The winners of the 2017 Australian Hotels Association, Victoria (AHA Vic) state Awards for Excellence were announced at a gala dinner held earlier this week at The Palladium at Crown.

The awards recognise hotels and pubs in Victoria that demonstrate excellence across a range of categories. This year the judges noted an emphasis on investment in staff training and infrastructure which resulted in the large number of overall finalists in many of the 40 categories.

The Overall Hotel of the Year (Metropolitan) was awarded to The Garden State Hotel while Kelly’s Motor Club Hotel in Cranbourne was awarded Overall Hotel of the Year (Regional). Best Pub Restaurant (Metropolitan) was won by The Railway Hotel Windsor while Sawyers Arms Tavern in Geelong was awarded Best Pub Restaurant (Regional).

The Nikakis Award, which was established in 1997 in memory of Nick Nikakis, “recognising an individual or organisation who by their sustained performance and commitment serve as an inspiration to all in the industry”, was awarded to Tim Powell of Carlton and United Breweries.

The AHA said: “Tim is the youngest ever recipient of the award. He always puts the best collective interests of the industry first and works quietly behind the scenes to deliver outcomes to the benefit of the industry as a whole.

“Tim is a straight shooter, never sugar coating or ambiguous and has built solid relationships on this basis. He understands publicans and their customers, and has the ability to convince the key players in the CUB Boardroom of what is best for the industry.”

The full list of 2017 AHA Vic Awards for Excellence winners:

  • Nikakis Award – Tim Powell
  • Overall Hotel of the Year, Regional – Kelly’s Motor Club Hotel, Cranbourne
  • Overall Hotel of the Year, Metropolitan – Garden State Hotel, Melbourne
  • Chef of the Year – Ashley Hicks, Garden State Hotel, Melbourne
  • Excellence in Service – Kerrie Reynolds, Cardinia Park Hotel
  • Emerging Leader of the Year – Brooke Guinane, The Westernport Hotel, San Remo
  • Burger of the Year – 505 Cellar, Bush Inn, Toorak
  • Best Casual Dining, Regional – Kelly’s Motor Club Hotel, Cranbourne
  • Best Casual Dining, Metropolitan – The Clifton Hill Brewpub
  • Best Family Dining – The Croydon Hotel
  • Best Pub Restaurant, Regional – Sawyer Arms Tavern, Newtown
  • Best Pub Restaurant, Metropolitan – The Railway Hotel, Windsor
  • Best Pub Bar, Regional – Somerville Hotel
  • Best Pub Bar, Metropolitan – Garden State Hotel, Melbourne
  • Best PubTAB, Regional – The Grovedale Hotel
  • Best PubTAB, Metropolitan – Cramers Hotel, Preston
  • Best Gaming Venue with 50 machines or less, Regional – Kings Creek Hotel, Hastings
  • Best Gaming Venue with 50 machines or less, Metropolitan – Racecourse Hotel, Malvern East
  • Best Gaming Venue with 51 machines or more, Regional – Zagame’s, Ballarat
  • Best Gaming Venue with 51 machines or more, Metropolitan – Castello Daisey’s Hotel
  • Best Keno Venue, Regional – The Middle Hotel, Korumburra
  • Best Keno Venue, Metropolitan – Kealba Hotel
  • Best Outdoor Experience – Lower Plenty Hotel
  • Best Rooftop Experience – Transit Rooftop Bar
  • Best Hotel, Pub Style Accommodation – Glenferrie Hotel, Hawthorn
  • Best Innovative Retail Space – Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, Apollo Bay
  • Best Sports Bar, Regional – The Grovedale Hotel
  • Best Sports Bar, Metropolitan – Rosstown Hotel, Carnegie
  • Best Specialty Bar – The Quiet Man Irish Pub, Flemington
  • Best Presented Beer – Belgian Beer Cafe, Melbourne
  • Best Environmental Initiative – Rye Hotel
  • Best Hotel Accommodation – Taylors Lakes Family Hotel
  • Best Redeveloped Hotel, Food & Beverage – Sawyer Arms Tavern, Newtown & Ranges Hotel, Gembrook
  • Best Redeveloped Hotel, Gaming – Lower Plenty Hotel
  • Best Hotel Group Operator – Pegasus Leisure Group
  • Outstanding Achievement in Training – Garden State Hotel, Melbourne
  • People’s Choice Award – Flying Horse Bar & Brewery, Warrnambool
  • Best Marketed Hotel – Platform 28, Docklands
  • Best Live Entertainment Venue – The Corner Hotel, Richmond
  • Heart Of The Community – Delatite Hotel, Mansfield

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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