The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 – a spirited look at the winners

The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 winners


After a two-month long nomination and judging process, the winners of the various categories in The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 are revealed.

For those who aren’t too familiar with The Bar Awards, the bar industry awards program is a wholly grassroots-led initiative that was first established back in 2014 by industry veteran Tron Young to recognise and celebrate the talents in Singapore’s bar scene. Over the years The Bar Awards has chronicled the rise of Singapore’s fast-growing bar industry, and the illuminative list has been a fantastic barometer in tracking how the drinks scene in this country has changed in recent years.

The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 is no different, and last evening’s award ceremony at Zouk shone the spotlight on the venues and people who’ve helped put Singapore on the global cocktail bar map. We take a look at the winners of the different categories.

It doesn’t come too much as a surprise that Tippling Club emerged top in “Restaurant Bar of the Year” this year; head barman Andrew Loudon’s inspiring new cocktail menus have been the perfect foil to the avant-garde cuisine in Ryan Clift’s flagship restaurant. It’s also the most “restaurant” of the top four.

The “Beer Bar of the Year” category sees a new winner in The Guild – a beer restaurant owned Hong Kong’s highly-lauded craft beer makers Young Master Brewery – which dethroned iconic craft beer hawker stall Smith Street Taps, which had won the award for two years running.

The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 - Manhattan

Regent Hotel Singapore’s Manhattan continues to be the hotel bar to beat, landing both “Hotel Bar of the Year” and “Hospitality Team of the Year” titles despite keen challenges from the year-old MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental, InterContinental Singapore’s air travel-themed Idlewild, and Origin Bar over at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore that’s just built itself a new focus around rum.

Wine bar RVLT’s street cred for pushing the natural wine movement in Singapore helps it edge out grand lobby bar ATLAS’s impressive gin collection to land “Specialist Concept of the Year”, while local favourite NATIVE steals “Creative Cocktail Bar of the Year” back from Tippling Club, an award it first won back in 2017 when it debuted in the Singapore cocktail scene.

The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 - The Old Man Singapore

“Hospitality Ambassador of the Year” went to bar veteran Andrew Yap of The Old Man Singapore, the local outpost of Hong Kong’s award-winning bar of the same name. Even better, The Old Man Singapore also takes home the “New Bar of the Year” title, its brilliant Hemingway-themed cocktails proving more than a match for the other contenders.

“The Rising Star” award may not be as sexy as some categories, but it’s a crucial one in measuring the health of the industry and its pipeline of talent. Carmen Cheang from Gibson is a dark horse who’ve emerged as a surprise winner here, beating out ever-popular Benedict Poh – who’ve just taken a lead role in developing The Monarchy’s newest cocktail menu – and Demitria Dana Paramita, who recently moved from Anti:Dote to a bigger role at sister bar SKAI in Swissotel The Stamford.

Paramita’s senior colleague and high-flying mentor Bannie Kang – head bartender at Anti:Dote – continues to prove her incredible bartending talent by landing “Bartender of the Year” just a few days after being crowned as the global winner of Diageo World Class 2019. Kang took the title of “Best Female Bartender” in The Bar Awards 2015.

Brand ambassadors are an integral part of the cocktail scene, and William Grant & Sons’ Jay Gray takes “Brand Ambassador of the Year” for his work with Monkey Shoulder.

The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 - Jigger & Pony

But the most highly anticipated category each year at The Bar Awards is “Bar of the Year”, and pioneering cocktail bar Jigger & Pony emerged the ultimate winner. Jigger & Pony recently moved from its home of five years at Amoy Street to its current premises at Amara Singapore, but with this win proves that a concept built around classic cocktails can be timeless and enduring.

“Since 2014 The Bar Awards has been shining the spotlight on the movers and shakers of Singapore’s bar industry. This year’s winners are recognized by their industry peers as being instrumental in elevating Singapore’s bar and beverage scene on a global stage,” shares Tron Young, co-founder of The Bar Awards.

The full list of The Bar Awards Singapore 2019 winners are as follows (final winner in red):

The Rising Star presented by Perrier

  • Benedict Poh – The Monarchy
  • Carmen Cheang – Gibson
  • Demitria Dana Paramita – SKAI, Swissotel The Stamford
  • Mark Ng – Junior The Pocket Bar

Restaurant Bar of the Year presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka

  • Caffe Fernet
  • Employees Only Singapore
  • Neon Pigeon
  • Tippling Club

Beer Bar of the Year presented by Peroni

  • American Taproom
  • Freehouse
  • Smith Street Taps
  • The Guild

Hotel Bar of the Year presented by Fever-Tree

  • Idlewild, InterContinental Singapore
  • Manhattan, Regent Hotel Singapore
  • MO Bar, Mandarin Oriental Singapore
  • Origin Bar & Grill, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

Specialist Concept of the Year presented by Restaurant, Pub and Bar Asia (RPB Asia)

  • ATLAS (gin)
  • La Maison du Whisky Singapore (whisky)
  • Native (regionality)
  • RVLT (wine)

Brand Ambassador of the Year presented by Singapore Cocktail Festival

  • Charmaine Ann Thio – Hendricks Gin, William Grant & Sons
  • Jay Gray – Monkey Shoulder, William Grant & Sons
  • Sam Ng – Four Pillars Gin
  • Symphony Loo – Campari, Campari Group

Hospitality Ambassador of the Year presented by Demonio De Los Andes Pisco

  • Andrew Yap – The Old Man Singapore
  • Colin Chia – Nutmeg & Clove
  • Guoyi Gan – Jigger & Pony
  • Vijay Mudaliar – Native

Hospitality Team of the Year presented by Hendrick’s Gin

  • Jigger & Pony
  • Manhattan, Regent Hotel Singapore
  • The Old Man Singapore
  • The Other Room

Creative Cocktail Bar of the Year presented by Cointreau

  • IB HQ
  • Native
  • Operation Dagger
  • Tippling Club

New Bar of the Year presented by Campari

  • Idlewild, InterContinental Singapore
  • MO Bar, Mandarin Oriental Singapore
  • RPM by D.Bespoke
  • The Old Man Singapore

Bartender of the Year presented by Monkey Shoulder

  • Anthony Zhong – Shin Gi Tai
  • Bannie Kang – Anti:Dote, Swissotel The Stamford
  • Jerrold Khoo – Jigger & Pony
  • Vijay Mudaliar – Native

Bar of the Year presented by Monin

  • Jigger & Pony
  • Manhattan, Regent Hotel Singapore
  • Native
  • The Old Man Singapore

 

[Photo credits: Highest Spirits]