In The Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2013, the top 3 remained the same as last year’s poll, with Stone & Wood Pacific Ale in second and Little Creatures Pale Ale in third.
WA and NSW tied up the top 5 places, with odd numbers to WA (1. Feral Hop Hog, 3. Little Creatures Pale Ale, 5. Little Creatures IPA) and evens to NSW (2. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, 4. 4 Pines Pale Ale).
Overall, Victorian beers dominated the annual people’s poll. Victoria secured 47* places, starting from number 6 with Mountain Goat’s canned Summer Ale (first released only a few months ago), well beyond NSW with 23, then WA with 11 and QLD with 10 beers.
Victoria – 47 beers
New South Wales – 23 beers
Western Australia – 11 beers
Queensland – 10 beers
South Australia – 9 beers
Once again, the ACT and NT were not represented, joined by Tasmania which was represented by 2 beers last year but missed out this year.
Bridge Road Brewers was the most featured brewery, with 7 beers in the poll, a feat they also achieved last year. Equal second were Feral Brewing, Mountain Goat, Holgate Brewhouse and all with 6 beers. Stone & Wood featured 5 times, which is a notable effort as they only have 5 beers in their range.
Also worthy of a special congratulations is Steve “Hendo” Henderson who started his own brewing venture, Brewcult, in 2013. Three of the four Brewcult beers that have been bottled and released by Brewcult since its launch in February 2013 scored a spot in this year’s Hottest 100, with Supa Fly Rye IPA (#26), Hop Zone Session Ale (#53) and Can’t Fight The Funk Farmhouse Ale (#82). Only the ‘Acid Freaks’ Balsamic Vinegar Baltic Porter missed out.
Ranking beers by style is no longer a straightforward task, with so many sub and pseudo craft beer styles. What is an IPA these days?
The winner, Feral Hop Hop, was an India Pale Ale until late last year, when it was rebranded as just a Pale Ale yet the word “India” still remains on the label but is crossed out. So is it an IPA or Pale Ale? Then there’s the no-style of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, do I count it as a Pale Ale, Summer Ale, Golden Ale or…Pacific Ale? I’ll leave the analysis of style to others, but it is clear that Pale Ale and IPAs (including imperial, black, rye and Belgian versions) dominate the list, making up well over half the list.
All in all, the Local Taphouse Hottest 100 poll provides a fun snapshot of Aussie beer each Australia Day, and makes us all a little thirst for another round of flavoursome quality beer.
How did your favourites fair this year?
*The Victorian count includes Two Birds Brewing, who have brewed their beers under contract in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales, as well as basing their business operations in both Melbourne and Sydney. However, with their brewing originating in Victoria, and there recent announcement of establishing their own brewing facility in Melborune’s west, they have been counted as Victorian in this context.