The top liquor stores of the year for 2018 collect their awards

The 23rd annual Liquor Stores Association NSW & ACT (LSA) Retail Liquor Industry Awards for Excellence broke records on Friday night, with record nominations and a record turnout.

Around 400 liquor retailers, suppliers, representatives and key industry stakeholders attended the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for what will be the last LSA awards of its kind, as a proposed merger will see the LSA become a part of the newly formed national industry body, Retail Drinks Australia (RDA).

During his welcome speech, LSA Executive Director Michael Waters reflected on LSA’s past year and decade calling out a number of achievements in representing and servicing the needs and interests of members and the broader retail liquor industry.

“I think back to when I started with the LSA approaching 10 years ago, and am most proud of what we’ve achieved, including more than doubling total membership; increasing Independent Retailer and Associate Membership by more than 250 per cent; doubling LSA’s annual operating budget and increasing our equity by over 400 per cent; introducing a broad and comprehensive range of services and benefits for members that tangibly help them run their businesses more successfully; and achieving a number of regulatory improvements for the retail liquor sector, including several significant wins.

“Most of all, I am proud of how the LSA has progressively built its brand, reputation and trust amongst all industry and government stakeholders.

“We are a consistent, professional and trusted advisor with ‘skin in the game’, not only having earned our right to sit at the table, but are now regularly invited to be involved in policy development and key pan-industry projects – a quantum shift from where the association was a decade ago.”

During his pre-awards address, LSA President Paul Heilman spoke about the Association’s strategic and structural review, and proposed merger with RDA.

“The regulatory environment continues to throw up challenges as Governments react to bureaucrat or community claims with ‘on the run’ policy changes and regulatory pressure, adding significant cost and inconvenience for retailers and consumers – all too often without sound evidence, stimulated by the well-funded temperance advocacy movement, and unfortunately without solving the issue in question.

“One of the biggest threats to our industry’s future is regulatory creep, where small incremental increases in red tape, policy, licence conditions and their interpretation, progressively build to significantly impact the viability of licenced businesses.

“LSA has achieved many successful regulatory and red tape reduction outcomes for our members and the broader industry, and we know there will be many more to come. We must challenge our traditional federated model and approach to ensure the long-term future sustainability of the retail liquor industry, not just in NSW and the ACT, but across all jurisdictions – if you believe that our NSW and ACT borders are somehow protected against poor policy decisions made by other Governments, you are mistaken.

“This proposed and recommended merger between the LSA and Retail Drinks will add immediate and significant scale, capacity and resource to Retail Drinks Australia, and on behalf of your Board, I strongly encourage all retailer members to utilise your right to vote, and to vote in favour of the proposal, whether in person at the AGM on 4 December 2018, or by proxy if you’re unable to attend in person.”

The full list of winners is below and you can check out the December issue of National Liquor News for interviews with some of the night’s big winners.



Liquor Store of the Year: Red Bottle Pitt Street

Runner Up: Regional Liquor Store of the Year: The Bottle-O Lambton

Runner Up: Metro Liquor Store of the Year: Dan Murphy’s Double Bay

New Liquor Store of the Year: Porter’s Liquor Roseville

Online Liquor Store of the Year: Cellarmasters

Top 10 Liquor Stores:                                              

Camperdown Cellars Kingston Road

Cellarbrations at Tamworth

Chambers Cellars Lane Cove

Corkscrew Cellars Malabar

Dan Murphy’s Double Bay

Liquor Emporium Alexandria

Red Bottle Central Park

Red Bottle Pitt Street

The Bottle-O Lambton

The Bottle-O Wilberforce

Excellence in Innovation: Porter’s Liquor Ryde / Midway Cellars

Excellence in Customer Service: Chambers Cellars Lane Cove

Excellence in Training: Red Bottle Group

Excellence in Social Media: Dan Murphy’s ‘International Beer Day’ Campaign

Liquor Store Manager of the Year: Nerissa Budynek, Dan Murphy’s Newcastle West

Liquor Store Owner of the Year: Paul Cains, Prohibition the Bottleshop Kingston

Young Liquor Retailer of the Year: Joshua Towers, Red Bottle Pitt Street

Beer Supplier of the Year: Lion Beer Australia

Wine Supplier of the Year: Treasury Wine Estates

Spirits Supplier of the Year: Brown Forman Australia

Services Supplier of the Year: Human Tribe

Liquor Wholesaler of the Year: Australian Liquor Marketers

Banner Group of the Year: Cellarbrations

Beer Representative of the Year: Harry Waddington, Asahi Premium Beverages

Wine Representative of the Year: Rebecca Larfield, Treasury Wine Estates

Spirits Representative of the Year: Matthew McCann, Pernod Ricard Australia

New Beer Product of the Year: Coopers Session Ale

New Wine Product of the Year: Two Truths

New Spirits Product of the Year: Wild Turkey Longbranch

Best Retail Activation Campaign: Coopers Session Ale

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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