Where you'll be drinking this weekend: the winners of the Australian Bar Awards 2016

Where you’ll be drinking this weekend: the winners of the Australian Bar Awards 2016

There was once a time when we had to hop on a plane to Sydney or Melbourne to wet our whistles at the best bars in Australia. Those days are long gone, dear friends. According to the results of last night’s 16th annual Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards, Brisbane is killing it on the libations front. And we’re happy to reap all the benefits.

Bartender Magazine’s 16th annual Australian Bar Awards saw more than 600 of the bar industry’s leading professionals gather at Sydney’s Doltone House last night (Tuesday September 20) to celebrate the wonderful people who keep us well lubricated. When we say the best bars in Australia are right here in Brisbane we aren’t exaggerating – Brisbane City’s The Gresham won National Bar of the Year for the second year running. Woo! That wasn’t the only national award for Queensland. Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall took out Best Live Music Bar, Cobbler won Small Bar of the Year and Family won Nightclub of the Year. The Gresham also won Bar of the Year for Queensland, The Bowery was heralded the state’s Cocktail Bar of the Year, and The Apo’s Dan Gregory came in second runner-up for Bartender of the Year.

If you are heading down to the southern states in the near future (although, why bother?), here is the full list of winners:

New Pub of the Year
Hotel Palisade, Sydney

Rookie of the Year
Dale Schoon (Earl’s Juke Joint, Sydney)

Best Live Music Bar
Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane

Regional Bar of the Year
Coal & Cedar, Newcastle

Cocktail List of the Year
Eau de Vie, Melbourne

Gin Bar of the Year
The Barber Shop, Sydney

Rum Bar of the Year
The Lobo Plantation, Sydney

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

Whisky Bar of the Year
Boilermaker House, Melbourne

Hotel Bar of the Year
Grain, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Small Bar of the Year
Cobbler, Brisbane

Bar Operator of the Year
Swillhouse, Sydney

Pub Operator of the Year
Merivale, Sydney

Bar Team of the Year
Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, Sydney

Most Outstanding Contribution to the Industry
Tash Conte (Black Pearl, Melbourne)

New Bar of the Year
Restaurant Hubert, Sydney

Nightclub of the Year
Family, Brisbane

Wine Bar of the Year
Bar Liberty, Melbourne

Best Bar Food
Dead Ringer, Sydney

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, Sydney)

Best Beer Venue
Petition Beer Corner, Perth

Best Bartenders’ Bar
Heartbreaker, Melbourne

State Awards Bar of the Year
Australian Capital Territory: Hippo Co, Canberra
New South Wales: The Baxter Inn, Sydney
Northern Territory: Hot Tamale, Darwin
Queensland: The Gresham, Brisbane
South Australia: Hains & Co, Adelaide
Tasmania: Robbie Browns, Hobart
Victoria: Heartbreaker, Melbourne
Western Australia: Varnish on King, Perth

State Awards Cocktail Bar of the Year
Australian Capital Territory: Molly, Canberra
New South Wales: Bulletin Place, Sydney
Northern Territory: Chow, Darwin
Queensland: The Bowery, Brisbane
South Australia: Maybe Mae, Adelaide
Tasmania: IXL Long Bar, Hobart
Victoria: Black Pearl, Melbourne
Western Australia: The Dominion League, Perth

National Cocktail Bar of the Year
Bulletin Place, Sydney

National Pub of the Year 
Coogee Pavillion, New South Wales

National Bar of the Year
The Gresham, Queensland

Bartender of the Year
Michael Chiem (PS40, Sydney)
First runner-up: Paul Hammond (Bulletin Place, Sydney)
Second runner up: Daniel Gregory (The Apo, Brisbane)

For a play-by-play of the evening, head to Australian Bartender Magazine’s Facebook page.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 1800 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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