Pub-loving tradies froth over a more refreshing hottest 100 for Aus Day weekend

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

While the Australia Day weekend has traditionally been synonymous with the popular Triple J hottest 100, pub-loving tradies were listening out for a different type of countdown on Saturday.

The GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer People’s Choice poll has quickly become the drink of choice for booze chuggers nationwide.

Each year, craft beer lovers are asked to select their five favourite brews, and the results are then ranked to crown Australia’s craft-making king.

This weekend’s 16th celebration of Aussie brewing excellence saw a whopping 1,877 different beers attract votes, with Mountain Culture Beer Co’s Status Quo Pale Ale beating them all to retain its title as Australia’s favourite for the second year in a row.

Hailing from the NSW Blue Mountain’s Status Quo is a juicy New England-style pale ale for hop lovers who love a full-flavoured tropical touch.

Launched by husband and wife team DJ and Harriet McCready, the Katoomba-based brewery didn’t open its doors until 2019, with its award-winning American-style beer quickly becoming one of the nation’s favourites.

Despite being the reigning craft beer champs, co-owner DJ said the five-hour countdown, live-streamed to pubs and watch parties around the country, was no less nerve-wracking.

“This is insane. I did not expect us to get here again this year,” DJ said.

“I thought it would be less stressful. It wasn’t less stressful. It was more stressful.”

“We’re the luckiest people alive. Thank you all so much.”

The poll attracted tens of thousands of voters from across Australia, with 436 different Aussie breweries with at least one beer nominated.

The final 100 saw plenty of newcomers break into the countdown list, with 28 brews replaced by new fan favourites.

Two previous champions took the second and third positions on the podium, with Mick Fanning’s Gold Coast based Balter XPA finishing second, and Canberra’s BentSpoke Crankshaft IPA finishing third.

The Top 10 had two new entrants in WA’s Gage Roads Brewing Co Single Fin and SA’s Pirate Life Brewing’s South Coast Pale Ale, making the best of the best.

GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer TOP TEN

  1. Mountain Culture Beer Co – Status Quo
  2. Balter Brewing – Balter XPA
  3. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Crankshaft
  4. Your Mates Brewing Co – Larry
  5. Bridge Road Brewers – Beechworth Pale Ale
  6. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Single Fin Summer Ale
  7. Coopers Brewery – Original Pale Ale
  8. Stone Wood Brewing Co – Pacific Ale
  9. Young Henrys – Newtowner
  10. Pirate Life Brewing – South Coast Pale Ale

GABS Hottest 100 sponsor, First Choice Liquor, said the countdown was a welcome celebration of Australia’s craft industry excellence, which has endured a challenging time in recent years.

“This year’s winners are an excellent representation of the quality craft beer being made around the country. It’s clear pale ale remains a favourite, with Aussies clearly voting for solid, consistent brews that are true to their style,” said Head of First Choice Liquor Market Michael Bornholdt.

“Craft fans looking to taste the award-winning beers can head to our national First Choice Liquor Market stores and online, where we stock the vast majority of the Hottest 100, with the GABS Summer Invitational pack featuring eight summer-inspired styles also on offer for a limited time.”

You can find the complete GABS Hottest 100 list here.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.