By Amy Looker – editor National Liquor News

The Liquor Stores Association of New South Wales (LSA NSW) honoured the state’s leading retailers and suppliers on Friday night at the annual LSA NSW Retail Liquor Industry Awards for Excellence.

Coonamble Cellars was named as the Top NSW Liquor Store, beating out 29 other finalists for the title, while Cellarbrations at Baulkham Hills was awarded Runner-Up Top Metropolitan NSW Liquor Store and BYO Cellars Lismore won the Runner-Up Top Regional NSW Liquor Store.

The New Liquor Store of the Year Award went to Liquorland Fairy Meadow while Vine – Providore of Fine Wine was presented with the Award for Consistent Excellence in recognition of the store’s consistently high achievement in the program, which involves a mystery shopper evaluation; this year’s retailer awards resulted in an average mystery shopper evaluation of 78.27 per cent, with only 11 points separating the Top 30 liquor stores, and just six points across the Top 10, marking one of the most closely contested results in the history of the awards.

The Liquor Store Owner of the Year was awarded to Paul Heilman from the Top Cellars Group, while Guy Bredin from Windang Liquor and Daniel Franco from Dan Murphy’s Caringbah shared the Liquor Store Manager of the Year Award.

In the Supplier categories, Premium Beverages was awarded Beer Supplier of the Year, Samuel Smith & Son took home the award for Wine/Champagne Supplier of the Year, Brown-Forman won Spirits Supplier of the Year, Finn Foster APB won Secondary Supplier of the Year, Australian Liquor Marketers took home the title of Liquor Wholesaler of the Year, and Porter’s Liquor was awarded Banner Group of the Year.

Alex Croke from Carlton & United Breweries was named as the Beer Representative of the Year, while Rohin Rabbitts from Samuel Smith & Son was named Wine/Champagne Representative of the Year, and Paul Robertson from Brown Forman was awarded the Spirits Representative of the Year.

LSA NSW president, David Reberger, said that the industry should be proud of its achievements and stand strong in the face of the anti-alcohol movement.

“The anti-alcohol lobby links alcohol consumption with a plethora of social issues (akin to drugs) from health costs, anti-social behaviour to even domestic violence as a basis for measures being introduced to reduce the consumption of alcohol. These measures will curtail the way retailers are able to run their operations and will undermine the economic prosperity of this industry,” Reberger said.

“As liquor retailers we directly employ over 40,000 people plus the related industry sectors. The total alcohol beverage industry contributes around $18.5 billion dollars of annual turnover and around $7.5 billion in taxes to the Australian economy and should be viewed as one of Australia’s most important industries that can comfortably sit alongside industries such as mining, oil and gas, hospitality and tourism and so on.”

Reberger told guests that as the peak industry body for the NSW retail liquor industry, it is the role of LSA NSW represent its members and the industry as a whole.

“We can’t simply be responsive to the arguments from anti-alcohol lobby groups. We need to get on the front foot and ensure that government, media and other stakeholders appreciate the important contribution as an industry that we make.”

The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *