Awards That Actually Matter
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 11:28

While virtually anyone can stand behind a counter and try to pour drinks, only a select few will ever run a great pub.   Most punters know a great pub when they find one but the exact combination of skills needed by the manager and staff to create a popular yet responsible establishment has long been the subject of great debate.   These arguments have raged for centuries within the hospitality industry, in Parliament, at the bar, in Council Chambers and even on the pages of literature.

 

Noted writer Evelyn Waugh’s covered this very topic in his 1928 book “Decline and Fall.”    A biting satire of the aristocracy and assorted social climbers, Waugh spent a page setting out the ‘seven requirements for a good innkeeper.’  Although his language may sound a little quaint to the modern ear, the requirements still resonate today.  They work in the same way that Telecom XT does not. 

 

Waugh’s seven requirements were:

 

1. 14-16 hours a day and few even half-days off.

2. Some capital with which to have good food ready and to waste. 

3. A mind for the tiniest details. 

4. An all-round outlook. 

5. An ability to formulate a policy and courage to carry it out. 

6. To have had first a good time in life oneself. 

7. A natural, not enforced, love of the job.

 

I had turned my mind to this topic after reading the finalist for the Capital Awards, Wellington’s own hospitality awards and far more important than the Oscars.  These are industry awards where people in hospitality can vote for the outstanding people, teams and establishments around town. 

 

Malthouse is one of the finalists for ‘Bar of the Year’, the Malthouse staff for ‘Outstanding Bar Team’ and Malthouse proprietor Colin Mallon is in august company as one of the six finalists for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Wellington Hospitality.’

 

Many would have expected Malthouse to also do well in the ‘best beer list’ category – except there wasn’t one.  There was a ‘best wine list’ and ‘best drinks list’ but beer was a glaring omission.  Fortunately, the flame-haired perpetrator has been quickly identified and given a stern talking to over a Tuatara Ardennes.  Hopefully, it will be a proper category next year.

 

Ignoring the fact that Mr Mallon signs my more than reasonable pay checks (or whatever is required for interweb banking), let us now take an objective look at how he measures up against the seven requirements and then reach a dispassionate assessment about whether his peers in the hospitality industry should vote for him in the Capital Awards: 

 

1. 14-16 hours a day and few even half-days off – Achieved.  There are rumours of him taking whole days off but there is no hard evidence.  In any case, he always claims to have been “upstairs doing paperwork and administration.”

 

2. Some capital with which to have good food ready and to waste - Achieved.  Two word – ugly bread.

 

3. A mind for the tiniest details – Achieved.  Colin remembered to tack a one-page wine list onto the back of the seventeen page beer list.

 

4. An all-round outlook - Achieved.  The Handsome One is proudly a jack-of-all-trades because he believes that is so much easier than having to master anything specific.

 

5. An ability to formulate a policy and courage to carry it out – Achieved.  Malthouse has the biggest range of beers in New Zealand. 

 

6. To have had first a good time in life oneself – Over-achieved.  Colin was a hairdresser you know.  Oh, was that supposed to be a secret?  With fame comes media scrutiny….

 

7. A natural, not enforced, love of the job – Genuinely achieved.

 

Head over to the Capital Awards website and have a look at all the finalists.  It is a “who’s who” of Wellington hospitality.  If you are in the industry, you can even vote. The results will be announced at the Capital Awards Dinner on 28 March. 

 

There are three big Malthouse events before then though:

 

Monday 15 March – Luke Nicholas The Impish Brewer will preside over the official launch of his Epic Mayhem 2010 and there will be a sneaky wee keg of Epic Thornbridge Stout on the handpull. 

 

Tuesday 16 March – Tweet4yourtee are hosting their Wellington launch party at Malthouse.  They are promising free drinks to people who wear one of their stylish t-shirts to the event.  Follow them on Twitter for more information.

 

Wednesday 17 March – St Patrick’s Day – ‘nuff said.   

 

Who will win the coveted Capital Awards?  More importantly, what will Colin wear on the red carpet?


Cheers

 

Beer Writer

Real Beer New Zealand

Beer and Brewer Magazine

 

Links

The Capital Awards – http://capitalawards.co.nz/index.php/2010-awards

Epic Mayhem - http://epicbeer.com/epic-mayhem/ 

Tweet4yourtee - http://twitter.com/Tweet4yourtee

Malthouse Facebook Group - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wellington/Malthouse/7084276173

Real Beer – http://www.realbeer.co.nz/blog/blog.html

Beer and Brewer Magazine - http://www.beerandbrewer.com/