September 22, 2015
Last Sunday saw the inaugural Ceremony of the Brighton Bartenders Association Awards (BNBA).
The ceremony brought together bars, brands, reps, and core members of the Brighton bar community, new and old alike and was hosted by the notorious Merkaba, at Myhotel.
Started 6 years ago by our very own Mixology Group Director, Myles Cunliffe, the BNBA is an online platform for the bar community in Brighton. It allows members to organise tastings and training sessions, communicate with other bars and brands, organise, promote and attend competitions and also to look for work positions and candidates. Over the past few years the BNBA has become more and more active and is an ever growing, well respected association within Brighton. 2015 has been an incredible start to the year for Brighton and has seen some incredibly exciting new openings in the past 12 months, including the Plotting Parlour, Altos Loft bar and The Salt Room all who had strong support and representation on the night.
Hosted by Sam Sidgwick of ABV Media, this years awards were to celebrate the Brighton Bartenders Association reaching 2,000 members in June earlier this year. Three months on and the BNBA is still growing fast and has already almost reached 3,000 members. Over the course of the summer a huge amount of these members and the wider hospitality industry voted for who they believe to be the best of the best in the sector.
The awards were sponsored by some huge market leaders in the industry including Monkey Shoulder with William Grant, Diageo Reserve, Jack Daniels, Perrier Jouet from Pernod Ricard and Crystal Head vodka from Instil Drinks. It was also an opportunity for some incredible Brighton and Sussex independents to get involved including the amazing Blackdown Artisan spirits.
Monin sponsored Best Newcomer which went to Elliot Barker from Brightons B.Y.O.C. and Sonatina Drinks Sponsored Best Restaurant Bar with an entire crate of their new sparkling coconut water with Sicilian lemon and white grape, which went to the Salt Room.
Newly opened restaurant and bar The Salt Room cleaned up taking home 6 awards including best bar, best bar manager and best male bartender, and some Brighton Institutions including Small Batch Coffee and The Black Dove took home best Coffee House and Best pub respectively.
The event pulled together a collection of Brighton companies, the menus were printed by Ganda Media, ABV Media covered the cinematography and videography and the amazing Nick from Sophisticated Mischief was the DJ for the night.
Mixology Group director, Myles was overwhelmed to win the Santa Teresa Lifetime Achievement Award, and Matt Simmons joint won the Blackwell Rum’s Best Team Player, along with Sam Sidgwick from ABV Media and Bona Venture from Merkaba.
A huge success all round, and major interest for it to return again next year, the first ever BNBA Awards went down a storm.