By Andy Young
The Liquor Stores Association New South Wales (LSA NSW) held its annual Retail Liquor Industry Awards for Excellence on Friday night, with a record number of people in attendance.
A record 380 liquor retailers, suppliers, representatives and key industry stakeholders from across NSW and the ACT were in attendance to celebrate the retail liquor industry at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.
LSA NSW executive director Michael Waters said: "The record attendance mirrors the 30 per cent increase in the number of nominations we received for this year’s Awards Program, which is encouraging to see as it demonstrates that our members are taking this program as seriously as we do."
In his presentation on the night, Waters added: "The LSA is delighted to be able to run this annual program, including tonight's event and I sincerely thank all members who have taken part this year, by either nominating a store, manager or owner, or nominating a supplier or sales representative for an award.
In terms of the award winners, Windang Liquor was awarded the 2015 Liquor Store of the Year. The Runner Up: Regional Liquor Store of the Year award was shared between Bermagui Cellars and Cellarbrations Tamworth, and the Runner Up: Metropolitan Liquor Store of the Year was taken out by Red Bottle Pyrmont.
Cellarbrations Lawson was awarded the New Liquor Store of the Year, and www.danmurphys.com.au won the newly launched award category of Online Liquor Store of the Year.
Luke Griffis (Liquor Legends Ashfield Mall) became the Liquor Store Manager of the Year, and Liquor Store Owner of the Year was awarded to Paul Heilman (Top Cellars Group).
In the supplier categories, Premium Beverages was named Beer Supplier of the Year, Accolade Wines the Wine Supplier of the Year, and for the second consecutive year, Pernod Ricard Australia the Spirits Supplier of the Year.
Finn Foster APB was named Services Supplier of the Year, the Independent Liquor Group retained the Liquor Wholesaler of the Year award, and Banner Group of the Year was taken out by Super Cellars, for a second time.
Beer Representative of the Year went to Kellie Murphy (Lion), Stilly Merianos (Accolade Wines) was named Wine Representative of the Year, and Paul Codner (Brown-Forman) was named Spirits Representative of the Year.