Craft Beer H100: The Bars

December 3, 2010, by Crafty Pint
Craft Beer H100: The Bars

With Australia’s first beer restaurant, Josie Bones, ready to throw its doors open to the public on Wedneday, this week’s look back at the best beers of 2010 comes with a twist. Instead of brewers, we’ve approached bar owners and the people who design beer lists at some of the venues on The Crafty Pint for their views. They probably get to sample more beers than anyone else in the industry so could no doubt write their individual Hottest 100s if pushed.

We’ve kept them to just five, which is all you have to come up with to take part in the third annual Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer poll run by The Local Taphouse. If you’re still keeping your powder dry like Crafty in case something amazing appears in the coming weeks, these should still get the mouth watering; if you’re ready to vote, head here and get typing. First up, the bar manager from original Local Taphouse itself, in St Kilda who’s approached his choice as “If I could only have 5 Australian beers to drink for the rest of my life, what would they be?"

Justin Joiner – The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Murray’s Icon 2IPA

My favourite Australian brewed beer since I first tasted it a couple of years ago. Big and hoppy but balanced and moreish. When we have it on tap here I general leave the car at home for a week or so.

Feral Hop Hog IPA

My favourite from what is an amazing range. A brilliant example of a big American IPA from probably the best craft brewery in Australia.

Knappstein Reserve Lager

Chock full of Sauvin hops – and has been since before they were cool. Easily the most interesting and flavoursome lager brewed in Australia – despite the fact its owned by one of the big guys.

Hargreaves Hill Phoenix Imperial Red Ale

The best beer to come out of Hargreaves Hill's new brewery. A massive Imperial Red Ale with balance the belies the alcohol content.

Bridge Road Chevalier Saison

A style that's as rare as hens teeth in Australia, this one is as delicious as it is unique.

Chris Badenoch – Josie Bones



Chris’s number one pick doesn’t actually meet the criteria for the Hottest 100 poll as it was only available at the recent Australian National Homebrewers Conference, not commercially. The Artisan Tripel brewed by Michael Meissner is, he says: “a fantastic indication of the direction of our next wave of craft brewers”. In terms of those brewed in 2010 by the current crop, he chose:

Mountain Goat Rare Breed Double Hightail

Hightail for hop-smashed palates. Great integration, great drinking, and true to the original Melbourne style that Cam and Dave began.

Burleigh Brewing Black Giraffe, Black Coffee Lager

A black lager out of Queensland that just happens to be brilliant. Strange but true.

Kooinda Pale Ale

In our opinion these guys are the benchmark for pale ales in Australia. A cracker of a beer.

Two Metre Tall, Huon Dark Ale

This dry, funky ale may not be to everybody’s taste but this is unarguably one hell of an interesting beer, and a magic match with certain foods, especially a good charcuterie selection. Yum!


Ed Harley – Royston and The Terminus 

who’s gone for “hoppy and toasty goodness”.

Red Hill Imperial Stout

Feral Hop Hog

Mountain Goat Double IPA

Moo Brew Stout

Bridge Rd B2 Bomber

Barney Matthews – Beer DeLuxe

Barney set himself a few guidelines. “I believe IPAs and imperial stouts aren't going to cause a revolutionary shift in beer drinking patterns and help the masses switch from mainstream to craft beer,” he says. As a result, he’s gone for beers that:

  • have helped introduce craft beer as an alternative to mainstream beer products;
  • have challenged perceptions of beer amongst craft beer drinkers; and
  • are consistent in high quality and availability.

Mountain Goat Hightail Ale

Temple Brewing Saison

True South New World Pilsner

Murray’s Punch & Judy

White Rabbit White Ale

Marty McQuilten – Atticus Finch

“Frustrated writer, eh?” suggests Marty of his entry. Judge for yourself!




Hawthorn Pale Ale

Will be fantastic when it’s actually brewed in Hawthorn, but reckon they’ve nailed the total package & achieved what many have attempted: an easy drinking beer that actually tastes of something. Crisp, dry, good malt & a sharp label to boot, although the colour scheme of the new pilsner is a little chicken Twisties for my liking. A good deal better on tap.

Kooinda Pale Ale

Many more brewers can learn from these Rosanna boys. Just do one beer and do it well. A really quite intense beer that is neither too busy nor overly floral. Beautifully balanced malt & refreshing with its crisp, bitter, hoppy finish. Good craft beer label too.

Mountain Goat IPA

An occasional brew and what a cracker. No longer trying to blow your head off with hops, the boys are now producing a lovely balanced beer, crunchy texture, candied pineapple hints and a gently bitter, hoppy finish. Outstanding.

Holgate “Ladyboy”

A blend of Temptress Chocolate Porter & Nut Brown Ale. If only for the outrageous name that it shares with Tex Perkins backing band for his tour of 70s soft rock covers. Not too rich, suprisingly clean plus macadamia & chocolate, what’s not to love?

Brewboys Ace of Spades Stout

The Croweaters are on fire once more with this beautifully rich winter warmer with the cracking label. Not just slapping you around with big, bold, toasted malts, this has nuance, is a touch floral & has chewy, raspberry liquorice hints. Just try drinking it without singing Motorhead.

Brad Merritt – Oscar’s Alehouse

Holgate ESB

Red Hill Weizenbock

Red Duck Loch Ness

Mountain Goat Double Hightail

2 Brothers James Brown

Ray and Kevin – Biero

Holgate Hopinator

2 Brothers James Brown

Bridge Road B2 Bomber

Moondog Imperial Pumpkin Stout

Murray’s Punch n Judy

You can read about many of these beers in The Crafty Pint’s SPECIALS area or on the respective breweries' pages. Happy voting!

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