Say Cheers to 2017's Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers

You've heard 2017's best songs — now drink the year's best brews.
Sarah Ward
Published on January 28, 2018

Think there's just one Hottest 100 in January? Think again. The second important countdown of the month actually goes rather well with the music poll that just proclaimed Kendrick Lamar's 'HUMBLE' the nation's best track of 2017. In the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers list, great brews are in the spotlight. And, just like its music counterpart, a new victor has come out on top.

That'd be Balter Brewing Company, the Gold Coast-based outfit part-owned by surfers Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge. It beat Stone & Wood — the winner of both the 2015 and 2016 polls — to the number one spot, jumping up from fourth last time around in only the brewery's second year of operation. They also had five beers in total in the 2017 list. Now that's something to toast to, ideally with their winning 'XPA' American Pale Ale in your glass.

Clearly, plenty of folks did just that throughout 2017. Run by GABS — or the annual brew fest also known as the 'Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular' — the countdown is a 'people's choice' poll is decided by booze-lovers around the country.

Elsewhere on the list, 24 brews that first wet lips in the past year were included in the GABS Hottest 100, and 71 from indie brewers as well. If you're particularly keen on either, GABS have also released rundowns of the Hottest 100 New Craft Beers and the Hottest 100 Indie Craft Beers, plus the next 100 from the main countdown.

If you're thinking "less background, more beer", here's what you've been waiting for: the rundown of the best beverages from the past year that just keep tempting tastebuds. Working your way through them isn't just a great way to show your appreciation for locally made brews — consider it research for the 2018 countdown.


  1. 'XPA' American Pale Ale (Balter, QLD)*
  2. 'Pacific Ale' Australian Pale Ale (Stone & Wood, NSW)*
  3. 'Crankshaft' American IPA (BentSpoke, ACT)*
  4. 'Newtowner' Australian Pale Ale (Young Henrys, NSW)*
  5. 'Single Fin' International Pale Ale (Gage Roads, WA)*
  6. 'Mosaic' American IPA (Pirate Life, SA) NEW
  7. 'IPA' American IPA (Balter, QLD)* NEW
  8. 'Jedi Juice' New England IPA (Hop Nation, VIC)* NEW GABS
  9. 'Beechworth Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (Bridge Road, VIC)*
  10. 'KRUSH!' American Pale Ale (KAIJU!, VIC)*
  11. 'Little Dove' International Pale Ale (Gage Roads, WA)*
  12. 'Former Tenant' Red IPA (Modus Operandi, NSW)*
  13. 'IIPA' Double IPA (Pirate Life, SA)
  14. 'Hop Hog' American Pale Ale (Feral, WA)
  15. 'IPA' American IPA (Pirate Life, SA)
  16. 'Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (4 Pines, NSW)
  17. 'Juicy' New England IPA (3 Ravens, VIC)* NEW
  18. 'Future Factory' Double IPA (Modus Operandi, NSW)* NEW
  19. 'Back To The Brewer' New England IPA (Mountain Goat, VIC) NEW
  20. 'Pale Ale' Australian Pale Ale (Black Hops, QLD)* NEW
  21. 'Sonic Prayer' American IPA (Modus Operandi, NSW)*
  22. 'One Fifty Lashes' Australian Pale Ale (James Squire, NSW)
  23. 'Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (Pirate Life, SA)
  24. 'Sprocket' American IPA (BentSpoke, ACT)* NEW
  25. 'Coast Ale' California Common (Capital, ACT)*
  26. 'Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (Little Creatures, WA/VIC)
  27. 'Barley Griffin' Australian Pale Ale (BentSpoke, ACT)*
  28. 'Trail Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (Capital, ACT)*
  29. 'Wild Yak' Australian Pale Ale (Yak Ales, VIC)
  30. 'IPA' American IPA (Fixation, NSW)*
  31. 'VPA' American Pale Ale (Nail, WA)*
  32. 'War Hog' American IPA (Feral, WA)
  33. 'XPA' International Pale Ale (Philter, NSW)* NEW
  34. 'Vanilla Milk Stout' Sweet Stout (Thirsty Crow, NSW)*
  35. 'Atomic' American Pale Ale (Gage Roads, WA)*
  36. 'Windjammer' American IPA (Green Beacon, QLD)*
  37. 'Kolsch' Kölsch (4 Pines, NSW)
  38. 'Furphy Refreshing Ale' Kölsch (Furphy, VIC)
  39. 'India Red Ale' Specialty IPA (Prancing Pony, SA)*
  40. 'The Matriarch' New England IPA (CoConspirators, VIC)* NEW
  41. 'Indian Summer Ale' Australian Pale Ale (4 Pines, NSW)
  42. 'Throwback' American IPA (Pirate Life, SA)
  43. 'Pilsner' German Pilsner (Balter, QLD)* NEW
  44. 'Korben D.' Double IPA (Akasha, NSW)*
  45. 'Golden Stout Time' Sweet Stout (Big Shed, SA)* GABS
  46. 'Cloud Catcher' Australian Pale Ale (Stone & Wood, NSW)*
  47. 'Twisted Palm' American Pale Ale (Burleigh, QLD)*
  48. 'Bling' American IPA (Bridge Road, VIC)*
  49. 'Three Sheets' Australian Pale Ale (Lord Nelson, NSW)*
  50. 'Mount Tennent' American Pale Ale (Pact, ACT)*
  51. 'The Mountie' Specialty Beer (Stockade, NSW)* NEW GABS
  52. 'Squish' Specialty IPA (Fixation, NSW)* NEW
  53. 'Wayfarer' American Wheat (Green Beacon, QLD)*
  54. 'Hopsmith' American IPA (Akasha, NSW)*
  55. 'Hornet' American IPA (Black Hops, QLD)* NEW
  56. '3 Bolt' American Pale Ale (Green Beacon, QLD)*
  57. 'Summer Hop Ale' American IPA (Young Henrys, NSW)*
  58. 'Small Ale' American Pale Ale (Colonial, WA/VIC)*
  59. 'Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (Colonial, WA/VIC)*
  60. 'Steam Ale' California Common (Mountain Goat, VIC)
  61. 'Natural Lager' Pale Kellerbier (Young Henrys, NSW)*
  62. 'Dark Ale' Porter (White Rabbit, VIC)
  63. 'Spearhead' Australian Pale Ale (Cricketers Arms, VIC)
  64. 'Fat Yak' Australian Pale Ale (Yak Ales, VIC)
  65. 'IPA' Specialty IPA (Colonial, WA/VIC)*
  66. 'Pale' American Pale Ale (Modus Operandi, NSW)*
  67. 'Dog Days' Australian Pale Ale (Little Creatures, WA/VIC)
  68. 'Evil Eye' Red IPA (Capital, ACT)*
  69. 'Pale Ale' Australian Pale Ale (Kosciuszko, NSW)
  70. 'Taco' Specialty Beer (Two Birds, VIC)* GABS
  71. 'Old Mate' American Pale Ale (Moon Dog, VIC)*
  72. 'Summer Ale' Blonde Ale (Mountain Goat, VIC)
  73. 'Garden Ale' Australian Pale Ale (Stone & Wood, NSW)*
  74. 'Hazelnut Brown Ale' English Brown Ale (Bad Shepherd, VIC)*
  75. 'Tusk' Double IPA (Feral, WA)
  76. 'Hazy Craze' New England IPA (White Lies, QLD)* NEW
  77. 'Session IPA' Specialty IPA (Modus Operandi, NSW)*
  78. 'Aftermath' Double IPA (KAIJU!, VIC)*
  79. 'TPP Strong Pale Ale' American Pale Ale (Pirate Life [SA] / Ballast Point [USA]) NEW
  80. 'Vanilla Malt Thickshake' Winter Seasonal Beer (Pirate Life, SA) NEW GABS
  81. 'The Punch' Gose (Hop Nation, VIC)*
  82. 'Juicy Banger' Dry Hopped Lager (Blackman's, VIC)* NEW
  83. 'Biggie Juice' New England IPA (Feral, WA) NEW
  84. '7 Bells' Gose (Green Beacon, QLD)* NEW
  85. 'Blood Orange New England Rye IPA' New England IPA (Dainton, VIC)* NEW
  86. 'The Swindler' Australian Pale Ale (James Squire, NSW) NEW
  87. '28' American Pale Ale (Burleigh, QLD)*
  88. 'India Pale Lager' Pale Lager (Beerfarm, WA)*
  89. 'Bighead' Pale Lager (Burleigh, QLD)*
  90. 'Black Metal Disco' Sweet Stout (Balter, QLD)* NEW
  91. 'Passion Victim' Australian Pale Ale (Two Birds, VIC)* NEW
  92. 'Robust Porter' Porter (Bridge Road, VIC)*
  93. 'Session Ale' Australian Pale Ale (Mismatch, SA)*
  94. 'Pale' American Pale Ale (Mornington Peninsula, VIC)*
  95. '8bit' American IPA (Stockade, NSW)*
  96. 'Alt Brown' American Brown Ale (Balter, QLD)*
  97. 'Sparkling Ale' Australian Sparkling Ale (Coopers, SA)*
  98. 'Bright Ale' Australian Pale Ale (Little Creatures, WA/VIC)
  99. 'Little Bling' Specialty IPA (Bridge Road, VIC)*
  100. 'Rogers' American Amber Ale (Little Creatures, WA/VIC)

* — Brewed by an independent brewery.
NEW — First brewed in 2017.
GABS — Brewed especially for GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest.

Image: Balter Brewing Company.

Published on January 28, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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