By James Atkinson

Sydney venue Establishment and The George Tavern in East Maitland have taken out the top awards at the New South Wales hospitality industry's premier awards night – the 2012 AHA (NSW) Awards for Excellence.

Establishment won the hotly contested Best Overall Hotel (City) category and also picked up an award for Best Fine Dining Establishment for Est restaurant; while The George Tavern won Best Overall Hotel (Country) and Best Liquor Retail Outlet.

More than 1000 hoteliers, business and community leaders – including NSW Hospitality Minister George Souris and AHA (NSW) President Scott Leach – attended Monday's ceremony at the Westin, Sydney.

There were a record 277 finalists across 32 categories.

AHA (NSW) Awards for Excellence – winners:

Best Traditional Hotel Bar
WINNER: Australian Hotel & Brewery

Best Contemporary Cocktail Lounge/Bar
WINNER: theloft

Best Small Bar
WINNER: Bar Petite

Best Boutique Beer Offering
JOINT WINNERS: Australian Hotel & Brewery and Bavarian Bier Café

Best Retail Liquor Outlet
WINNER: The George Tavern

Best Family Friendly Hotel
WINNER: Camden Valley Inn

Best New/Redeveloped Hotel – Country
WINNER: The Royal Hotel, Queanbeyan

Best New/Redeveloped Hotel – City
WINNER: Coolibah Hotel

Best Outdoor/Non-Enclosed Facility
WINNER: Clovelly Hotel

Outstanding Community Service & Achievement
WINNER: Hotel Steyne

Best Promotional Concept
WINNER: The Argyle

Best Social Media Activity
WINNER: The Bristol Arms Retro Hotel

Best Restaurant – Country
WINNER: Royal Oak Hotel, Cessnock – 221 Restaurant & Bar

Best Restaurant – City
JOINT WINNERS: The Union Hotel – Uncorked
and CBD Hotel – Bistrode CBD

Best Fine Dining Restaurant
WINNER: Establishment – Est.

Best Casual Dining Venue – Country
WINNER: Gunyah Hotel

Best Casual Dining Venue – City
WINNER: Golden Sheaf Hotel

Best Steak Venue
WINNER: Willow Tree Inn

Best Entertainment Venue
WINNER: Slip Inn

Best Sports Bar
WINNER: Coogee Bay Hotel

Best Gaming Venue
WINNER: Three Swallows Hotel

Best Budget Pub-style Accommodation
WINNER: Sunnyside Tavern

Best Pub Tab – Platinum
WINNER: Coolibah Hotel

Best Pub Tab – Gold
WINNER: Light Brigade Hotel

Best Pub Tab – Silver
WINNER: Star Hotel

Best Pub Tab – Bronze
WINNER: Melton Hotel

Best Keno Venue
WINNER: The Fairfield Hotel

Cocktail Bartender of the Year
WINNER: Jason Williams – theloft

Chef of the Year
WINNER: Brad Sloane – The Riverview Hotel

2012 AHA (NSW) Hall of Fame
INDUCTEE: Peter Ryan

Overall Hotel of the year – Country
WINNER: The George Tavern

Overall Hotel of the year – City
WINNER: Establishment

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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