These were 2014’s biggest stories and the best quote


By Sam Bygrave

In a few weeks, 2014 will become so last year; we’ll have sore heads after New Year’s Eve, and be overwhelmed with new year resolutions. 2014 will soon be a distant signpost in the rear-view mirror.

Allow me a quick recap on 2014, then. From what we can see, the Australian bartending community is pretty tight —  or, as The Lobo Plantation’s Paige Aubort put it earlier this year: “It’s like being a part of a rowdy sorority of brilliant, slightly insane party animals who just happen to be incredibly good at their jobs. I’m a part of the biggest dysfunctional family in Sydney.”

That sentiment applies throughout the country. If you’ve just begun your first summer of bartending, welcome to the family.


The biggest stories on tell the story. Stuart Morrow’s (The Baxter Inn) piece about the importance of doing your time as a barback — and the importance of mentors in developing young bartenders’ careers — was the biggest story this year, behind the juggernaut that is the announcement of the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards finalists.

The quote of the year — from the fourth biggest story of the year — came from Matt Bax, owner of Bar Americano and Bar Economico in Melbourne: “Flat caps and bartending tattoos won’t make you a better bartender,” he told us. That’s some solid advice for you rookies out there.

As always, you wanted to know who is doing what in the industry. Some of the biggest stories this year were our looks at the latest openings, with none more viewed than our look inside Perth’s new rum bar, Angel’s Cut by The Trustee.

The Perth scene has had a great year. Our news story about Andy Freeman’s new Perth venue, Darlings Supper Club, was the fifth biggest this year. This is all part of the growth of the bar scene not just in Perth, but in Brisbane too. We’ve seen visits from those two cities increase by more than 60 per cent on last year — and the year isn’t done yet.

This dysfunctional bartending family is getting bigger. The drinking is getting better. And 2015 is looking even brighter.

Thanks for all the drinks, thanks for your hospitality.

See you at the bar.

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