Click to see the SLTN AWARDS 2016 WINNERS AND HIGHLY COMMENDED FINALISTS
STARS of the Scottish trade shone brighter than ever at the 21st SLTN Awards last week.
Presenter Paddy McGuinness led the proceedings, handing out more than 20 gongs at the glittering ceremony in the Glasgow Hilton on Thursday November 3.
The founders of Prestwick-based multiple operator Buzzworks Holdings took the top prize of the night, with siblings Colin, Alison and Kenny Blair receiving the SLTN Industry Achievement Award, in association with Maxxium UK.
The Blairs, whose trade career began four decades ago with a community pub in Kilwinning, now operate nine outlets across Ayrshire and employ some 450 staff.
Accepting the award, Colin Blair paid tribute to mum Esther and the siblings’ late father, before praising his brother and sister.
“lt’s quite unusual for three siblings to be involved in a business, but we’ve got a very common outlook and we’ve got complementary skills, and that’s been a real success for us,” said Blair.
He also thanked the company’s staff, “without whom we wouldn’t be able to do anything”.
The Blairs weren’t the only ones with something to celebrate on the night.
Nic Wood, owner of Signature Pub Group, was named Entrepreneur of the Year; Callum Neilly of Lebowskis West End in Glasgow took the award for Bartender of the Year; Nick Gordon of Aberdeen cocktail bar Orchid was named Mixologist of the Year; and Helen Kallstrom of Kilmarnock’s Braehead Bar took the award for Unsung Hero.
Other winners included Glasgow-based Kained Holdings, the firm behind Lebowskis, Porter & Rye and The Finnieston, which was named Independent Multiple Operator of the Year.
Elsewhere, Dornoch Castle Hotel took the trophy for Whisky Bar of the Year; the Airlie Arms Hotel in Kirriemuir won the Beer Quality Award; the Atholl Arms Hotel in Dunkeld, won Best Outdoor Area; and Aberdeen bar and restaurant No.10, was named New Business of the Year.
SLTN editor Gillian McKenzie said the 21st SLTN Awards represents “a major milestone for us”, adding that the standard of entries this year “really was exceptional”.
“From hotels and restaurants to pubs and bars, and from the central belt to the Highlands, this year’s winners encapsulate the very best of Scotland’s licensed trade,” she said.
“Congratulations to all of our winners and finalists; every one of them deserves credit for helping to make the licensed trade one of Scotland’s most dynamic and innovative industries.”