Left: Old Bridge Cellars' Toby and Jay Beeson with LSA WA Chair Lou Spagnolo. Right: Liquor Barons Northam's Raelene Harris with Lou Spagnolo

The Liquor Stores Association of WA (LSA WA) held its annual awards last Friday, recognising excellence across the state’s liquor industry.

The 2022 Lion Liquor Industry Awards also coincides with an important anniversary for the LSA WA, marking 70 years since the association began as the Gallon Licensees Association in June 1952 (it became LSA WA in 1993).

LSA WA CEO, Peter Peck, dubbed the event an incredible success, noting it was the best in years with more than 350 guests in attendance.

“There has been so much to celebrate and commemorate this year but at the end of the day it’s about honouring and acknowledging the demanding work put in by these small family-owned businesses,” Peck said.

“The contribution that our members and suppliers make to the local community often goes unnoticed, so this is an event to remind everyone the important role they play.

“The Lion Liquor Industry Awards recognise the great extent that teams and families go to provide responsible service of alcohol across the entirety of this vast state. I congratulate the award winners and thank all our partners for their ongoing support.”

These award winners included Old Bridge Cellars in Fremantle, which took out the best metropolitan and overall Liquor Store of the Year categories.

The family-run store’s awards were accepted by Jay Beeson alongside his brother and sister-in-law. Beeson said a dedication to quality customer service is what offered a point of difference to the store.

“It’s that one-stop shop mentality. We’ve got the cheese, the crackers the fine wine. We’re big on functions and long-term relationships with customers,” he said.

Country Liquor Store of the Year was a tie in the 2022 awards, taken out by both Sam’s Cellars in Exmouth and Liquor Barons Northam. Raelene Harris, owner of the Northam store, said the award is testament to the strength of her staff.

“They do such a good job and look after our customers. They know their product; the customers keep coming back of course and they just love coming into the shop,” Harris said.

This was one of multiple showings for Liquor Barons stores in the list. Liquor Barons staff also won the Young Liquor Retailer of the Year Award, with Luke Watkins recognised for his great work in providing the best for customers, suppliers and the business. Meanwhile, James McKay of Liquor Barons Morley took out top spot in the community service award for his work on recycling initiatives.

Other than the awards themselves, the night featured several other elements of celebration, including an address by keynote speaker, Racing and Gaming Minister Dr Tony Buti.

“I think the Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia should be very proud of itself. You remain a strong advocate for your members and tonight’s a great celebration of that,” the Minister said.

While being a night of celebration, it was also a night of remembrance for the LSA WA, as the organisation paid tribute to the memories of two important former board members who are no longer with us – Anita Grace and Peter Basioli.

Grace was a widely respected and loved community member in her hometown of Newman in the Pilbara region of WA, and sadly lost her battle to cancer earlier this year. She was known for her community service, for example, playing a crucial role in setting up a women’s refuge centre in Newman, and was a former recipient of the LSA WA ‘Quiet Achiever’ award for community service. As of 2022, this award was renamed in her honour.

2022 also marked another harrowing anniversary – 20 years since the Bali bombings attack in 2002. Board member Peter Basioli lost his life in the attack, but his legacy has lived on since with the WA Liquor Store of the Year award named in his honour.

The full list of award winners are below. Stay tuned for the November issue of National Liquor News for our full report from inside the event.

  • Peter Basioli WA Liquor Store of the Year – Old Bridge Cellars, Fremantle
  • Metropolitan Liquor Store of the Year – Old Bridge Cellars, Fremantle
  • Country Liquor Store of the Year – Sam’s Cellars Exmouth and Liquor Barons Northam
  • Anita Grace Community Service Award – James McKay, Liquor Barons Morley
  • Young Liquor Retailer of the Year – Luke Watkins, Liquor Barons
  • Sales Representative of the Year (Beer) – Ben Koontz, Good Drinks
  • Sales Representative of the Year (Wine) – Dianne Petrich, Brown Family Wine Group
  • Sales Representative of the Year (Spirit) – Brad Martin, Brown-Forman
  • Supplier of the Year (Beer) – Carlton & United Breweries
  • Supplier of the Year (Wine) – Samuel Smith & Son
  • Supplier of the Year (Spirit) – Brown-Forman
  • Lion Liquor Industry Media Award – Tom Marlow, 7 Regional News

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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