The GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers Poll has proven it can deliver benefits to a brewery far beyond simple bragging rights.
Pirate Life’s explosion into the poll two years ago brought a massive sales spike for the company, according to founder Michael Cameron.
“After the results were announced, the phone did not stop ringing and email enquiries flooded in,” he said at the time.
“In my opinion it’s a much more valuable recognition than peer judged awards as it’s the general public that vote and it has a far greater impact on sales.”
Last year’s poll results undoubtedly boosted the profile of another relatively new brewery in Gold Coast’s Balter, which had its XPA debut in fourth place.
This time last year, Balter was edging towards annual volume of 800,000 litres. With the Hottest 100 honours under its belt, the company is on track to brew 1.6 million litres in year two.
“The Hottest 100 was a shining moment for us in our short history. To get fourth just ten months after selling our first keg was a huge honour,” co-founder Stirling Howland told Brews News.
“We can’t really tell if it resulted in an increase in sales as we’re such a young brewery that’s growing anyway, but it definitely hasn’t hurt our reputation, that’s for sure.”
BentSpoke Brewing founder Richard Watkins is also reluctant to put a direct value on his brewery’s debut last year with two beers, Barley Griffin (19th) and Crankshaft (eight), making the top 20.
But he is certain the result has eased the Canberra brewery’s expanded distribution into New South Wales and Victoria, including ranging in Dan Murphy’s stores.
“We really were selling 98 per cent of our beer in Canberra at that point,” Watkins told Brews News.
“We definitely got a lot more people looking at the poll who thought they’d try some different beers that were in the poll.
“It certainly made a big difference for us,” he said.
Poll results crucial: Dan Murphy’s
Dan Murphy’s is a major partner of the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers, which the retailer says has become highly informative for its buying decisions.
“Being a people’s choice vote, we really consider the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers to be one of the best guides to what beers, brands and styles are capturing the attention of Australia’s beer lovers,” says Dan Murphy’s business manager – beer, Billy Ryan.
“The annual list gives us a fantastic reference to consider in what we stock and sell, particularly across specific regions.
“In the past 12 months, we’ve had great success with beers from the likes of BentSpoke, Balter, Pirate Life, Kaiju!, and are always looking to introduce new craft beers both in-store and online.
“It’s something we’re very proud to support and we’re really looking forward to seeing the results of the 2017 poll,” says Ryan.
Voting closes at 11.59pm AEST on Friday 19 January 2018. Click here to vote.