By Deborah Jackson, Editor National Liquor News
The Liquor Stores Association of NSW & ACT’s (LSA NSW) 21st annual Retail Liquor Industry Awards for Excellence were held at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth on Friday night.
Liquor retailers, suppliers, representatives and key industry stakeholders from across NSW and the ACT gathers to celebrate excellence in the retail liquor industry.
LSA Executive Director Michael Waters said: “The LSA is truly honoured to be able to run this important annual program, which many of you know we do with great pride and integrity, 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.
“These awards salute the stellar efforts of companies and people in our industry to succeed in business through superior customer service, product knowledge, outstanding professionalism and all-rounders.
“After interviewing all 42 award finalists, I stand here tonight knowing that the future of our industry is in good hands.”
Woodville Road Cellars became the Liquor Store of the Year. The Runner Up Regional Liquor Store of the Year went to BWS Kaleen, and the Runner Up Metropolitan Liquor Store of the Year was Corkscrew Cellars Rose Bay.
BWS Spring Farm won New Liquor Store of the Year, and Dan Murphy’s won Online Liquor Store of the Year. The Excellence in Innovation Award went to The Drink Hive, and the Excellence in Customer Service Award was awarded to Red Bottle Central.
Brady Blakey from Liquor Legends Charnwood was named the Liquor Store Manager of the Year, Liquor Store Owner of the Year was awarded to Dan Mackie from The Bottle-O Hazelbrook and Cellarbrations at Lawson, and Steven Dinnell from Porter’s Liquor Ryde / Midway Cellars was awarded the inaugural Young Liquor Retailer of the Year.
In the supplier categories, Coopers Premium Beverages was named Beer Supplier of the Year, Treasury Wine Estates the Wine Supplier of the Year, and for the fourth consecutive year, Pernod Ricard Australia the Spirits Supplier of the Year.
The Village Pantry was named Services Supplier of the Year, Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) took out the Liquor Wholesaler of the Year award, and Banner Group of the Year was Cellarbrations.
Beer Representative of the Year went to Matthew Slade (Lion Beer Australia), Wine Representative of the Year was a tie between Chris Harper (Pernod Ricard Australia) and Kieran Crabbe (Samuel Smith & Son), and Ben Hallett (William Grant & Sons) was named Spirits Representative of the Year.
A special award was announced on the night, with long-serving industry wine sales representative Rohin Rabbitts from Samuel Smith & Son receiving the Consistent Excellence Award, having been acknowledged for being recognised as an awards finalist a record eight times since 2004, and four times an awards winner.
During his opening speech LSA President Paul Heilman heavily criticised the NSW Government for the “overly complex, badly crafted, rushed and poorly communicated piece of legislation known as the Container Deposit Scheme”.
We will bring you more from LSA President Paul Heilman’s speech on Friday. In the meantime, we’d like to extent our congratulations to all of Friday night’s award winners.