Homepage 2019-04-11T18:32:35+10:00

Welcome to the inaugural AUSTRALIAN GIN AWARDS 2019 and the events surrounding the awards.

ENTRIES ARE CLOSED now for the Australian Gin Awards and the Gin Bottle Design Awards for this year.. RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE PRESENTATION DINNER 7 MARCH

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTRIES. Your samples need to go direct to OzeWine in Sydney. FINAL ACCEPTANCE DATE FOR SAMPLES into Sydney’s OZEWINE NO LATER THAN Thursday 8 November. .


15,000 reasons to enter these awards

There are two sections to these awards: The gin awards and the bottle design awards. WASAMEDIA is offering a $5000.00 PR and Marketing prize to the winner of BEST IN SHOW. CCL is offering a $5000.00 label production prize to the winner of AUSTRALIA’S BEST GIN BOTTLE. AND there’s more….SAVERGLASS is offering a $5000 product credit to a lucky distilling company present at the Trophy Presentation Dinner! Our aim is to give all entry companies the opportunity to improve their marketing and sales. We all like to win awards and it’s nice to know that someone of credibility thinks you’re doing a good job! But even more importantly, awards sell bottles! There is a need to educate and motivate the Australian drinking public to ask for Australian Gin – not just any gin. When customers see an award on a bottle, it gives them more confidence to purchase.

Trophies and Medals

At the Australian Gin Awards, every gin entered has the possibility of winning a trophy or a medal. There’s no limit to the number of gold, silver and bronze medals that can be awarded in each category. In the event of any category having at least one gold medal Gin, that category also awards a Trophy. If a gold medal is not awarded in a category, the top scoring Gin in that category will be titled Best in Class.

The top scoring Gin in the whole competition will win the Best in Show Perpetual Trophy.

The Design Awards will be judged by a specialist team and will award not only one trophy but also gold, silver and bronze medals.

How do I leverage my success?

All medal winners will be offered jpeg and pdf versions of the medal artwork at no cost. You are encouraged to use these on your website and in your social marketing to promote your win. Plus, we have medal stickers for your bottles available to purchase. All results will be issued in our media releases which you can also utilise. You can create your own releases to your personal data bases to spread the word. A 28 page full colour Results Book will be produced and 4000 copies printed for distribution all around Australia. Advertising space will be available to you to further promote your success. All medal winners will receive certificates suitable to frame and display in the distillery cellar door.


Bill Lark has chosen his judging teams. He and the awards CEO Judith Kennedy are keen to instill confidence in all entrants by building teams with strong technical knowledge, who possess a high level of sensory analysis and an educated eye for the market. There will be no conflict of interest between any judge and any product known to them.

Confidential written reports prepared by the team leaders will be provided for ALL entries following the release of the results. They will be emailed and posted out with a copy of the Results Book and any certificates following the release of the results on 7 March 2019.

Chairman and Judge
Bill Lark

Founder & Brand Ambassador Lark Distillery

Genise Hollingworth

Rum distiller and co-owner at Black Gate Distillery.

Lyn Lark

Co-Founder, Lark Distillery.

Philip Moore

Master Distiller, Owner Distillery Botanica.

Hayley Laurendet Saint

Bartender at Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Mikey Enright

Director Barrelhouse Group, The Barber Shop York Street, The Duke of Clarence, The Barber Shop Barangaroo

Lindsay Silcox

Owner Gin Lane. A distillers subscription service.

Glenn McPhee

Co-Founder, The Gin Boutique

Scott Fitzsimons

The Oak Barrel. Whisky and Spirits Specialist.

Awards CEO
Judith Kennedy AM


Two x 700 or 750mL gin sample bottles per entry are required for the judging or a minimum of 1400mL if you are entering smaller bottles. Please use the address label provided. The judging will take place in a secret location in Concord NSW during the first few days of February 2019. There will be three panels of judges. All gin products will be judged blind and served neat. The mechanics of the judging will be managed by Glass Brassiere Sommelier Chris Rose who is one of the most experienced wine show stewards in Australia.  His assistants are all trained sommeliers. The top gin in each category will be rejudged in the final Gin of  Show judging where all judges will participate. In the event of any category achieving gold medal status, the top gold in that category will win a trophy. Every gin entered has the possibility of winning a medal – gold, silver or bronze. If a gold medal is not awarded in a category, the top scoring gin in that category will be titled Best in Class. The top scoring gin in the whole competition will win the Best in Show Perpetual Trophy.  The Design judging will take place the previous day.

All Trophy and Best in Class winners will be notified  immediately and asked to make arrangements to attend the Trophy Presentation Dinner and to supply 12 bottles, each a minimum 750mL of product for the dinner which will take place in Sydney on Thursday 7 March 2019.

 Confidential written reports prepared by the judging team leaders will be provided for ALL entries (including the bottle design judging) following the release of the results. They will be sent as both hard and soft copies.



Sponsor CCL will present a $5000.00 production prize to the Best Australian Gin Bottle winner at the awards dinner in March. The trophy, a framed certificate AND the $5000.00 production prize will be announced by Elly Baxter and presented by CCL’s GM Steve Morris. The publicity opportunity is obvious so when entering your gin, enter the bottles at the same time.


Buy a still, make the gin and sell the product. Sounds easy but of course it’s not! Brand development is all important unless you want to drink all the gin you make yourself – of course not. So how will your brand stand out from others? Will it? Won’t it? How will it look lined up with other brands? Let the experts give you their opinion and maybe a medal or even a trophy. Make the most of the opportunity to add another medal to your bottle and by so doing expose your brand further to increase sales.


Elly Baxter – Awards Chair from The Ginstress; Marty Widholm Project Designer Cellardoors.co;  Penny Sippe Bacardi PR Manager; Sarah Norris Editor Broadsheet Sydney; Rachael Lonergan Brand & Advertising Strategist; Steve Morris; CCL General Manager Wine & Spirits NSW. James Kelly CAPI Sales Manager NSW; Kate Meyer dedicated gin lover;


Visual appeal:  Originality / Design quality / Colour scheme / Neck Label / Capsule packaging if applicable
Brand: Logo / Fonts / Label copy / Label stock / Brand story and consistency
Practicality: Bottle design and quality / Closure / Pouring / Bar placement


During the Trophy Presentation Dinner on March 7, the trophy for Australia’s  Best Gin Bottle will be presented to the winner . Gold, silver and bronze medals will have been awarded during the design judging and will be recorded in the Results Book. Bottle stickers will be available for purchase. Australia’s Best Gin Bottle will be given a full page article in the book and images of each medal winner will also feature. Certificates will be produced and mailed out for all medal winners with a copy of the Results Book.

Elly Baxter


Date: Thursday 7 March 2019, 7pm until late.
Venue: Manjit’s @ The Wharf, 49 Lime Street, Sydney.
Dress: Cocktail of course!

It’s a networking opportunity.
The inaugural gin dinner will be a celebration with marketing advantages and surprises. This fine restaurant will serve a shared plate banquet at long tables so that you can mix with distillers and gin lovers alike. SAVERGLASS has donated $5000 of product and all distillers present will have their names in a hat ready for one lucky company to win the prize simply for being there and supporting the Awards. Get to know people you have heard of and never met. You don’t need to book a whole table – you can book for one or as many as you need! The six winning gins will be served with the meal and you can build your own cocktails if you want to. Hear the results as Chairman Bill Lark announces them and celebrate the night away with the winners. The General Manager of CCL Label will present the trophy for Australia’s Best Gin Bottle and results books will be given to all guests. Just ask and we will recommend accommodation a short walk away.

Dinner tickets are $140 per person


Friday 8 and Saturday 9 March

The Sydney Gin Palooza – Def: wikipedia.org/wiki/palooza
the most exciting and festive Sydney gin event yet!

Manjit’s beautiful function room sits on the harbour on the edge of the city just a few minute’s walk from the business centre at 49 Lime Street, Kings Street Wharf. Sydney loves a party and the drinkers love gin. There are four tasting sessions for the public and two free exclusive hours for the bar and restaurant trade. CAPI mixers will be at every stand and continuous canapès will be circulated throughout the room not just for the guests but for you too.
All folk working at your stand require a NSW RSA Certificate please. The Sydney police will be dropping in so you need to have yours handy.

Sorry all Gin Palooza stands have sold out!


Friday 8 March: 1.00pm – 2.00pm (Trade only) 2.00pm – 4.30pm & 5.30pm – 8.00pm.
Saturday 9 March: 1.00pm – 2.00pm (Trade only) 2.00pm – 4.30pm & 5.30pm – 8.00pm.
Trade will be required to register in advance. Bar trade usually start their shifts late in the afternoon so this schedule should suit them. The break between sessions gives the distillers an opportunity to tidy their stand, get around the room to taste or take the weight off their feet.


Firstly, the Sydney Gin Palooza starts the day after the announcement of the winners. The media buzz across Australia will be quite loud and social media will be discussing gin, gin and more gin.

Secondly this is the first, large, classy gin festival (a Palooza is a festival!) in Sydney. Attendees have been promised that they can meet the Makers and make their own cocktails with your help. So it’s going to be fun, interactive and a genuine sales opportunity.

And thirdly, you will meet representatives of the bar, restaurant and bottle shop trade. They receive free registration. You can send us the names and details of your favourite trade guys and girls and we will invite them to come and visit you. So there’s not only an opportunity to sell at the Palooza but also, to sign up some long-term opportunities through new stockists.

So the Palooza delivers Media, Customers and Stockists – what more could you ask for??!!


Tickets are still available for the Presentation Gin Banquet on Thursday 7 March 2019