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Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2015 – The Results

January 26, 2016

19 Responses to Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2015 – The Results

  1. Mike on January 29, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I can’t believe Kooinda Milk Porter is not even on the top 200, let alone the top 100. All other reputable lists have this very well rated.

    This nice drop would easily sit in the top 20, for proper “craft” beer lists.

  2. Damo on January 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I actually can’t believe that the number two biggest contributor to growth in the craft beer category doesn’t not even get a mention in the top 100 or 101-200 craft beers – Cricketers Arms! How is that even possible? People have voted by drinking Cricketers yet no mention? Mmm something is NQR here…

    • Editor on January 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      And the moon landings were faked too Damo. I’m not sure why you think beers like Fat Yak, James Squire, and Yenda made it in – as did Cricketers Arms’s sister brand Mountain Goat – and yet there was a conspiracy against Cricketers Arms. Where’s the motive for excluding the one brand? I would love to see your stats to support the claim it is “number two biggest contributor to growth in the craft beer category” though.

      • Damo on January 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm

        To be clear I never mentioned anything about Fat Yak, James Squire or Yenda in my comments, so not sure where you got that from. Nor did I say there was a conspiracy, I simply asked why Cricketers wasn’t in there given its contribution to growth. (Craft Beer – Top 10 Super brands by contribution to growth QTR to November 2015 Value Growth vs.YA)that was presented to me the other day. Happy to go through this with you. PM me and I will happily share the data with you.

        • Editor on January 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

          I can only assume Cricketers wasn’t there because people didn’t vote for it. I’ll email you to chat about the stats, cheers, Matt

  3. Patrick Keogh on January 27, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I guess one key consideration is one of availability. If you look at the Triple J hottest 100, all the songs are more or less available to all those who vote. So those who voted for the #1 are also likely to have heard the entries that are at #50 and #100.

    In the “craft” beers hottest 100, you have everything from a beer that is produced by one of the large factory brewers, available both on tap and packaged, in almost every location in Australia to others such as the Bentspoke Crankshaft (inter alia) where you have to actually walk through the doors in Canberra to taste it. For this reason it accurately a measure of popularity, but not of quality.

    That’s OK, so long as we recognise it for what it is.

    • Editor on January 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks for weighing in Patrick, glad you enjoyed the countdown. The one thing I would add though is ‘quality’ is as subjective a term as ‘craft’. In terms of production quality and fault prevention, the big guys have few peers. Their beers tend to target a wider market though and tend to have a little less ‘personality’ (another adjective rife for semantic debate!) and so by ‘quality’ I think you mean something a little less tangible, perhaps ‘characterful’?

      • Patrick Keogh on January 28, 2016 at 5:14 pm

        No, I am not implying that because a beer is produced in volume and is produced by a multinational it is poor quality. I make no comment on the quality of the product. My point is just that an adequate quality product with national distribution and marketing will always score higher in this kind of poll than an exceptional quality beer that is only available on Wednesdays on King Island. The former will be popular with a large number of drinkers compared to the latter simply because of market reach (not to mention the marketing machine which helps to garner votes).

        So if we have two beers that are otherwise identical and one is available in 50% of the pubs in Australia and the other is only available at the point of production it is easy to predict how they will score comparatively on the poll. That is why I said “For this reason it accurately a measure of popularity, but not of quality.”

        I would in any event question the appellation “craft” being applied to some of these brewers and products, as Dank Bud points out below.

        • Tony on January 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

          Excellent point raised Patrick. I’d happily share a good craft beer with you at any time…

  4. Dank Bud on January 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    The term “Craft Beer” is getting thrown around a little too much when describing some of the terrible attempts named in this list.

    I agree with Steve Warden. This list is not worth the effort.

  5. Tony on January 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

    I’m sorry but this poll has turned into a bit of a joke this year. The last couple of years were showing that syndicates were getting together to keep voting the same three to the top each year but now it seems that Lion Nathan has got their staff together to vote in numbers to get a lot of their very average beers up in the top 100.
    Ok Pacific ale & Hop Hog are ok beers but the best Craft beers around…I don’t think so. As for Pirate life, they must have encouraged a heap of Adelaide people to sit down and vote even if they hadn’t tried their reasonably good drops. How do you get to 3 & 4 on the list in your first year without some sort of internal promotion?
    James Squire – 150 Lashes Pale Ale at number 6 says it all…
    Maybe we should be looking at REAL craft beer brewers Not foreign owned mass produced breweries than churn out the suds..

    • Editor on January 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      I am not sure where the mystery or the conspiracy is. James Squire is the biggest craft beer brand in the market, and 150 Lashes is the best seller. People vote with their wallets everyday…why wouldn’t they vote for it in a beer poll? As for vote rigging, the poll organisers are rigorous in scrutinising the voting for irregularities or evidence of attempts to game the vote. Where they have found it, votes have been negated. They invest a lot of resources into running this each year, I really don’t think they want to see it undermined.

    • Jon on January 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Hop Hog and Pacific Ale have been repeatedly voted by the best beers in Oz by an esteemed panel of judges!


      And with a massive number people stepping up from mainstream lager to their first ‘craft’ beer via Little Creatures Pale, Mountain Goat Steam, Fat Yak, 150 Lashes, you want to excludes these beers and people from the Hottest 100 vote.. That smacks of snobbery to me, the last thing we as craft beer advocates should be doing..

      And as far as I know, breweries are allowed to promote the poll to their fans.. it’s within the rules.

      and FWIW, the Pirate Life beers rate very well on ratings sites so while their marketing efforts might be very good, their beers appear to match the hype.

    • David on January 27, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Your right. How could James Squire 150 lashes get 6th place. Its a terrible beer.
      I bought a bottle of it once and ended up pouring it down the sink.

  6. Patrick Keogh on January 27, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Interesting if you strip the pale ales and IPAs out of it. Lagers, saisons, lambics, porters, pilseners, heavy ales and wheat beers etc. get very little interest it appears.

    With beards being on the way out, I wonder what beer style the hip and trendies will move to next? I look forward to a list where IPAs and pale ales make up around 25% of the choices.

  7. Steve Warden-Hutton on January 26, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Green beacon [email protected] behind fat yak @32and James squire chancer @28- this list should go away and never be made again

  8. Smokey on January 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Get to fuck James Squire 150 Lashes

    • Donny on January 28, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      I’m with you Smokey..

      The problem here seems to be with the definition of “craft beer”. Once you are mass producing in the volumes of James Squires you shouldn’t be on this list (IMHO!).. As for the editors “people voting with their wallets argument”, if Carlton Draft was on the list it would probably win too. Just because people choose it over the bad choices available on tap doesn’t mean they love it.

      • Editor on January 28, 2016 at 4:54 pm

        Would it change your mind if the volumes produced by James Squire wouldn’t see James Squire in the top 10 of craft breweries in the US? I’m not sure that volume automatically matters…unless Sierra Nevada also isn’t a craft brewery because they make too much.

        I’m really not sure why the hate for a beer just because it’s not your personal choice. James Squire is roughly 30$ of the craft beer market, and 150 Lashes is 60% of that volume. That’s a lot of people drinking it, it can’t all be because it was the ‘least bad’ choice. Have you walked past a James Squire brew bar? No-one has forced people into those venues and they are pretty crowded…and voting with their wallets.

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