Swillhouse, NSW (The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza, Shady Pines Saloon, Restaurant Hubert)

Pub Operator of the Year

Bar Team of the Year
Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, NSW

New Bar of the Year
Restaurant Hubert, NSW

Nightclub of the Year
Family, QLD

Wine Bar of the Year
Bar Liberty, VIC

Best Bar Food
Dead Ringer, NSW

Training Program of the Year
The Blend, Beam Suntory

Brand Ambassador of the Year
Richard Blanchard, William Grant & Sons

Bar Manager of the Year
Toby Hilton, Swillhouse NSW

Best Beer Venue
Petition Beer Corner, WA

Best Bartenders’ Bar
Heartbreaker, VIC

Bar of the Year – State Awards

ACT: Hippo Co, Canberra
NSW: The Baxter Inn, Sydney
NT: Hot Tamale, Darwin
QLD: The Gresham, Brisbane
SA: Hains & Co, Adelaide
TAS: Robbie Browns, Hobart
VIC: Heartbreaker, Melbourne
WA: Varnish on King, Perth

Cocktail Bar of the Year – State Awards

ACT: Molly, Canberra
NSW: Bulletin Place, Sydney
NT: Chow, Darwin
QLD: The Bowery, Brisbane
SA: Maybe Mae, Adelaide
TAS: IXL Long Bar, Hobart
VIC: Black Pearl, Melbourne
WA: The Dominion League, Perth

Cocktail Bar of the Year – National
Bulletin Place NSW

Pub of the Year – National
Coogee Pavillion, NSW

Bar of the Year – National
The Gresham, QLD

Bartender of the Year
Michael Chiem (PS40, NSW)
1st runner up: Pail Hammond (Bulletin Place, NSW)
2nd runner up: Dan Gregory (The APO, QLD)

For more information head to Australian Bartender HERE.

Headline image: Grain Bar at Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.