The top 20 Aussie craft beers

The BentSpoke Crankshaft American IPA was judged the top Aussie craft beer. BentSpoke Brewing Co

“It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.”

Beer occupies an important place in the hearts and stomachs of winemakers and wine judges.

For a wine specialist, it’s surprising how often I’m asked for my tips on the best craft beer.

Winemaking, in Australia at least, is hot and thirsty work. Beer is the reward at the end of a hard day’s yakka.

Likewise, after judging a hundred or so wines a day at a wine show, the last thing you want to slake your thirst is a glass of wine. Beer is the only quencher. And it’s much gentler on acid-ravaged teeth. I’m no dentist, but I suspect it might even be restorative.

For a wine specialist, it’s surprising how often I’m asked for my tips on the best craft beer.

I don’t drink beer often, so I defer to the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2021 poll. Don’t ask me who or what GABS is, but here are the results.

The winner? BentSpoke’s Crankshaft American IPA, brewed in Canberra, was voted Australia’s favourite craft beer of 2021.

In a close finish, second place went to Balter XPA, from the Gold Coast.

Another Canberra brewer, Capital Brewing, grabbed two spots in the top 10 with its XPA taking out the best debut beer.

I was pleased to see that two of my own favourites, Stone & Wood Pacific Ale and Young Henrys Newtowner finished in fourth and tenth places respectively.

Here are the top 20:

1BentSpoke Crankshaft American IPA
2Balter Brewing XPA
3Your Mates Brewing Co Larry
4Stone & Wood Pacific Ale
5Black Hops Brewery G.O.A.T. Hazy IPA
6Better Beer Zero Carb
7Capital Brewing Co Capital XPA
8Ballistic Beer Co Hawaiian Haze Pale Ale
9Capital Brewing Co Coast Ale
10Young Henrys Newtowner Australian Pale Ale
11Coopers Original Pale Ale
12BentSpoke Barley Griffin
13Balter Brewing Hazy
14Bridge Road Brewers Beechworth Pale Ale
15Beerfarm Metricup Royal Haze
16Pirate Life Brewing South Coast Pale Ale
17Gage Roads Brewing Co Single Fin Summer Ale
18Kaiju! Krush! Tropical Pale Ale
19Black Hops Brewery East Coast Haze
20Heaps Normal Quiet XPA (<0.5% alcohol: very good for a low-alcohol beer!)


One thought on “The top 20 Aussie craft beers”

  1. Avatar
    Vin Keller says:

    I live near Margaret River. There’s a lot going on food, wine and beer-wise. And it’s all so good! Unfortunately and sadly, I am to leave here soon (this time for a very traditional wine-making area in S.A.). What is remarkable about MR region are the vast and stunning Jarrah and Karri forests nearby, the quality of the produce, the outstanding Indian Ocean, and the dominance of younger families leading the way here in SW W.A. – Margaret River is surely Australia’s Fountain of Youth. The East has nothing to compare with this (I should know as I’ve lived in every State). I actually believe that you will live longer, healthier and happier in this magnificent region. You cannot lose!! So come on over! And be aware that Jetstar now has a connecting flight to Melbourne, the aerodrome based in Margaret River. Just do it.

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