Thai capital debuts city-specific categories after consulting with panel of industry leaders.

The Bar Awards, patting the backs of the drinks industry’s best in Singapore and Hong Kong since 2014, is back this year with an expanded regional reach to include Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on its calendar. With the Thai capital starting this year’s circuit, organisers The Bar Awards and Fun Size have partnered with Bangkok-based events agency Kin Plus and bar consultant Boudy Ghostine for the celebration on April 23.

Before the big night, they’re calling for your nominees in the 12 categories up for grabs. Have your say over on their site during the Public Nominations phase (March 1-14).

For these first Bangkok awards, the organisers took a tip from last year’s Hong Kong’s edition and appointed ten key members of the city’s drinks-making set to serve as Lead Panel members.

Tasked to discuss and settle on a list of categories relevant to the f&b scene in each awards city, “The Lead Panel is responsible for the growth and direction of the beverage community of the city, and they’re in charge of where the industry will go through The Bar Awards,” explains Tron Young, founder and one of the editors for The Bar Awards.

That’s the reason why the Bangkok awards will see The Rising Star Award rather than the Young Bartender of the Year found in Singapore and Hong Kong. The panel observed that bartenders in Bangkok tend to find their feet after turning 25, which is older than their counterparts in other cities, so raised the cut off point to 28 years old for their rebranded award.

Bangkok’s panel also made the case for a Best Bar & Beverage Publication to acknowledge the work that drinks journalists and bloggers in the city put into tastings, fact checking and research of their coverage for the drinks scene.

For the list of awards to pass muster, panellists had to be able to explain each category in a sentence or two, eliminate the ones that could be won with a strong financial backing, consider whether there are enough eligible candidates to make it competitive, and define the criteria for each category. The result was the following 12 categories that open to nominations on March 1:

– Best Cocktail Bar, presented by Stolichnaya
– Bartender of the Year
– The Ada Coleman Award
– Best New Cocktail Bar, presented by Campari
– Most Creative Cocktail Bar, presented by Cointreau
– Best Hotel Bar
– Best Hospitality Team
– Best Bar Food
– Best Bar & Beverage Publication
– Best Beer Bar, presented by Peroni
– Best Restaurant Bar
– The Rising Star Award, presented by Perrier

Following the Public Nomination phase, a larger panel of 30 “bar professionals, owners, drinks connoisseurs, journalists and chefs” will whittle down the list to a Top 10 (announced on and The Bar Awards’ Facebook page on March 29), before voting on who should win. The winners will be crowned at an industry party on April 23. Watch this space.


DRiNK Magazine is the official publication partner for The Bar Awards 2017.