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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Friday 19 September 2014

Hottest 100 Beers Of 2011

Crafty Pint / 26.01.12


Congratulations Stone & Wood on adding this year’s Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers title to the Critic’s Choice award they picked up last year. Is there no stopping the Pacific Ale juggernaut? And why would anyone want to? The Byron Bay brewed cracker won by a huge margin, picking up 11.5 per cent of total votes; one in eight of all voters included the beer in their top five. As a result, there was a big gap between first and second, then a pretty tight spread covering two to ten.

The Pacific Ale (whose creator Brad Rogers is pictured above enjoying a Pacific straight from the tank) headed up an impressive top ten in The Local Taphouse’s latest running of the poll, with old favourite Little Creatures Pale maintaining its strong showing and serial trophy winner, Feral’s Hop Hog, completing the top three. The success of Creatures Big Dipper should encourage the Freo brewer to keep pumping out Single Batches, while it was a pretty hop heavy top ten, with the guys at Kooinda once again punching well above their weight; where last year their Pale secured a surprise fifth, here their Full Nelson Black IPA – a truly uncompromising beer – hit the number eight spot, just behind last year’s number one, Vale Ale.

Kooinda’s wasn’t the only Black IPA to hit the list, with the Thorny Goat rating highly and Feral’s Karma Citra and Murray’s Shawn’s Fault also making an appearance, alongside plenty of IPAs, IIPAs and Goat’s Seedy Goat coffee IPA. Several breweries or brewing companies made three or more appearances – Bridge Road, 4 Pines, Mountain Goat, Vale, Murray’s, Little Creatures, Moo Brew, Hawthorn, Kooinda, Holgate, Mornington Peninsula Brewery and The Grove.

There were also first appearances for newcomers including Moon Dog, Four Hearts, Thirsty Crow, Pinchgut, Two Birds and Yowie Lager. Thousands of votes were cast (we don’t have the final figures from The Local Taphouse yet) for around 850 beers; hopefully much discussion and tasting of Aussie craft beers was encouraged by the poll too. Anyway, enough prattling on – here’s the full list:

Thanks to Andrew Mitchell for putting the poll together, The Local Taphouse crew for conceiving the idea and running with it the past few years, and Brews News for helping publicise this year’s poll and making it the biggest yet.


Beer drinker — 26 January at 12:28PM

Because beers are brewed here does that make them Australian? Eg Matilda Bay and Malt Shovel... Arent Australian beers, Australian owned?

Foster's Group brews Guinness, Stella Artois, Kronenbourg and Carlsberg in Australia; while Lion Nathan locally produces Heineken, Beck's and Kirin. Are these Australian beers?

Another Beer drinker — 26 January at 12:45PM

You raise a valid point... if it was just the Australian beer poll.

Unfortunately you seem to have missed the words "Craft Beer" on the poll, and the many many occurrences on this site itself.

Shaun — 26 January at 01:08PM

40% of Little Creatures owned by Lion Nathan who are 100% Japanese Kirin Owned

We all cool with this being included?

ben — 26 January at 01:36PM

Fair dinkum! We're not even 20 beers in and you guys want to get all political about it. Just enjoy the poll and the results. Let's leave the pontification for later shall we? Cheers for the beers.

Crafty Pint — 26 January at 01:45PM

What ben said!

Rian — 26 January at 02:29PM

Gotta say, a little disappointed not to see Cavalier Pale a lot higher... certainly in my top 10 of the year... possibly Australia's greatest Pale Ale.

dwayne — 26 January at 02:35PM

coopers a craft beer? knew i shoulve voted for crown ;)

Pete — 26 January at 03:13PM

It would be really interesting to know how many votes separate the #100 and #1 beer to get an idea of the scale of the poll...

Crafty Pint — 26 January at 03:23PM

Pete: Will have some info at the close of the poll. Can ask about that level of detail, but will be able to provide some context.

Cynic — 26 January at 06:46PM

Out the brewery who repeatedly voted for their own beers!
Does their name start with Mc? & En?

Ryan — 26 January at 07:12PM

It's a social media competition, nothing more. Wouldn't let it bug you Cynic. It bugged me last year, but ultimately, this won't change the drinking habits of those in the know.

Rian — 26 January at 07:39PM

hahaha what ^^ this guy said...

kamikaze — 26 January at 08:29PM

So Feral win best Australian beer considering Little Creatures are 40% Kirin and Stone and wood are 20% Little Creatures. Good beer but not 100% Australian.

It's Australia Day and 91% of our beer is not Australian.

Good beer stone and wood but best Australian beer feral.

Rian — 26 January at 08:31PM

a much less disappointing top ten than the triple j hottest 100... well done to S&W and a particular well done to the Full Nelson, which was my beer of the year.

Melbourne drinker — 26 January at 09:39PM

Hey Crafty, can you put the state of origin / town / suburb / whatever next to each on the list? I've never heard of Thirsty Crow or The Grove - would like to know where to get them and at the very least the state would be a good starter.


Melbourne drinker — 26 January at 09:40PM

D'oh, I skipped the article originally and went to the list, should have read the article first ;)

Steve — 26 January at 10:10PM

Congrats to Brad and the team at Stone & Wood. It's a solid beer that defies beer show category definitions, but such a flavoursome beer. I helped out there for a week this year and it surprised me how much they are pushing this beer out the door to meet demand. That in itself is the biggest testament to how good this beer is. Well done team S&W!

The Grove is in the Margaret river region of WA, and brewed off a 90 L system. Unless you're at the cellar door 'Melbourne drinker' it's very unlikely you'l get any! Nick the brewer is the master larrakin, great guy, always up for a chat. Congrats Nick!

Docker shocker — 26 January at 10:27PM

Are there any WA breweries...? little creatures and feral? Wa breweries need to crack the east coast more?

Tim Wills — 27 January at 09:19AM

Well done Stone & Wood Brew Crew!! I look forward with hoppy anticipation of how many ore choices we will have by next year!

I do think some are confusing ownership with origin. If I bought shares in Brew Dog is it no longer a Scottish beer because I live in Australia?

Leon — 27 January at 02:01PM

I'd be interested to see the state by state breakdown of votes. I suspect the results would look very different if availably of different beers wasn't an issue.
Well done to Stone & Wood and also Kooinda with my pick in at number 8.

Simon — 27 January at 02:14PM

Does it not seem strange as to how well McLaren Vale Brewing Co always do so well in these polls?
Vale Ale, which is quite widely regarded as being mediocre at best, came in at 7.
Vale IPA and Dark, although both quite nice beers, have only been available for a matter of months, and came in at 11 and 30.
Vale Dry, which is quite widely regarded as being pretty ordinary, came in at 39.
I know they put a lot of money into marketing, but this still seems odd in a poll voted by people who really know beer. I'm not pointing fingers, but I'm pointing fingers.

Julie Smith — 27 January at 03:02PM

Oh my God! Surely this list isn't serious!!!

Matt Allen — 27 January at 03:25PM

A bit disappointing to not see any from my fav brewery of 2011, Van Diemans. When I tried their beers in Tassie, I was blown away (Jacob's Ladder and Stack's Bluff being two great examples). Recommend to any beer lovers out there.

Julie Smith — 27 January at 04:44PM friends and l dont see any of the beers we drink on the list. This is totally weird.....who votes and how many vote? 4 PINES are offering me free beer now if l voted...didn't. Nor did hubby. What's going on here fella's!!????

Sudsley — 29 January at 01:00AM

As little lay lay would say "C'mon"! the pacific ale is a very girly floral hopped wimpy beer. Dare i say for the homo-erotic late night sbs viewing crowd. But i digress, excellent choice at number three with the hop hog. We are learning slowly here in Oz. Lets make and drink more American IPAs and pale ales. Sad to say but West Coast USA (ie cali) making the best beers in the world ATM (ie at the moment, not ass to mouth you sick puppies).

Alebuff — 01 February at 02:28AM

Its just a popularity vote. Those in the know know the "best" beers wont win. After all, not many of the voters will even have had a chance to get close to sampling "Villagers Imperial Stout, or "One Man's Double IPA", as they are local and dont get pushed around the country, so wont know to vote for them. The well-connected brewers with back-up funding and advertising prowess have a very clear advantage. Maybe there is a case for categorising, e.g. most popular overall, favourite from a 100% Aussie brewer, best from a small producer (< XX litres), etc etc, before or after the polls.

Josh — 01 February at 06:22PM

My #1 didn't make the list: Murray's The Natural. That wouldn't stop me buying a box of it from the brewery.

Good to see Thirsty Crow in Wagga Wagga make #29. Had the Vanilla Milk Stout recently and it was good enough to get in my top 5 too. I'm sure being recognised with a gold at the AIBAs was better marketing than being on this list though.

David Warwick — 02 February at 07:48AM

Of course it's not a level playing field for two reasons:
1. Distribution - Little Creatures, Matilda Bay, Cooper's and Malt Shovel/James Squire sit somewhere in the middle of the majors and the micros because they are in so many more venues and bottleshops/supermarkets and their production is much greater. They all make good beers, but the market has so much more access to them.
2. Not everyone is trying the same beer. I've tried 66 of the beers on the list. There are around 280 breweries in Australia brewering, at a rough estimate, an average of 8 beers each (including seasonals). That's 2,240 differant beers. Pretty hard to compare!
As for Sudsley, let Cal-i-forn-i-a keep there hop driven beers and lets get off the crazy hop fad. 9 out of 10 beer drinkers wouldn't know a Galaxy from an Amarillo. Let the malts and yeasts dominate the flavour. This seems to be supported by the punters with only 10ish strong hop flavoured brews making the list.

Karol — 30 July at 07:56AM

Google Voice is not, a carrier replacer(Well at leazst
not yet). Also, the team has to have an accredited professor heading the team before it
can be fully registered for the challenge. Well, say you run a campaign and you achieve a 5% CTR.

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