Bar Week Review 2013

Another Bar Week has come and gone, albeit a little too quickly this year. As we emerge from a post-celebration haze, here’s a recap of the highlights of the week that was.

Can You Dig It

Bar Week 2013 Wrap Up Bar Week 2013 Wrap Up
Can You Dig It

Bar Week celebrations kicked off officially at a trade party held at Durty Nelly’s Pub in Paddington. Can You Dig It was an informal industry get-together organised by Ben Tua, Bar Manager at the Mechanics’ Institute bar in Perth, and the genius mind behind this gem, The Most Dangerous List.

There was Tennents beer from Scotland, Malibu Pineapple cans, Magners cider, JD and lemonade, Breda lager among others for this casual catch up with old and new friends.

Photos of the event are on the Facebook page.

Sugarcane Sunday

It was tiki time and fake tans at Chimmi’s in Bondi Junction with Sugarcane Sunday, presented by the Sydney Rum Club. Rums were aplenty and the top picks were as follows:

Bar Week 2013 Wrap Up
Sugarcane Sunday at Chimmi’s

Havana Club 15 is a delicious rare drop, aged in ex bourbon American oak. Light, complex and elegant, it is a great sipping rum with an oaky dryness on the finish.

Soon to be released in Australia, Mount Gay Black Barrel undergoes a second ageing process in charred ex bourbon barrels which give the rum an oaky vanilla and sweet caramel flavour.

In celebration of a century of rum making, Ron Abuelo Centuria is a blend of the finest rums in reserve aged in white oak barrels for up to 30 years.

Bar Week 2013 Wrap Up
Selection of Rum

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum from St Lucia makes delicious sipping with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and sweet orange. The rum contains Bois Bande, a bark known in the Caribbean for its aphrodisiac qualities.

From Montana, Whistling Andy Hibiscus Coconut Rum is like the Caribbean holiday in your mouth with flavours of hibiscus, coconut and banana.

Jessica Arnott, Reserve Brand Ambassador presented a masterclass and tasting of Ron Zacapa 23 and special guest, Tom Walker of the American Bar at the Savoy in London shared insights into the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition.

Photos of the event are on the Facebook page.

The Idiot Savant Prizes

The Idiot Savant Prizes were awarded to industry individuals “who add a touch of vibrancy to the bar experience”. The industry event was held at Hotel Street pop up venue in Kings Cross with proceeds going to charity. Jason Crawley won the top prize, The Gregor De Gruyther Trophy for 2012/13’s Leading Legend.

Jason Crawley (middle) – Photo Courtesy of Band and Bevy

The Dispense Bar Award for Crap Chat: Simon McGoram, Neighbourhood
Best Bar Back: Rob Sloan, Bulletin Place
Worst Grip of the English Language: Max Greco, Vasco
The Jared Plummer Medal for Most Likeable Rep: John Gakuru, Think Spirits
Worst Facial Hair, Tattoos or Hair Cut: Merlin Jerebine
Better Half of the Year: Caitlin Adams, Ms Hysted
Shit Kicker Award for Bravery: Gregory Sanderson, EDV Melbourne
Worst Facebook Presence: Quynh Nguyen
Best Assets: Babs Hernandez, The Anchor
Best Media Campaign, Party or Incentive: Put It in Your Mouth
The Luke Redington Prize for the Most Dangerous on the Floor: Luke Redington, Hello Sailor
Least Graceful Drunk: Melbourne Widge, (Jason Williams), Keystone Group
Life of the Party: Phil Bayley
The Gregor De Gruyther Trophy for 2012/13’s Leading Legend: Jason Crawley

Australian Bartender Most Influential List Top 10

The Top 10 of the Australian Bartender Most Influential List were announced at an intimate industry gathering  at Sweetheart’s Rooftop on September 23 2013. See previous article for the list of winners.

Australian Bartender Most Influential List
Most Influential 2013

The top 10 finalists of the Bartender of the Year competition were also announced in no particular order:

Sean Chow, Brisbane
William Cowley, Brisbane
Ben Blair, Sydney
Anthony Cashman, Brisbane
Lewis Halls, Melbourne
Rinna Kato, Brisbane
Joe Sinagra, Perth
Cristiano Beretta, Sydney
Anai Rocha, Sydney
Geoff Fewell, Melbourne

Jameson Bartender Ball

Cell Block Theatre in Darlinghurst hosted the Jameson Bartender Ball with special guest, Ger Buckley, Master Cooper from the Midleton Distillery.

Jameson BB
Ger Buckley

Ger disassembled and reassembled a barrel in a matter of minutes before giving a barrel charring demonstration and introducing the new Jameson Select Reserve. We’ll have a one-on-one interview with Ger Buckley and more information on the new expression coming soon.

The Drink Cabinet with Jason Crawley, Mike Enright and Dylan Howarth served up a stellar range of Jameson cocktails including the popular pickle backs. There was a barber shop, shoe shine, “Bob Pork” jaffles, shoe shine, a barber and rocking tunes by some of the best DJs in the hospitality industry.

Photos of the event are on the Facebook page.

Consumer Events

Several consumer events were held during Bar Week with champagne tastings at the Roosevelt Bar and Diner, Malts of Scotland at Eau de Vie Bar and Miss Peaches Julep Night. The Wild Rover hold a popular Get Shucked event with an attempt at a Guinness World Record for most oysters shucked in a minute. Unfortunately, the world record was not broken but there’s always next time.

Trade Workshops

Two half day trade workshops were held at The Loft at King Street Wharf with guest speakers sharing their insights. Sessions included  How to open a successful bar, Is the cocktail boom over?, Do cocktail comps still work? and Havana Club: The Cantinero’s choice.

Bar Awards

The who’s who of the bar industry attended the 2013 Bar Awards at Doltone House. Click here for all the winners of The Australian Bar Awards 2013 including Bartender of the Year.

Sean Chow
Sean Chow, Bartender of the Year 2013

Put It in Your Mouth

The official Bar Awards after party was presented by Put it in Your Mouth at the Oxford Art Factory with Rossco Charman and Andy Penney. The theme of the event was “Prom Night” with a dress code of formal to the waist then bad taste.

Bar Week Wrap Up
Put It in Your Mouth After Party

There were photo booths, glitter cannons and rocking tunes and the crowned Prom King & Prom Queen led the first dance for a party to end all parties well into early hours.

Editor’s Note

… and that’s the Bar Week that was for 2013. Before we file away the parties, the awards and good times into memory for another year, I would like to add a few words.

Bar Week not only celebrates our thriving bar culture, it brings together individuals from all around the country, and reminds us of the calibre of talent we have in Australia. If fills me with great pride when I am told by global ambassadors and international visitors that our bar industry is world class and held in high esteem – that is thanks to all the individuals who make it happen.

This is our third Bar Week and I still remember the buzz of excitement I felt at our first Bar Awards. I scanned the room with 500+ industry greats and thought to myself, what have I done to deserve being among them. That sentiment was echoed during this year’s Most Influential List Party, and more so that I had the honour to be listed in the top 100 most influential in the country.

Through our involvement in the industry, we have made many friendships and Bar Week always extends those boundaries beyond Sydney, across all states and abroad. If you know us personally, then you know how much this means to both of us.

Thank you Australian Bartender Magazine, and thank you David Spanton and Sam Bygrave for your continued support. Bar Week… what a ride!


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.