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The finalists for this year’s Hospitality Awards for Excellence have been announced.

Julie White

With a record number of entries in 2021, the awards celebrate the success, achievements and, especially in this year post COVI19, the resilience of the hospitality and accommodation sector.

Winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at Eden Park on September 9.

“This year the awards are particularly relevant considering what businesses and employees have been through, and are still going through, though in a way it’s a pity we have to single out anyone,” says Hospitality NZ CEO, Julie White.

“Every hospitality business owner, operator and every worker out there deserve a medal for the resilience and perseverance they’ve shown through probably the toughest period the industry has ever been through.

“Because of that I imagine it was hard for the judges to get this far, and even harder for them to pick the winners.

“It’s inspiring to see hospitality businesses still looking to be the best and to meet customers’ needs after all they’ve been through.”

Head Judge Michael Friend says most provinces are represented and entries have generally been weighted evenly between CBD, suburban and rural.

He says once again most categories include a wide variety of operators, from large-scale corporates to ‘mum and dad’ operators, with both styles featuring as finalists.

“On the subject of the impact of the pandemic, a clear trend has emerged that demonstrates a stronger-than-previous connection between venues and ‘local communities’, and vice-versa.

“Having judged the awards for the past five cycles, I consider there are a greater number of quality entries this year.

“The finalists are generally at a much higher standard, which presents the judges with a great challenge in determining each category winner and the Supreme Award winner,” he says.

The liquor industry finalists are:

Best Bar
• Fantail and Turtle, Auckland
• Good George North Wharf, Auckland
• Rooftop at QT (QT Hotel), Auckland
• The Freeport Tavern and Cleaver and Co, Mt Maunganui
• Thistle Inn, Wellington

Best Brew Pub/ Distillery
• Good George Dining Hall, Hamilton
• Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch
• Monteiths Brewing Company, Greymouth

Best Destination Venue
• Brewtown Upper Hutt, Upper Hutt
• Holey Moley Golf Club, Auckland
• Perky’s Floating Bar, Queenstown
• Tantalus Estate, Waiheke Island
• The Riverhead, Riverhead

Best Local
• The Brown Pub, Methven
• The Elmwood Trading Co., Christchurch
• The Riverhead, Riverhead
• Thistle Inn, Wellington
• Woodbourne Tavern, Renwick

Best New/ Redeveloped – Food & Beverage
• Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Ltd, Queenstown and Picton
• Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch
• Maria Lane Eatery and Bar, Whanganui
• Margo’s, Queenstown
• Market ST, Napier

Excellence in Training & Development
• Emerson’s Brewery and Taproom, Dunedin
• Good Spirits Hospitality
• Kaiser Brew Garden, Christchurch

Click here to vote for your favourite business in the People’s Choice Award.

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