Last Wednesday night the Australian Bar Awards were held at the Sydney Hilton. We had been surprisingly listed as a finalist in the 'Best Australian Specialty Beer Venue' category after just four months trading so Guy, Justin and I decided to go along for the occasion. Unbelievably, they don't give finalists even one comp ticket so we had to stump up $275 each plus airfares, accommodation, taxis etc (and one Melbourne bar had two tables of 10!)..
Anyway, we had a fun (and late) night. The show itself was kinda like the Logies although the male to female quota was disappointingly one sided (and the wrong way). Redoak deservedly won the award we were competing for. For four years they have had sustained success and a dedication to excellence. Congrats to David, Janet and their team.
The awards appeared spirit and cocktail focussed with multiple awards in that area (best cocktail list etc) so it will be interesting how better beer venues will change things a little over time. Maybe one day there will be an award for "best range and conditioning of cellared beers"!
Like most award ceremonies, it was allowed to run way too long and consequently people became a little bored and restless. We actually nicked off early as my two colleagues had never been to Redoak. We has been on Redoak's table and they arranged for their bar to stay open later and the staff there were very hospitable. We sampled a few and my fave on the night was the magnificent Baltic Porter.
Hours later, and after a few (extortionately priced) drinks at the magnificent it-has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed The Ivy, it was lights at 3.30am.