Pubs were celebrated at the 2022 Australian Liquor Industry Awards last week with new and established outfits taking out awards on the night.

While the sold-out ceremony began with off-premise awards, the on-premise industry was lauded in the second half of the ceremony.

Best New Venue was awarded to Odd Culture Newtown, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary next month. Odd Culture Group CEO James Thorpe was pleased with the result.

“We are stoked to have won the award for best new venue. Odd Culture is a project that our team worked tirelessly on over a number of years, and it’s nice to see that work recognised.”

In the night’s major awards, Beach Hotel Byron Bay took out Hotel of the Year. Owned and operated by MA Hotel Management, outgoing CEO Dan Brady, thanked his team for the excellence with which they’ve guided the beach-side venue.

“We are proud and thrilled for the Beach Hotel Byron Bay team for being recognised as Hotel of the Year. There is nothing like the uniqueness of sitting under the sun looking over the Pacific Blue and experiencing the artistry in music, food, and beverage that only comes from this part of the world.

“We are so proud of this team and its connection to the community, which has inspired us all over the last 12 months as they rallied together and provided extraordinary acts of kindness through the floods and leadership for many. Thank you to ALIA – we are grateful for the recognition,” stated Brady.

Merivale was named Hotel Group Operator of the Year, while at an individual level, Tara Bonser of The Fiddler in Sydney’s west was named Publican of the Year.

“What an absolute honour to be nominated alongside some of the most phenomenal hospitality leaders at this year’s ALIA awards. I’m really proud and grateful to be named Publican of The Year, it’s a huge achievement to be recognised in the industry. I’m grateful for the support from my mentor and boss Brad Jenkins who has encouraged me every step of the way.”

Tara Bonser, general manager of The Fiddler, was named Publican of the Year.

Overall, it was a night of celebration for the industry, with many venues, groups and brands represented on the night. There was an overhwhelming sense of joy after a difficult two years for on-premise venues.

“There were so many great venues nominated across all categories, and it really feels like the industry is gaining much needed momentum after a hard couple of years,” stated Thorpe.

The complete list of on-premise winners can be found here. You can also check out our gallery of the celebrations here.

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