Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards Winners!

Tim Philips takes out the Bartender of the Year Competition for 2011 - great work Tim!

The Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards has wrapped up for another year, and congratulations to all those nominated. To the winners – well done on topping such a spectacular group of peers, to take the top spot is proof that you’re plying your trade to the best of your ability!

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See the full list of finalists and winners here and head to Sydney BarShow Week’s Facebook site to see loads of action pics from the week long festival that was the 2011 BarShow.

Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year

2011 saw a record turn-out for the Bartender of the Year Competition, and a staggering 94 barkeeps sat the grueling 2 hours exam before a Top 20 was picked. From that we stripped it back to 11, and then they battled it out on stage to decide who would take out this year’s prize.

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1st place – Tim Philips, ivy’s Level 6, Sydney
2nd place – Chris Hysted, Black Pearl & The Attic, Melbourne
3rd place – Lee Potter-Cavanagh, The Victoria Room, Sydney

Rookie of the Year

Last year was the first year that the Australian Bar Awards offered the Rookie of the Year. This award aims to recognise up and coming bartending talent in the Australian bar industry. To be eligible the finalists must work in a bar and not have more than two years experience, come 31 May 2011.

  • Monica Place, Cushdy, Adelaide

Bar Manager of the Year


This award pays tribute to all the hard working bar managers who often stay behind the scenes or who are seldom recognised for their dedication to the bar industry.

  • Evan Gamkrelidze, Hugos Manly, Sydney

Bar Team of the Year

Those on the front line sometimes don’t get enough credit for their hard work. A cohesive bar team can make the difference between a good venue and a great venue. They all deserve a pat on back

  • Black Pearl & The Attic, Melbourne

Operator of the Year (Single Venue)

This category includes some of the bar industry’s most passionate professionals. All of them are dedicated to the one venue that they own or run.

  • Andy Freeman and Michelle Mok, Luxe Bar, Perth

Operator of the Year (Multiple Venues)


This award pays tribute to those individuals and companies that juggle the operations of several venues.

  • Merivale, Sydney

Small Bar of the Year
Associate partner Imperial Tobacco

Where would our industry be without diversity – without the little guy? This award aims to recognise small venues (under 100 capacity) that are making big waves.

  • Shady Pines Saloon, Sydney
  • The White Hart, Sydney

Bar of the Year

This category is for those venues that offer a complete experience. All the following finalists have stylish (and at times quirky) surrounds where customers can expect great customer service, cracking cocktails, a balanced selection of beer and wine and a rocking vibe.

  • Match Bar & Grill, Melbourne

Cocktail Bar of the Year

It’s important to recognise those bars that dedicated to creating a complete ‘cocktail experience’ – carefully conceived drinks, sophisticated ambience, superlative ingredients (including quality 25mm sq. ice cubes or bespoke ice and bottled mixers), attention to detail and stellar service.

  • Eau De Vie, Sydney

Wine Bar of the Year

All finalists in this category must have a strong focus on their wine selection and the staff that serve it. The venue must have an atmosphere conducive to enjoying all things vinous and sport a stellar list featuring a well thought out and interesting selection of both local and international wines.

  • The Winery, Sydney

New Bar of the Year sponsored by

Many great bars opened around the country over the last year. This award is designed to honour those venues which continue to raise the standards by creating new spaces that keep everyone else on their toes.

  • Canvas, Brisbane

Best New Venue Design

This category is specifically for those venues that have paid particular attention to the interior design and layout of their new venue. Each of the following finalists boasts some unique design features.

  • Ms G’s, Sydney

New Hotel of the Year

This award recognises the efforts made by hoteliers and publicans to open new pubs or renovate and reinvigorate tired venues. All of the following finalists have opened their doors in the last year, with new and inspiring concepts.

  • The Norfolk Hotel, Sydney

Hotel of the Year
Associate partner British American Tobacco

No doubt one of the most prestigious awards. The finalists in this category offer a complete pub experience in style.

  • The Beresford Hotel, Sydney

Cocktail List of the Year


Some bars pour their heart and soul into their cocktail lists, constantly researching and revising their lists to produce the best possible selection. But the biggest isn’t always the best – the list must be easy to follow, take into consideration seasonal changes, drink trends, give credit where credit is due and always pay tribute to the classics.

  • Der Raum, Melbourne

Best Specialty Beer Venue

As a real passion for quality imported and locally brewed beer grows, so too have the venues specialising in the service of fine brews. This award recognises those bars and pubs that have a great beer selection, informative service and beer knowledge that sets them apart from the pack.

  • Josie Bones, Melbourne

Best Bar Food Selection

This category is for venues that take real pride in their food offerings – while having food available is certainly part of being a responsible host, these bars take it to the next level, with food becoming a real draw card for the venue. This award is not about the food served in an adjoining restaurant, but the menu offered specifically for patrons in the bar.

  • Gardel’s Bar at Porteño, Sydney

Best Drinks Selection

There are some bars that go to extraordinary lengths to offer a balanced and well thought out selection of drinks across all categories. This award isn’t necessarily about having an exhaustive list, but about the thought behind the selections. Bars in this category scour the globe for rare potions and demonstrate a passion for fine products.

  • The Victoria Room, Sydney

Nightclub of the Year

The award is for those venues that come alive in the wee hours, with a dedicated area for dancing and a music policy to match.

  • Eve, Melbourne

Best Music Offering

Some venues spend a lot of time and money putting together the tunes and selecting the live music acts that are played through their high tech sound systems. No iPod on shuffle in these venues, who pride themselves on their cutting edge music polices and thumping beats.

  • Spice Market, Melbourne

Best New Launched Product

An all new award since 2010. Best New Launched Product aims to reward those companies that bring in innovative new brands and product lines for bars and bartenders to work with. The winning product must not only be a high quality beverage, but will have superlative packaging and a comprehensive marketing strategy.

  • Ocho, Think Spirits

Training Program of the Year

This award rewards companies that make an effort to offer valuable training and education for the bar industry. The winning program must offer creative and innovative training that promotes professionalism amongst the next generation of bartenders.

  • Diageo, Alchemy

Best Marketed Venue

Marketing is an increasingly important aspect of a complete bar package. This award recognises the hard work put into bars by their owners and marketing teams to actively promote their venue to the public. Finalists in this category will have a comprehensive marketing strategy encompassing events and promotions as well as traditional and social media outlets.

  • Eau De Vie, Sydney

Brand Ambassador of the Year

The role of the brand ambassador continues to grow; not only do these guys and girls champion their own brands, but they play a valuable part in the education and development of Australian bar culture.

  • Robb Sloan, Reserve Brands

Award for Outstanding Contribution

Geoff Hayward is one of Western Australia’s most successful hospitality entrepreneurs. His ventures have included Luxe Bar, Monza, Bar One, The Brisbane and most recently The Boulevard Hotel. Hayward cites his success not just in his ability to see the bigger picture as well as an acute attention to detail, but to those who work with him at all levels. There is little doubt that few people have had such an influence on the way that Western Australians socialise than Geoff Hayward.

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