The Boothby Best Bars QLD awards are open for nominations

Which bars are making Queensland a better place to drink at? Who will be named Person of the Year?

The Boothby Best Bars QLD awards are open for nominations
The first awards were held at Frog's Hollow Saloon in Brisbane last year. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Today we’re kicking off the Boothby Best Bars awards program for 2024. You can now nominate your favourite bars in Queensland right now — the form is below.

This is a program I’ve really enjoyed putting together. We began with two events last year — one in Brisbane for Queensland, and one in Sydney for the NSW program — and went on to add a third in Melbourne for Victoria.

The Boothby Best Bars awards program is all about what makes the drinking great in each state. I’ve written before that I think great bars speak to a time and place, and the big idea with the Boothby Best Bars program is to get a better view of how we drink right now. And the lists have given us the chance to look deeply into what's on offer in the best bars (you can look at the research from NSW and the conclusions from Victoria).

And with a state by state focus, the Boothby Best Bars awards have shown that there are great bars outside of the big capital cities, with a number of bars from our regions making the lists in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.

And the Boothby Best Bars awards are also about throwing a great hospo party to celebrate the industry — we’ll be doing just that, on day two of the Bartenders’ Weekender up in Brisbane. The big awards party will take place on Monday 17 June at the rock and roll boozer that is Alice — it’s gonna be a good time!

How does it work?

  1. Nominations open on Monday 6 May. We’re putting the call out for nominations for bars across Queensland, with an emphasis on getting nominations from regional cities and towns. It’s a big state! We also want you to tell us who should be named Person of the Year.
  2. After nominations close at 11:59pm AEST on Sunday 19 May, the Queensland Boothby advisory panel — consisting of bartenders, bar owners and other industry figures — will cast their votes based on the nominations, which will need to include at least two venues from outside their own city. Interested in being on the panel? Email me.
  3. On Monday 3 June, invites to attend the Boothby Best Bars QLD event will be sent out.
  4. On Monday 17 June, we’ll gather at Alice in Brisbane to celebrate the best bars in Queensland, and countdown the Top 30 all the way to the number one and award the Best Bar in Queensland; the Best New Bar QLD presented by Patrón Tequila; the Best Cocktail Bar QLD presented by Grada; the Person of the Year QLD presented by Jack Daniel’s; and Queensland’s All Time Great presented by Jim Beam, for bars that have been operating for seven years or more.

It only takes one nomination to be considered in the next round of voting, and personal nominations are encouraged.

As I mentioned above, the Boothby Best Bars QLD awards party will take place during the Bartenders’ Weekender, a three day festival of bars and drinks in Brisbane. We’ve just announced that our accommodation partner, Crystalbrook Vincent — it’s a beautiful hotel overlooking the water at Howard Smith Wharves — are offering 20 percent off rooms during the Bartenders’ Weekender. Simply use the code BARTENDER when booking though their website to unlock the offer.

Get a look at all that’s in store for the Bartenders’ Weekender at — we’re updating the timetable every day, and there are currently 31 events taking place between Sunday 16th and Tuesday 18th (huge!). And get your tickets for The Better Bars Summit before they book out — you can do that, and view the full lineup of talks, here.