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The Winners Revealed!

Media Release

Thursday, 7 August 2008

For immediate release

The Winners Revealed!

The New Zealand bar awards took Auckland by storm last night at the Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel at the picturesque Princes Wharf.

The bar awards is the first awards ceremony dedicated to New Zealand’s bar and bartending  industry and recognises the hard work of bar professionals over the last year. The ritzy gala dinner event was held on the second night of bar tradeshow Auckland BarShow; with 15 awards presented over the evening. Over 200 of New Zealand’s leading bar professionals turned out for the festivities, with guests traveling from all over New Zealand.

The seven finalists in each category were collated from thousands of trade votes submitted from all around New Zealand. The winners were then determined by a panel of industry professionals, who cast their votes in August.

In addition, Spanton Media Group hosted the 3rd annual New Zealand Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year Competition. More than 40 of New Zealand’s finest bartenders competed on both days of Auckland BarShow. They first endured a gruelling written exam and then the Top 10 then returned on Wednesday morning for the final stage; a mixology demonstration which involved preparing one signature drink and one classic cocktail drawn from a hat, for a panel of esteemed bartending luminaries. The winner, Chris Harrop from Suite, Auckland won in a nail-biting victory and is now the proud owner of NZ Bartender magazine Bartender of the Year ‘08 title. He also won a trip to Sydney BarShow 08 in September to be a guest judge at the Australian Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year. Taking out second place was Riki Carter from Matterhorn, Wellingon, followed closely by Fraser Pollard from 205 in Christchurch.  

Taking out two awards on the night for the third year in a row was Matterhorn in Wellington. This year they took out the prizes for ‘Bar of the Year’ and ‘Bar Manager of the Year’ for everyone’s favourite industry personality (and second place Bartender of the Year), Riki Carter. Another big winner on the night was Suite in Auckland, which took home four awards – Chris Harrop's Bartender of the Year trophy, ‘Bar Team of the Year’, ‘Best Drinks Selection’ and ‘Bar Operator of the Year’ for owner, David Hawk, who also took home the prize in 2007.

David Spanton, Managing Director of Spanton Media Group and Editor-in-chief of New Zealand Bartender magazine was pleased with the enthusiasm from the trade about this year’s winners. “There are a lot of great bartenders and operators in New Zealand who need to be congratulated for all their hard work and dedication,” he said, adding, “I look forward to doing it all again next year!”

New Zealand bar awards winners:

Bartender of the Year

1st Place: Chris Harrop, Suite, Auckland 

2nd Place: Riki Carter, Matterhorn, Wellington 

3rd Place: Fraser Pollard, 205, Christchurch 

Bar of the Year

Matterhorn, Wellington


New Bar of the Year

205, Christchurch

Pub of the Year

Dux De Lux, Christchurch


Cocktail List of the Year

Mea Culpa, Auckland


New Pub of the Year

Eden Cloak Room, Auckland


Bar Team of the Year

Suite, Auckland


Cocktail Bar of the Year

Motel, Wellington


Nightclub of the Year

Double Happy, Christchurch


Best Drinks Selection

Suite, Auckland


Wine Bar of the Year

Wine Loft, Auckland


Bar Manager of the Year

Riki Carter, Matterhorn, Wellington


Operator of the Year

David Hawk, Suite and Crow, Auckland


Best Music Offering

Mighty Mighty, Wellington

Best Bar Food

Liquid Molten, Auckland



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