Belfast pubs could win big at top industry awards

It could be drinks all round in Belfast this month as EIGHT local pubs have been shortlisted for top industry awards.

Belfast’s Alley Cat, The Fountain Bar, The Garrick, Horatio Todd’s, The Hudson Bar, Kelly’s Cellars and The Limelight; and the Crooked Mile in Dunmurry have all been shortlisted at Pubs of Ulster’s prestigious Pub of the Year Awards 2013.

The Hudson Bar has been shortlisted in four categories including Best Barperson, Best Charity Initiative, Best Market Initiative and Best New/Improved. The Garrick is in the running for three awards including Best Entertainment, Best Big Idea and Pub of the Year 2013; Alley Cat has been nominated in two categories –Best Big Idea and Best New/Improved; while The Limelight is up for Best Entertainment and The Crooked Mile has been shortlisted for the Best Marketing Initiative Awards.

Each bar will now go head to head with other pubs from across Northern Ireland , nominated in their category/categories to be named the toast of the trade this month.

Winners of eight award categories – including the hotly contested overall Pub of the Year 2013 – will be revealed at a special gala awards night hosted by Apprentice star, Jim Eastwood at the La Mon Hotel and Country Club on Wednesday 13th November 2013.

Commenting on the awards Pubs of Ulster chairman, Mark Stewart, said:

“The Pub of the Year Awards provide a valuable opportunity to recognise the significant contribution Northern Ireland’s pubs make, not only within their own communities, but to the industry as a whole.

“Pubs of Ulster are committed to recognising and rewarding the important economic, social and cultural contribution made by pubs across Northern Ireland. The Pub of the Year Awards 2013 will celebrate innovation and excellence, providing an important benchmark for the industry.

“I would like to congratulate all eight of the Belfast pubs that have been shortlisted and wish them the very best of luck at next month’s Pub of the Year Awards.”

This years’ Pub of the Year Awards are the most hotly contested yet. Following a phenomenal response from the trade, the shortlisted pubs, including the eight in the Belfast area were selected after an extensive judging process by the Pub of the Year Awards’ independent judging panel, comprising top Northern Ireland business and marketing professionals.

From all of the entries submitted, five shortlisted pubs will go forward in each of the eight Award categories: Best Barperson (in partnership with the Sunday Life); Best Entertainment; Best Food; Best New or Improved; Best Marketing Initiative; Best Charity Initiative; Best Big Idea and the ultimate award – Pub of the Year 2013, with the winners revealed at the Pub of the Year gala Awards night.

The Pub of the Year’s expert judging panel consists of mentalist and hospitality expert, David Meade; drinks industry veterans, Padraig Cribben (CEO, Vintners Federation Ireland), Norman Trotter (former head of C&C), Terry Loughins (former Diageo) & Maire Campbell (former Coca-Cola); marketing whiz, Enda McShane (Velocity Worldwide); retail specialist, Hugh Black (formerly Victoria Square, Belfast), Martin Breen, editor, Sunday Life and top business journalists from Northern Ireland’s main daily newspapers.

After rigorous judging by the panel, pubs from across Northern Ireland will be put through their paces further over the next few weeks, as mystery shoppers visit their premises, ensuring they adhere to best industry standards before the final winners are decided.

The Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards. This year’s awards are supported by Belfast Distillery Company, Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI, and Drinks Inc. and media partners, Sunday Life, U105 and Hospitality Review NI.

Tickets to the Pubs of Ulster Gala Awards night cost £75 per person and can be booked by emailing Paula Kane on

For more information on the Pub of the Year Awards 2013, visit

Post Author: Belfast Times

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