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Wanted: Northern Ireland's best bar

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Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster (left) and Joel Neill, support services manager at Pubs of Ulster

Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster (left) and Joel Neill, support services manager at Pubs of Ulster

Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster (left) and Joel Neill, support services manager at Pubs of Ulster

The search is on to find the best pub in Northern Ireland.

Bars across the country are being given the opportunity to be the toast of the industry, with the launch of Pubs of Ulster's Pub of the Year Awards 2012.

Pubs of Ulster, the representative body for the licensed trade in Northern Ireland, is once again embarking on its annual search to find the best in the business.

This year's competition will again recognise the best pubs in each county with the Regional Pub of the Year Awards, which will be held in advance of the grand finale.

The category winners from each region will then go forward to battle it out at the Pub of the Year Gala Awards night at Belfast City Hall on November 14.

Colin Neill, the chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, said: "The awards act as a benchmark for the industry as a whole and I would like to encourage all pubs - whether they are large or small, in cities or villages - to show us what they have to offer."

This year's award categories are: Pub of the Year 2012; The Outstanding Bar Person of the Year; The Best Neighbourhood Pub; The Best Food Pub; The Best Family Friendly Pub; The Best New or Improved Pub; The Most Innovative Pub; The Best Tourism / Visitor Pub.

Competition partners include Belfast Telegraph sister paper, Sunday Life.

All premises entered into the awards will be judged, depending on their category, by written submissions, interviews or by independent mystery shoppers. A final judging panel will rule on the main awards.

The closing date for the receipt of entries is Friday, July 6, 2012. See www.nipuboftheyear.com for details.