Over the weekend, millions of Australians tuned in for Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown – and while the results were controversial, to say the least, another very important countdown was also taking place: the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers poll. GABS stands for 'Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular' – and the organisation exists to celebrate all things craft beer and cider.
The poll involved each voter selecting their five favourite craft beers of 2022. A whopping 60,000 voters cast votes for a total of 2,140 different beers from 311 different breweries, confirming that there's a whole lot bubbling in Australia's craft beer industry. Even our PM, Anthony Albanese, cast a vote (but no prizes for guessing what his favourite drop of the year was).
So which tipple took out the top spot? The most votes went to Mountain Culture Beer Co’s Status Quo Pale Ale, brewed by husband and wife team DJ and Harriet McCready from Katoomba in NSW. The silver and bronze awards went to beers from breweries that have both taken titles in these awards before: Mick Fanning’s Balter Brewing XPA (from the Gold Coast) took the second spot, and Bentspoke Crankshaft IPA (from Canberra) took the third.
You might be wondering how Victoria fared this year; our top-ranking tipple was the Beechworth Pale Ale by Bridge Road Brewers, coming in at a not-too-shabby ninth place. It shared the top ten with beers from Stone and Wood, Your Mates Brewing Co., Better Beer, Young Henry’s, Coopers, Bridge Roads and Black Hops Brewing.
New South Wales ended the count with the highest number of popular brews (or maybe just more beer drinkers?) with 28 craft beers in the Hottest 100. Queensland followed with 26; Victoria had 18; Western Australia had 11; the ACT had nine and South Australia had eight.
Thirsty? You can engage in some taste testing to make your own call about what’s good – Dan Murphy's is currently selling a GABS Mixed Pack of 24 awarded beers online.
As well as running these awards, GABS also runs an annual festival celebrating the best brews (read about one of the past festivals, here). This year, Melbourne's event will run from May 19 to 21, so beer lovers, mark your calendars.
You can find the full list of GABS Hottest 100 winners at www.gabshottest100.com.