Home-grown finalists gather for the Australian Bar Awards | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Home-grown finalists gather for the Australian Bar Awards

Get ready to crack open a beer or uncork that bottle you’ve been ever-so-patiently saving! It’s the time of year where we raise a glass to Brisbane’s bar industry in triumph as, yet again, our river city looks set to drink in its fair share of the Annual Australian Bar Awards. The finalists in Bartender Magazine’s 16th annual competition hit the floor this week, with a handful of Brisbane names we all know and love (and occasionally forget in a drunken stupor) cropping up in a variety of the booze-filled categories. The Flying Cock claimed the roost as one of the top 8 finalists for the National Pub of the Year. Safe to say we’ve eaten enough of their three cheese parmys and spicy Kare Kare wings in the past for that not to strike as a surprise. Cocktail whizz Cobbler and Fish Lane’s Maker proved that it’s worthwhile hunting down those hole-in-the-wall spots, with both earning nominations for the Small Bar of the Year award. Meanwhile, lying in the shadow of Milton’s giant XXXX brewery hasn’t seemed to hamper The Scratch’s ability to do justice to its local and international craft brews. The Brisbane spot is in the running for Australia’s Best Beer Venue. As we’re sure will come as no surprise to anyone who’s laid hands on their toastie with raclette, comte and gruyere, Bartender Magazine has shot an approving nod at The APO, naming them as a potential winner for the Best Bar Food award. Cobbler pops up again in the prestigious categories of National Bar of the Year, and again at the state level. Joining them in the fight for Queensland’s title are a string of familiar names: Brooklyn Standard, Lefty’s, Heya, and The Gresham. Those looking to shake things up should search out Brisbane’s finalists for National Cocktail Bar of the Year, Maker and The Bowery. State favourites for the spot to slurp back top-notch cocktails include The APO, The Gresham, and (surprise, surprise!) The Bowery again. Local musos should definitely check out Brooklyn Standard and Lefty’s for the live music scene, each earning thumbs up as two of Australia’s Best Live Music Bars. Phew – listing all these local champs is thirsty work! Let’s disperse for a drink and meet back to toast the winners on September 20 at awards night.