Sitting and sipping in Sydney's best small bars every Monday. Check here for regular reviews.
Over five hundred bar industry professionals and two Monday Barhoppers gathered at Doltone House for the 2013 Bartender of the Year Awards Night, presented by Australian Bartender magazine. We’re working on becoming bar industry professionals but well, it was pretty much the coolest function we’ve ever been to. Nobody drinks like the professionals.
We were greeted by lovely ladies in red with champagne in hand, an abundance of Stella on tap and the Trolley’d Bar guys at cocktail stands, making delightful concoctions each one as unique and tasty as the next. Did you know that you can use stinging nettle as a garnish after somehow taking the stinging out, and that it’s delicious? Shout out to Trolley’d Bar owners Christopher Thomas and Byron Woolfrey for being our new favourite pop-up cocktail bar in Sydney.
With cocktails, vodka and wine flowing liberally, we met bar tenders, pub owners and other reviewers. We had a good chat to the owner of The Local Taphouse in Sydney, who took out Best Specialty Beer Venue. When we asked him what his favourite beer was he said “the one I haven’t had yet”. We like that.
Our most loved Sydney venues took out quite a few awards on the night, proof that the city of the coat hanger is really stepping up its small bar game. C’mon Sydney! Bulletin Place won Cocktail Bar of the Year, Mojo Record Bar won New Bar of the Year, Baxter’s Inn won Bar Team of the Year and Bar of the Year. Vasco took out Small Bar of the Year and Frankie’s Pizza took out Best Bartenders of the Year (reviews coming soon!).
The event took the unusual turn of having the top 10 nominees for Bartender of the Year compete live on stage for the top prize, with each being given just four minutes to create two signature cocktails to be presented to a panel of judges. No pressure. Runners up were Cristiano Beretta from The Rook and Ben Blair from Corner House, both in Sydney, but the top prize went to Sean Chow from The Greshem Bar in Brisbane. Brisbane also had the highest number of nominees for bartender of the year… we’re going to have to go on a road trip.
-FS & EP