Voting begins now and ends December 31. By Natasha Hong.

Does Tron Young ever rest? A little more than a month after The Bar Awards’ 2017 campaign concluded with its inaugural ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, the travelling organiser and his team are raring to go again. 2018 will see the awards add two new satellite honours to 2017’s four cities (with a third under consideration) for a year-long calendar of events and good cheer for Asia’s bar communities.

In 2018, Macau and Penang will each get to name their own Bar of the Year and Bartender of the Year under The Bar Awards’ tried-and-tested process , then celebrate them in a small event in their city, plus join the bigger parties in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur respectively. Young will also be assessing the viability of added Manila to the calendar with a visit planned to the capital in January, so there might be more good news to come.

Along with the slew of opening parties, guest shifts, nightcaps and industry-only awards ceremonies in the different cities, The Bar Awards will also be ramping up their Bar Talks program, and drive a greater push towards consumers with bar tours in each city. “The bar community has supported us quite well in 2017, and now we need to get the consumers on board, so that way, our winners get a lot more recognition from a wider audience,” explains Young. Giffard will also be rolling out their Go Local with Giffard events, held on the day of the awards party in each city, to bond the industry through activities like Muay Thai, junkboat parties or fishing.

To get things going ahead the new year though, The Bar Awards is beginning its Public Nominations process in Bangkok today. This year, an expanded Lead Panel of 12 members have come together to decide on the 12 categories of bars and bartenders worth honouring in the city.

In the Lead Panel in Bangkok are:
– Brian Bartusch (Beervana)
– David Jacobson (Smalls)
– Gunsasipar “Goy” Chuminchaj (Kin Plus)
– Vasachol “Im” Quadri (GQ Magazine)
– Joseph Boroski (J. Boroski Mixology)
– Pailin “Milk” Sajjanit (Zuma Bangkok)
– Minway Chi (Bootleggers)
– Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn (Backstage Cocktail Bar, #FindtheLockerRoom)
– Niks Anuman-Rajadhon (Teens of Thailand, Asia Today)
– Suwincha “Chacha” Singsuwan (Rabbit Hole)
– Pongpak “Ton” Sudthipongse (Sorrento)
– Greg Plowes (Paste, Australis Wine)

Members of the public are encouraged to submit their top picks for the different awards on offer at this link before December 31, to enter their favourites into consideration.

Following the close of the Public Nominations in Bangkok, the names will be handed over to a wider city Panel of f&b stakeholders to narrow down the list to the Top 10s (released on January 17) and Top 4s (February 19). The winners for The Bar Awards Bangkok will be announced at an industry party on February 25 2018.

To vote for your favourite bars and bartenders to win an award, fill in the form here.

To learn more about the different categories, here’s a guide to the criteria for each:

The Rising Star
Who is the best bartender that has recently joined the hospitality industry that’s 28 years old of younger? The candidate must be born on or after January 1 1990 and be working in an establishment in Bangkok that serves alcohol on the nomination date.
Aim To encourage more young people to choose the hospitality industry as a career by recognising the young and talented (under 28 years old) doing great work.

Best Restaurant Bar
Which restaurant has the best bar program and bar team? The nominated establishment must serve food created by a designated culinary team, and must obviously be a restaurant.
Aim To recognise the best beverage program and bar team that are providing their customers a great dining and beverage experience.

Best Beer Bar
Which establishment has the most knowledgeable team, a well-curated (not necessarily the largest) beer list and provides the best in beer experience?
Aim To acknowledge the hardworking establishments providing a well-curated beer selection and making beer drinking an enjoyable and educational experience.

Best Wine Bar
Which establishment provides an exciting (not necessarily the largest) wine list, paired with a knowledgeable team for the best wine experience?
Aim To acknowledge the hardworking individuals and establishments making wine drinking exciting and fun.

Best Hotel Bar
Which is the best hotel bar? This venue has to be one managed by the hotel, using the hotel’s facilities, resources and manpower to help add to the bar’s success. Establishments renting or occupying a space on a hotel’s property is not eligible for this category.
Aim To recognise the hotels that are elevating the bar and drinking experience as part of their hotel’s experience.

Best Bangkok Institution
Which old establishment has cemented a cult following for their bar? This nominated establishment must have been open for a minimum of five years.
Aim To recognise venues that have stood the test of time, and is still working hard to impress and bring smiles to their loyal guests.

Best Hospitality Ambassador
Which individual exudes and provide the best hospitality for their guests? The candidate must be working in an establishment in Bangkok that serves alcohol as of the nomination date.
Aim To acknowledge the individual who provides the best hospitality to all of their guests, as well as encourages others to choose and join the hospitality industry.

Best Hospitality Team
Which establishment provides the best hospitality experience for their guests?
Aim To recognise the hard work and effort of an establishment that exudes the values of hospitality. These may include, but not be limited to making the guest feel welcome, making the guest comfortable, looking after the guests’ happiness and so forth.

Most Creative Cocktail Program
Which establishment has the most creative cocktail program?
Aim To recognise and acknowledge the hard work and effort that a team puts in to creating the most innovative, unique and creative collection of cocktails.

Best New Bar
Which is the best new establishment that has opened in the last year? This venue must have been opened for one year or less from the nomination date, and it must not have been named in the Top 10s for The Bar Awards Bangkok 2017.
Aim To encourage more new f&b establishments to open and create new jobs and opportunities for that city. This award recognises and acknowledges the best bar that has opened within the last year.

Bartender of the Year
Who is the best bartender, role model, leader, mentor and all-round good person in Bangkok? This candidate must be working in an establishment in Bangkok that serves alcohol as of the nomination date.
Aim To recognise and acknowledge the hard work of an outstanding talent within the local bar and beverage community. This person should not only be assessed by their performance during work hours, but also how they represent themselves, their colleagues, workplace and community outside of the bar.

Bar of the Year
Which is the best bar in Bangkok?
Aim To recognise and acknowledge the hard work of an outstanding bar team in the local bar and beverage community. This bar should be assessed on every factor that makes a great bar. This may include, but not be limited to the experience, atmosphere, skills, hospitality, price, profitability, cleanliness, and so forth.

Public Nominations for this year’s Bar Awards in Bangkok close on December 31, so get moving!

To learn more about The Bar Awards, see our hub page here, or their Facebook page here.

DRiNK Magazine is the official publication partner for The Bar Awards 2018.