James Halliday Article: The Year In Beer 2012

January 10, 2013, by Crafty Pint

James Halliday Article: The Year In Beer 2012

Upon launching in 2011, James Halliday’s Wine Companion Magazine asked The Crafty Pint to pen an article on the story of Australian craft beer. Since then, they’ve continued to support the local craft beer scene with a feature article every edition plus plenty of other coverage. We’ve posted some of the earlier articles on this site here, here and here.

For the final edition of 2012, they asked if we would roundup the year in Australian beer and also select the best beers of the year. “Of course,” we said, although balked at producing a straight out “Best of…” list. We balked for a number of reasons. Ours is only one opinion among many and the Crafty palate is no match for the country’s brewers and beer judges, while despite our best efforts, it is impossible to try every single beer released in such a vast country, especially with so many released in tiny batches and never leaving their host brewery.

Still, we like a challenge and offered instead to produce ten “Top Fives” that covered different aspects of the current beer scene from old favourites to hop bombs and the newer wave of funky beers. We went back and forth, adding beers here and pulling others out, before landing on a 50 we’re happy with, even if there are a few we still regret leaving out. What it highlighted above all else was that we need to try even harder to get out and try even more beers. There’s even been discussion within the Crafty team as to whether, if we prepare the ground in advance and get the nation’s brewers to help us out, we could actually sample every single commercial Australian release in 2014. It would be tough, but if someone has to do it…

Anyway, the Halliday article… You can read it in full by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, you can head to a decent newsagent and pick up a copy by paying for it the old-fashioned way as the latest edition contains 13-plus pages dedicated to craft beer; in a climate where certain prominent food and drink publications seem to have forgotten that craft beer exists, this is to be applauded and supported.


Or, if you’re really, really lazy, you can peruse the ten top fives below (but you’ll have to at least click the link above to find out what we said about them).

Here’s to another huge year for craft beer!

Remember, you’ve got just a few days to vote in the latest Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer Poll, which you can do here. You can also stay in touch with the Halliday mag via Twitter or Facebook.

Beers of the Year

Nail Brewing Clout Stout
Feral Hop Hog
Temple Midnight IPA
Mountain Goat / Mikkeller Gypsy & The Goat
Stone & Wood Pacific Ale

Old Faithfuls

Little Creatures Pale Ale
Knappstein Reserve Lager
Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale
Coopers Best Extra Stout
James Squire Jack of Spades Porter

Mine’s A Pint

4 Pines Stout
Mountain Goat Hightail
Hargreaves Hill Extra Special Bitter
Moo Brew Dark Ale
Two Birds Sunset Ale

Summer Refreshers

Murray’s Punch & Judy
Cowaramup Pilsner
Illawarra Koelsch
Feral White
Kooinda Karaka Belgian Witbier

Hop Bombs

Bright Brewery MIA IPA
Kooinda Black IPA
Murray’s Icon 2IPA
Burleigh Brewing FIGJAM IPA
Mornington Peninsula Brewery Imperial IPA

Big, Dark Beasts

Hargreaves Hill Russian Imperial Stout
Murray’s Heart of Darkness
Red Hill Imperial Stout
Holgate Empress
Bacchus Brewing Rum Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter

Belgian Beauties

Bridge Road Saison
Red Hill Temptation
Mad Abbot Tripel
Murray’s Punk Monk
Lobethal Devil’s Choice

Collaboration Crazy

Bridge Road Brewers / Mikkeller Dark Harvest
Temple Brewery & Brasserie / Weihenstephan Unifikator
Bridge Road Brewers / Nogne O India Saison
Moon Dog / Yeastie Boys Peter Piper’s Pickled Pepper Purple Peated Pale Ale AKA 7Ps
Women of Beer Ninkasi’s Angel

And Now For Something Completely Different

Mountain Goat / Seven Seeds Seedy Goat Coffee IPA
Seven Sheds Bass Strait IPA
Dr’s Orders Plasma White IPA
Burleigh Black Giraffe
Red Duck Ra #2

Bring Da Funk

Feral Watermelon Warhead
La Sirene Saison
Temple Saison de Miel
Moon Dog Perverse Sexual Amalgam
Red Duck Gruiter


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