Calling All Down Bars – Search On For Best NI Pubs

THE search to find the heroes of Northern Ireland’s licensed trade is under way, as Pubs of Ulster gets ready to toast the trade with the launch of the new look Pub of the Year Awards 2013. Could the winners come from County Down this year?

Pubs of Ulster, the representative body for the licensed trade in Northern Ireland, has embarked on its annual search to find the best in the business and is calling on Down licensees to enter the only industry recognised awards for the chance to follow in the footsteps of Pier 36 in Donaghadee, which was named Pub of the Year at last year’s Pub of the Year Awards.

dn_screenThis year, however, entrants will see some new and exciting changes to the awards, as Pubs of Ulster unveils new categories, a new entry process as well as a brand new luxury venue for the gala awards night on 13 November 2013.

The 2013 Pub of the Year Awards feature eight categories designed to highlight the very best that the industry has to offer. This year’s award categories are: Best Barperson (in partnership with the SundayLife); 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.  This year the awards have been refined with the removal of the initial round of regional heats to ensure the very best compete one on one across Northern Ireland.

Also, this will be the first year that all award entries can be completed and submitted online; making it even easier for pubs right across Northern Ireland to get involved and be in with a chance of taking home a coveted award.

Commenting on the new look Pub of the Year Awards 2013 chairman of Pubs of Ulster, Mark Stewart said: “The Pub of the Year Awards celebrates all that is great and good about our industry.  We have some of the best pubs in the world right on our doorstep and many of them are setting industry standards when it comes to customer offering, customer service as well as innovation.   We also can’t forget the significant contribution the pub trade makes in terms of the local economy, jobs and tourism.

“Just like the industry itself, we also understand how important it is to keep evolving and improving.  That’s why this year we have introduced a number of exciting changes that we hope will make this year’s awards bigger and better than ever before.  I would encourage all licensees to get involved and help us make the Pub of the Year Awards 2013 the best yet.”

As well as taking the top Pub of the Year title last year, Pier 36 was also named Best Tourism/ Visitor Pub 2012.  Curran’s Bar and Seafood Restaurant in Downpatrick was also celebrating at the 2012 awards, when it was crowned Best Family Friendly Pub at Pubs of Ulster’s gala awards night.

As well as new categories and new entry process, this year’s awards will also see another exciting change as the Pub of the Year Gala Awards night moves to the 4* La Mon Hotel and Country Club.  On the 13th November this year, hundreds of licensees from across Northern Ireland will gather to toast the trade and find out who will be crowned 2013 The Pub of the Year.

The Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards, this year’s awards are sponsored by Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI, Drinks Inc. and the Belfast Distillery Company.

For more information on the new categories and how to apply online, please visit