The third instalment of The Bar Awards – Singapore kicks off, and will see nominations from members of the public for the first time.
When bar industry veteran Tron Young first started the Singapore Bar Awards back in 2014 to recognise and celebrate the talents in Singapore’s burgeoning bar scene, he didn’t quite realise how big the event would grow in just a couple of years. Earlier this year in March, the second Singapore Bar Awards saw hundreds of industry folks – professional bartenders and mixologists, alcohol brand representatives, F&B owners, and the media – crammed into a packed The Refinery to witness the winners being announced.
Today, on 7 December 2015, The Bar Awards – Singapore 2016 will officially kick into gear when it opens its nomination process. The Bar Awards previously selected the winners by tallying votes from a specially curated group of around 100 Singapore-based bartenders, spirits importers, journalists and influencers, but this year decided to change tack by having a three stage voting process, including a public component. From 7 to 31 December 2015, members of the public would be able to nominate their favourite bartenders and establishments in ten different nomination categories. Thereafter, a secret group of industry professionals known as The Panel will review the lists of nominees and pick a shortlist for each category, known as The Cut. The Cut will be made known to the public on 20 January.
Based on The Cut, each member of The Panel will rank their top five for each category by scoring points per nominee – their top pick gets 5 points, second pick gets 4 points, the third 3 points and so forth. Points will be totalled across The Panel, and the professionals and establishments with the highest points will emerge the winner. Winners will be announced at The Bar Awards – Singapore 2016 party on 13 March 2016.
The Bar Awards – Singapore 2016 will also rejig some of its award categories, dropping some categories as well as renaming others. The more interesting additions include Best Beer Bar, which recognises the growth in the beer and craft beer segments in the bar scene, as well as Best Spirits and Liquor Selection, a nod at the increase in consumer demand for new and interesting products.
This year the ten categories are:
1. Young Bartender of the Year.
This award exists to recognise the need for great new talent and to encourage young and passionate individuals to enter the industry.
To be considered for this category, the nominee must be born on or after January 1st 1993 (23 years old) and must be currently bartending in Singapore as of nomination date.
2. Best Culinary Experience in a Bar.
The award recognises the Singaporean bar with the best culinary programme. The beverage programmes of the establishment, more often than not, overshadow the talents and creativity of the chefs. This award is to acknowledge their hard work and passion in their kitchen, behind the scenes.
3. Best Service Crew.
This award recognizes that it is teamwork that makes the difference between a good bar and a great one. Awarded to the most hospitable service team, this award looks to encourage more people to join the service side of the industry with this mark of appreciation.
4. Best Beer Bar.
This award recognises an establishment with a well thought out beer list that is also backed up with knowledgeable and passionate staff. This is a new category added for The Bar Awards in 2016 as beer, in particular craft beer, has slowly but surely become one of the most sought after beverages in Singapore (and around the world) over the past couple of years.
5. Best Restaurant Bar.
This award recognises a restaurant that understands that diners want a great beverage programme to accompany their food. Diners are now expecting more, and a well thought out beverage programme creates a memorable meal experience.
6. Best Spirits and Liquor Selection.
This award recognises the establishment with the most thought out spirits selection, paired with knowledge, great service, and hospitality. As times change, there’s an increasing emphasis on the provenance of our spirits and why we are choosing to drink it. This also applies for wine, sake and any other alcohol. This is one for establishments that have put visible effort in their selection.
7. Most Creative Cocktail Programme.
This award recognises the establishment with an innovative cocktail programme. If there ever was an award that rewarded hard work, this is it. From sourcing the best ingredients to distilling the best spirits, and the mise en place for the most unique and complicated cocktail – it’s a lot of hard work and time consuming to be creative for one drink. And it’s much harder to do so for an entire bar programme.
8. Best New Cocktail Bar.
This award recognises a new establishment that has made an impact on the local cocktail culture. Opening a bar is difficult, and takes a lot of hard work and talent. People who put together a great bar from day one and set high standards for new entrants to the bar community should be acknowledged.
9. Bartender of the Year.
The Bartender of the Year is an award given to the bartender whose skills, knowledge, and the ability to connect with people is extraordinary beyond measure. To have a drink made by this individual is an outstanding experience in itself. Nominees should currently be bartending in Singapore as of the nomination date.
10. Best Cocktail Bar.
This award recognises an establishment that does not cease to impress, each and every time you visit. The experience is always beyond greatness due to their impressive cocktails, food and drinks selection, hospitable service and mesmerising ambience.
You can now submit your nominations for the best bar professionals and establishments from 7 to 31 December 2015 at this link.