Retail Drinks Australia has revealed the national finalists ahead of its 2022 Industry Awards, with a strong showing for major national retailers.

The awards, which recognise excellence for stores, suppliers and individuals, will be held on the same day as RDA’s AGM and industry summit at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth on 30 November, 2022. It’s the first time the event will return to an in-person occasion since the pandemic began, and follows a highly successful virtual event in 2021.

Retail Drinks CEO, Michael Waters, extended his congratulations to each of the finalists and his thanks to those in the industry who nominated themselves and others.

“On behalf of Retail Drinks, thank you to all retail members who took the time to nominate, whether this was nominating your liquor store, or online liquor retail business, or in one of the individual awards categories,” Waters said.  

“As expected, the standard of nominations was again exceptionally high this year.”

Waters also hailed the expansion of nominations this year, following a record number of entrants in 2021.

“Off the back of a whopping and unprecedented 250 per cent uplift in nominations last year, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the number of nominations increased again this year, by a further 20 per cent with over 400 individual nominations received in total,” he said.

“Retail Drinks is delighted to run this important annual Awards Program, which recognises the success and hard work of people and companies in our industry across a wide range of categories and builds on the legacy of the former State & Territory Liquor Stores Association Awards Programs, some of which began over 30 years ago.”

Business awards

The flagship Liquor Store of the Year Award was expanded from 30 finalists in 2021 to 50 in 2022, showing the sheer high quality of the off-premise industry right now. National chains BWS and Liquorland were well represented in the finalists, while banners such as Cellarbrations and Bottlemart and groups including Chambers Cellars also saw multiple mentions.

Meanwhile in the Large Format Liquor Store of the Year category, Dan Murphy’s was responsible for a number of finalists, alongside some First Choice Liquor stores and independents, Cellarbrations Super Store Tamworth and Coonamble Cellars.

The full list of all liquor store finalists is available here.

The Online Liquor Retailer of the Year Award finalists saw a good mix of purely online retailers and also those that have bricks and mortar outlets. Finalists include Beer Cartel, Bottlemart, BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Good Pair Days, Hello Drinks, Jimmy Brings, Red Bottle, Shorty’s Liquor, Tipple, Vino Mofo and Vintage Cellars.

On the supply side of the industry, there are eight finalists in each of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Supplier of the Year categories, and 12 finalists in the Service Partner of the Year Award category. The full lists of these finalists are viewable here and show the vibrant market of high performing local, global, craft and mainstream brands in the off-premise industry right now.

Individual awards

In the highly sought after and competitive individual awards, finalists from around the country have been heralded for their commitment to high quality, responsible retailing.

Individual awards finalists are listed below, with the full list of finalists in all categories available here.

Liquor Store Owner of the Year finalists:

  • Marko Amici, Sessions West Brunswick, VIC
  • Andrew Boudoloh, Bottlemart Macleaod, VIC
  • Clark Herron, Smithfield Cellars, NSW
  • Paul Rajkovski, D’Amore Cellars, VIC
  • Jeanette Stevenson, Liquor Legends Basin View, NSW
  • Matt Surman, Bottlemart Blackrock, VIC
  • Dharmendra Yadav, Metro Rush, VIC
  • Andy Zen, Strathmore Cellars, VIC

Liquor Store Manager of the Year finalists:

  • Linda Bracchi, Vintage Cellars Burnside, SA
  • Will Clark, Cellarbrations at Wadalba, NSW
  • Dean De Mamiel, Porter’s Liquor Maroubra, NSW
  • Daniel Dickinson, Dan Murphy’s Albury, NSW
  • Roxanne Haid, Dan Murphy’s North Ryde, NSW
  • Jake Hall, Liquorland Kincumber, NSW
  • Colleen Kemp, BWS Inverell, NSW
  • Darren Kime, Red Bottle Surry Hills, NSW
  • Shanais Marcus-Hogue, Dan Murphy’s Tamworth, NSW
  • Jim Panovski, Bottlemart Lower Plenty, VIC
  • Amy Selwood, BWS Caboolture South, QLD
  • Nikki Whalan, Dan Murphy’s Glendale, NSW

Young Liquor Retailer of the Year finalists:

  • Tarlia Brought, BWS Newington, NSW
  • Tegan Clemow, Retail Liquor Specialists Group, ACT
  • Taylor Featherstone, Dan Murphy’s Fulham Gardens, SA
  • Oliver Francis, Vintage Cellars Brighton, VIC
  • Slyvia Fronczak, Dan Murphy’s Malvern
  • Jessica Gastrarov, BWS Coolbellup, WA
  • Kirsten Jarvis, BWS Murray Street, WA
  • Keane Rheinberger-Gees, Dan MUrphy’s Gungahlin
  • Matt Soloman, Liquorland Seymour, VIC
  • Harry Stewart-Weeks, Red Bottle Sussex Street, NSW
  • Josh Towers, Red Bottle Group, NSW
  • Tess Wilson, Dan Murphy’s Richmond, VIC

Sales Representative of the Year Award finalists:

  • Gavin Burns, CCEP
  • Glen Calvert, AVL
  • Calahan Mackenzie, Wayward Brewing
  • Michael Farah, Dee Vine Estate
  • Daniel Hanna, Lion
  • Alistair Harris, Pernod Ricard
  • Luca Losapia, Campari Australia
  • Nick O’Connell, CUB
  • Liam Thomson, Capital Brewing
  • John Webeck, Samuel Smith & Son

To see the full list of finalists, click here.

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