The 16th edition of the annual GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer poll has dropped, reflecting consumers served entertaining voting campaigns, proving creativity an important part of the crafty market beyond merely brewing beer.
Tens of thousands of votes were counted for the ‘hottest’ beers from 2023, nominating a whopping 1,877 different brews, from 436 of Australia’s best craft breweries, with no less than 63 making the final list.
Topping the charts for Australia’s favourite craft beer for the second year in a row was Mountain Culture Beer Co’s beloved Status Quo Pale Ale. The brewery, founded in 2019 and run by husband-and-wife team DJ and Harriet McCready, has seen a meteoric rise in the scene in just a few years. It offers a popular core range plus frequent limited release brews.
Taking silver was a prior champion, Mick Fanning’s Balter Brewing’s XPA, from the Gold Coast.
And after previously winning two years in a row and making the podium for its 6th consecutive year, BentSpoke’s Crankshaft IPA snared bronze – just ahead of Sunshine Coast’s Your Mates Larry.
The Top 10 saw two new entrants, welcoming Gage Roads Brewing Co’s Single Fin, out of Western Australia, and Pirate Life Brewing’s South Coast Pale Ale, out of South Australia.
NSW breweries took bragging rights for of most beers, with 27 appearing on the list, ahead of the marooned Queensland, supplying 24 brewers.
Demonstrating the dynamic nature of the game, there were 28 new contenders replacing choices from last year’s list.
The most popular new beer released in 2023 proved to be Balter Brewing Co’s Cerveza.
Beer producers have battled the multi-pronged threats of high inflation on ingredients plus market hurdles, but GABS MD Mike Bray told PubTIC the Aussie love affair with the amber liquid continues.
“The craft beer industry has battled with the government’s outdated excise tax protocols, which force twice yearly increases onto breweries, and the increased cost of energy and aluminium.
“Our Aussie craft breweries produce some of the best beer in the world and collectively are one of the biggest employers in the drink’s sector.
“They are an integral part of their local communities, and we would love to see all Aussies continue to support their local and make craft one of their beverages of choice.”