By Thobile Mazibuko
The South African Bartending Accolades & Recognition (BAR) Awards brought back the fifth edition of their annual awards to honour the fallen and surviving heroes of the South African bar industry.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s SA BAR Awards took place virtually on Wednesday, September 22. A panel of experts came together to judge the nominees, and these were the ultimate winners:
Cocktail Bar of the Year brought to you by The House of Angostura: The Art of Duplicity, Cape Town.
Bartender of the Year brought to you by Maker’s Mark: George Hunter of Copper Monkey and Saint, Joburg.
High-volume Cocktail Bar of the Year brought to you by Sir Fruit: House of Machines, Cape Town.
Bar Team of the Year brought to you by Cointreau: Vicious Virgin, Cape Town.
New Cocktail Bar of the Year brought to you by Copper Monkey: Vicious Virgin, Cape Town.
Mobile Bar Operator of the Year brought to you by Pernod Ricard: Molecular Bars of Joburg.
Newcomer of the Year brought to you by Roku Japanese: Gin Taneale van der Merwe of Joburg.
Brand Ambassador of the Year: Jody Francis of Inverroche (second year running).
Hotel Bar of the Year brought to you by Covert: Gorgeous George, Cape Town.
Media Contributor of the Yea: Leah van Deventer.
Brand Campaign or Event of the Year: Inverroche Pioneers.
Bartender’s Brand of Choice Award brought to you by News Cafe: Inverroche.
International Footprint Award brought to you by Pernod Ricard: George Hunter of Copper Monkey and Saint Johannesburg.
Social Media Contributor Award brought to you by Whitley Neill Gin: Peter Labese @TheeGintleman (this is Labese’s second year running).
Mentor of the Year brought to you by Inverroche: Cassandra Eichhoff (second year running).
Pop-up Bar of the Year brought to you by Diageo World Class: Craigellachie 51.
Trailblazer of the Year brought to you by Hope Distillery: Brent Perremore of The Art of Duplicity, Cape Town.
Liquor Store of the Year brought to you by Johnnie Walker: Norman Goodfellows.
Main Market/Local Bar of the Year brought to you by Remy Martin: Smoking Kills (Drink Rum) Bar, Joburg.
Travis Kuhn, director of the BAR Awards, said the money they were supposed to use for the event would go towards supporting those who were affected by the pandemic.
“We know this year was very tough on the bar industry, but we also know there is so much world-class talent and craft worth supporting and protecting. For this reason, we have set up a fund from monies received from sponsors that were traditionally used for hosting our normally glamorous awards event. The fund will allow those most affected in our industry, businesses and people who were left with little to no income during the lockdown, to apply for financial support that can hopefully help towards some relief,” said Kuhn.
Winners were selected according to their creativity, talent, and dedication to their craft.