Last year’s inaugural National Pub of the Year title was won by The Porter House in Castlebridge, Co Wexford.
“Last year we’d over 500 entries” said VFI President Pat Crotty at the launch, “and the 56 regional winners all saw their profits rise as a result.
“In collaborating with the LVA on this initiative we’re raising the profile of the pub with the Irish consumer and visiting tourists on a national basis. Bord Bia reports that 17% of all food consumed outside the home is in pubs which shows the progression of the industry in recent years.
“At a time when we face the key challenge of Brexit to our sector, the Irish Pub Awards 2018 will be an important vehicle for us to secure prosperity for all the pubs of Ireland,” he added, pointing out that, “There was also another positive for last year’s winners – gaining peer recognition for their win.”
This year’s competition will see 63 regional winners and Pat Crotty was seeking “a few thousand entries this year!”.
Also speaking at the event the LVA Chair John Gleeson added, “The Irish drinks and hospitality sector currently supports 92,000 jobs in the Irish economy.
“Now the definitive national industry standard, the Irish Pub Awards are quickly gaining recognition throughout the trade as a programme that provides a credible and comprehensive assessment of the best in Irish pubs. It’s a great opportunity for pubs in Dublin and throughout the county to raise the profile of their business through regional and national media coverage. The comprehensive management training package that all regional winners receive will help them to grow and embed innovation into their business well into the future. As technical and management training are vital components in improving performance and capacity within the pub sector, the LVA is delighted to support this initiative which is so focussed on the progression of our industry.”
Last year the 56 regional winners experienced this management training packaging in the Red Cow Hotel on the Naas Road.
Entries from VFI and LVA members are now open and judging will take place during the Summer with the regional finalists being announced in September and October.
Entry is free and those interested in entering should do so on the dedicated website: www.irishpubawards.ie. Closing date is June the 1st and the nine categories include: Best Food Pub, sponsored by Musgrave Marketplace; Best Tourist Pub, sponsored by Molson Coors; Innovative Pub of the Year, sponsored by Bank of Ireland Payment Acceptance; Best Local Pub, sponsored by Diageo Ireland; Outstanding Customer Service, sponsored by Heineken Ireland; Best Outdoor Space, sponsored by Bulmers; Best Music Pub, sponsored by IMRO; Best Newcomer, sponsored by Hennessy and Pub Personality of the Year, sponsored by Irish Distillers-Pernod Ricard. The competition’s partners include Irish Independent and Drinks Industry Ireland as well as Febvre Wines.
A series of seven regional events will be held to announce the 63 regional winners across all categories and they’ll be showcased as the best in class in their region.
All will receive a prize package of management training to help them progress their business further. They’ll also avail of comprehensive media coverage including a profile piece in a special awards supplement, which will be published in the Irish Independent on the day of the Gala Awards Ceremony.