Beckaly Franks, the co-founder of Hong Kong bars The Pontiac, Call Me Al, Ponty Café and Artifact, is the winner of the 2023 Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.

The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award is part of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars programme, and is voted for by the bartenders of those establishments which have placed on the 2023 list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Beckaly has been recognised for her significant impact on Asia’s bar sector over the course of her career.

Mark Sansom, Content Director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, said: “Beckaly is truly an inspiration to her peers for the work she does and the support she gives to the Hong Kong hospitality scene. A highly skilled bartender, serial entrepreneur, mentor to many and champion of inclusivity, Beckaly can be credited for creating her own very distinct brand and is regarded as something of a legend in the world of great cocktails.

“Since moving from the US, she has called Hong Kong home for over eight years and has in this relatively short span become one of the most recognised faces and respected talents in Asia’s bar community. She is truly deserving of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.”

Beckaly moved to Hong Kong in 2015 to open The Pontiac, a rock and roll craft cocktail bar inspired by the neighbourhood watering holes of her hometown in Portland, Oregon. The Pontiac swiftly became a Hong Kong nightlife icon as a welcoming and progressive space that showcases serious cocktail credentials while spotlighting female bar talent. Beckaly and the team she built can be credited for The Pontiac’s multiple placements on Asia’s 50 Best Bars lists.

“Bartending is a privilege, not a right,” Beckaly said. “I have been fortunate enough to be able to aggressively follow my heart and my passion for taking care of people in my own way, and I am grateful to be recognised for it with this award.

“Bartending has rightfully consumed the majority of my adult life and provided me with a world of opportunity that most wouldn’t dream of. It is a wild ride and I only hope to honour the relationship between the bar and the guest as much as it has honoured me. It is not easy work; you have to love it. I have always loved tending bars and I always will.”

Carlos Andrés Ramírez, Head of Global Advocacy & PR House of Tequila-Pernod Ricard, said: “Since the creation of Altos Tequila and the Tahona Society, we have been supporting the bartender community in different career opportunities, welfare and networking initiatives.

“Congratulations to Beckaly Franks for winning the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award – we can’t think of a more deserving award than this one to recognise her career.”

The eighth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, sponsored by Perrier, will be unveiled on 18 July 2023 at an in-person awards ceremony in Hong Kong.

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Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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