Bar Week 2014 Wrap Up

It was epic. From the parties to the masterclasses, the bartender workshops, the bar awards and the mornings after, Bar Week 2014 came and went leaving a trail of good times with good friends across the Australian bar industry.

Bar Week 2014 Wrap Up
L-R: Samuel Ng (2nd), Nathan Beasley (BOTY), Joseph Sinagra (3rd)

Here are some of the highlights of what was Bar Week for 2014.

Made in Britain Gin Masterclass at The Barber Shop

Gin Masterclass with Mike Enright
Mikey Enright, Made in Britain Masterclass

Bar Week kicked off on Saturday with a full house for “Made in Britain“, a Gin Masterclass presented by Mikey Enright at The Barber Shop. The popular event traced the history of gin and included four cocktails soon to be available on the menu.

Full review of the event here.

Rum Tiki Battle at the Lobo Plantation

It was Tiki mania at The Lobo Plantation on Sunday afternoon as four teams battled it out for the golden pineapple award. Pelicano in Double Bay put on a little magic with flare bartending and carried girls on a surfboard. The Cliff Dive in Darlinghurst served their cocktail to the judges in snorkels. The Rum Diary in Melbourne used a pirate ship made of watermelon and the Lobo Plantation served their cocktails in a giant clam shell and

Rum Tiki Battle at the Lobo Plantation
Lobo Plantation Wins Rum Tiki

Lobo Plantation took out the title with Pelicano coming in second place.

The Big Last Word

From the colour of Tiki mania, it was a quick hop to The Rook for a sea of green with The Big Last Word cocktail (The Last Word). Chartreuse Chevalier, Nathan Stretch Bradbery along with the Rook’s bar team served up the tasty green libation out of a 30 litre cocktail vessel.

The Big Last Word
Nathan Stretch Bradbery at The Big Last Word

Did we say 30 litres of The Big Last Word?

Idiot Savant Prizes

On to the Cliff Dive, and The Idiot Savant Prizes, aka the alternative bar awards returned for the second year, praising and ridiculing talented colleagues all in the name of good fun.

Idiot Savant Prizes
Sean BaxterChef Baxter

The awards were as follows:

Worst Facebook Post: Ollie Stuart ~ for taking down all the funny shit from Sydney Bartender Exchange
Most Tolerant Partner: Linn Johansson (Tim Phillips)
Most Over Dressed Bartender: Sean #Baxterchef Baxter
Most Likeable Brand Rep, Trainer or Ambassador: Will “Oxy” Oxenham
Best Party, Promo or Comp: Put It In Your Mouth 2013
Worst Shake: The Roosevelt
Bartender Making the Best Drinks: Charlie Ainsbury
Bartender Most Likely To Leave You With A Hangover: Luke Redington
Most Fun Bar: Frankie’s
Least Graceful Drunk: Jason Williams (Melbourne/Mexican/Peruvian Widge)
The Gregor De Gruyther MVP trophy for the best on the paddock this year: Charlie Ainsbury

Little Island, Big Smoke Whisky Masterclass with Dan Woolley

Sunday night was popular with events and the Little Island, Big Smoke Whisky Masterclass with Dan Woolley packed a full house.

Laphroaig Whisky Masterclass with Dan Woolley
Dan Woolley

Dan took us on a taste of Laphroaig whiskies starting with the Select Reserve and finishing with the 25 yo expression.

Full review of the event here.

Bartender Appreciation Day with Sailor Jerry

Sailor Jerry put on a Bartender Appreciation Day on Monday at the Oxford Art Gallery.

Sailor Jerry
Bartender Appreciation Day

The rum was flowing and bartenders were treated to free barber cuts, manicures for the women and tattoos, all courtesy of Sailor Jerry rum.

Movers & Shakers

From Sailor Jerry, it was a quick dash to The Winery in Surry Hills for the Movers and Shakers party.

Movers & Shakers
David Spanton, Movers & Shakers

Hosted by The Keystone Group and Australian Bartender Magazine, the invitation-only event was an opportunity for key industry professionals from all around Australia to catch up over cocktails and canapes.

Cantinero Club with Havana Club

The  Cantinero Club with Havana Club kicked off from 7pm at 107 Projects in Redfern with rum cocktails and BBQ Pulled Pork. 

Cantinero Club with Havana Club
Cantinero Club

Sam Bygrave (Bartender Magazine) and Ben Davidson (Pernod Ricard) announced the top 8 bartenders to compete for the Bartender of the Year title: Nathan Beasley, Samuel Ng, Jenna Hemsworth, Lee Potter Cavanagh, Ben Blair, Joseph Sinagra, Rinna Kato and Michael Chiem. The evening also unveiled the new bottle design for the Havana Anejo Especial.

Bartender Workshop: Bar Publicity and Advertising

A hot 30C day on Tuesday didn’t stop industry professionals from attending a series of five bartender workshops at The Loft.

Bartender Workshop: Bar Publicity and Advertising
Panel (L-R): Ben Shipley, Corinne Mossati, Jeanine Bribosia, Mike Enright and David Spanton

I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel on the subject of Bar Publicity and Advertising along with Ben Shipley (Everyday Drinking), Jeanine Bribosia (The Cru) and Mike Enright (The Barber Shop) hosted by David Spanton (Bartender Magazine)

Bartender Workshop: Bar Publicity and Advertising
Corinne Mossati, Speaking on Bar Publicity and Social Media

The discussion provided insights into the world of engaging a PR firm for publicity versus the direct approach, dealing with media, social media tips for effective promotion and engagement with customers and clients.

Bartender Magazine Bar Awards 2014

The big night of nights, the 14th Bartender Magazine Bar Awards were held at Doltone House with nearly 600 industry professionals in attendance.

Australian Bar Awards 2014 Winners
Nathan Beasley, Bartender of the Year 2014

Nathan Beasley of the Black Pearl in Melbourne was awarded Bartender of the Year 2014.

Australian Bar Awards 2014 Winners
Corinne Mossati (L) and Kevin Burke (R) with Statler and Waldorf Team

Gourmantic had the pleasure of sponsoring and presenting the Best Bar Food Award which was won by Statler and Waldorf in Brisbane.

Don’t miss the full list of the Bar Awards Winners posted earlier last week.

Put It In Your Mouth

Bar Week came to an end with the space-themed Put It In Your Mouth afterparty held at a secret location which was unveiled on the day to be at Home Nightclub in Darling Harbour.

And there you have it. An epic end to an epic Bar Week thanks to the grand efforts of Bartender Magazine and Spanton Media who bring industry professionals together from all parts of the country.

Photos of Bar Week 2014 are posted on our Facebook page.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.

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