Bermagui CellarsNews

This is Australia’s best bottle shop

Bermagui Cellars, a family-owned bottle shop on the NSW Sapphire Coast, has been crowned Liquor Store of the Year at the 2021 Retail Drinks Industry Awards.

The bottle shop took out the top award for its year-round efforts to be successful in business, through superior customer service, product knowledge and outstanding professionalism.

Bermagui Cellars, which is part of Australia’s largest liquor co-op, ILG, stocks a wide range of Australian and imported wines, spirits, champagnes and beer. The bottle shop offers local specials that include limited released wines from family owned vineyards. 

“Fran and I can not express enough how proud we are of the whole Bermagui Cellars Team,” said owner Michael Trenerry (pictured above with some of his team). “This is recognition of their continued commitment to providing the best possible service to our customers. Our staff are our family – and I think that has always set us apart from big company stores.

“Tim, Liza, James, Tracy, Tiarne, Adrian, Glynn, Guy, Liam, Ash – you are just the best. We also want to ensure, that the whole Bermagui Community shares our excitement, as we wouldnt be here without your support. Massive thanks to Paul, Pat and Gareth from ILG. You have been a bedrock of support to us. Thank you everyone from the bottom of our hearts.”

Endeavour scoops major awards

BWS Parap Tavern’s store manager Matthew Schier, 31, was named Liquor Store Manager of the Year at the Retail Drinks Industry Awards 2021. 

“This is by far my biggest achievement. It was amazing to be nominated let alone win an award on a national level. It’s still sinking in – when I look back at the caliber of people who have won this award in previous years, it feels very humbling,” Schier said.

“I’d like to thank my peers and managers at BWS, who have supported and helped me over the years.”

For the Liquor Store Manager of the Year awards, the panel evaluates the nominee’s leadership skills, commitment to continued development and overall success of the business.  The panel recognised both the outstanding work that Schier has done as the store manager for BWS Parap Tavern, but also his ability to maintain a high level of responsible service and compliance in the most regulated jurisdiction in the country.

“Our BWS stores also go above and beyond regulations with several self-imposed restrictions and practices in place like certain products we won’t sell and our own MUP on specific products. As a manager, you need to ensure all these policies and restrictions are always followed,” he explained. 

During the COVID-lockdown, Matt (above) was also able to help team members from sister business ALH hotels – which had to close – to find work in the 16 BWS stores in the NT.

“It was great to be able to supply work to six casual employees that otherwise would have had no work due to the venues closing. This involved significant training, consultation and open communication to ensure the transition was successful,” he said. 

“2020 was a challenging year in the industry, with things changing constantly and having to be very agile to keep up with constant safety and process changes, so it’s very rewarding to receive an award at the back of a year unlike no other,” he added. 

Shier said that he was also passionate about creating a great team. 

“I get the most fulfillment in my role by seeing my team and my peers succeed. This year I developed my team by having open conversations around their needs, giving them confidence to provide feedback, giving consistent feedback in return and recognising great behaviour, ideas and contribution,” he added. 

Matt has been the manager of Parap Tavern BWS for 18 months, and has been employed by BWS in the NT for almost eight years. 

BWS Managing Director Scott Davidson said: “We are incredibly proud of Matt, and he always receives a lot of internal recognition for his achievements, so it’s wonderful to finally see him being celebrated for his achievements and at such a big, prestigious national awards show nonetheless!”

“We are always supporting our team members to develop and achieve their goals, so we look forward to continuing supporting Matt on his very successful journey with BWS.”

Endeavour Group’s Shorty’s Shorty’s Liquor was named Online Liquor Retailer of the Year and Dan Murphy’s Alphington received the accolade for Large Format Liquor Store of the Year.

“It’s the pinnacle of awards for retail drinks, recognising the efforts of our Alphington team …Congratulations to Store Manager Chris Brown and the entire team,” Dan Murphy’s said.

The Retail Drinks Industry Awards, hosted by Retail Drinks Australia, are the peak national awards for Australia’s retail liquor industry.

During his introductory speech Retail Drinks Chairman, John Carmody said, “These awards build on the legacy of the former State & Territory Liquor Stores Association’s Awards Programs, some of which began over 30 years ago.

“Retail Drinks is delighted to be able to run this important annual Awards Program, and please appreciate that we run this Program with integrity and great pride, to celebrate and acknowledge the efforts made to succeed in business by people and by companies in our industry, and to lead by example to maintain a responsible, sustainable, diverse and professional retail drinks sector.

“It absolutely blew us away to know that there was an uplift in nominations by more than 250% this year, and across all awards categories – a really pleasing result, which demonstrates that our members and the broader industry value and appreciate the Program.”

2021 Retail Drinks Industry Awards winners

Liquor Store of the Year: Bermagui Cellars

Large Format Liquor Store of the Year: Dan Murphy’s, Alphington

Online Liquor Retailer of the Year: Shortys

Liquor Store Owner of the Year: Scott Towers, Red Bottle Group, NSW

Liquor Store Manager of the Year: Matthew Schier, BWS Parap Tavern, NT

Young Liquor Retailer of the Year: Tegan Clemow, Retail Liquor Specialists Group ACT

Beer Supplier of the Year: CUB

Wine Supplier of the Year: TWE

Spirits Supplier of the Year: Diageo

National Supplier of the Year: CUB

Beer Representative of the Year: Liam Thomson, Capital Brewing

Wine Representative of the Year: Steve Carrero, Berton Vineyards

Spirits Representative of the Year: Luca Losapio, Campari Australia

National Sales Representative of the Year: Luca Losapio, Campari Australia

VB becomes the official beer of State of Origin

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