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Say Cheers to 2018's Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers

You've heard 2018's best songs — now drink the year's best brews.
By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
January 28, 2019
By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
January 28, 2019

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 Sydney band Ocean Alley's 'Confidence' the nation's best track of 2018. In the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers list, great brews are in the spotlight. And, just like its music counterpart, a 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 has again beat Stone & Wood — the winner of both the 2015 and 2016 polls — to the number one spot, claiming victory for the second year in the row.

The label also had three beers in the top ten. Now that's something to toast to, ideally with their winning 'XPA' Extra Pale Ale in your glass.

Clearly, plenty of folks did just that throughout 2018. Run by GABS — or the annual brew fest also known as the 'Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular' — the countdown is a people's choice poll decided by booze-lovers around the country, with a record 31,000 voters taking part this time round.

Elsewhere on the list, 21 brews that first wet lips in the past year were included in the GABS Hottest 100, and 88 percent of the beers on the list are made by independently owned breweries. 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 (those owned independently) 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 2019 countdown. From today, Dan Murphy's is also selling 24-packs of beers from the list, which are available through its website.


1. Balter 'XPA' (Pale Ale) Qld*
2. Stone & Wood 'Pacific Ale' (Australian Pale Ale) NSW*
3. BentSpoke 'Crankshaft' (American IPA) ACT*
4. Young Henrys 'Newtowner' (Australian Pale Ale) NSW*
5. Bridge Road 'Beechworth Pale Ale' (Australian Pale Ale) Vic*
6. Balter 'IIPA' (Imperial IPA) Qld* NEW
7. Balter 'IPA' (American IPA) Qld*
8. KAIJU! KRUSH! 'Tropical Pale Ale' (Pale Ale) Vic*
9. Hop Nation 'Jedi Juice' (New England IPA) Vic*
10. Gage Roads 'Single Fin' (Australian Pale Ale) WA*
11. BentSpoke 'Barley Griffen' (Australian Pale Ale) ACT*
12. BentSpoke 'Cluster 8' (Imperial IPA) ACT* NEW
13. Your Mates'Larry' (Australian Pale Ale) Qld*
14. Black Hops 'Pale Ale' (Australian Pale Ale) Qld*
15. Capital 'Coast Ale' (California Common) ACT*
16. BentSpoke 'Sprocket' (American IPA) ACT*
17. Coopers 'Original Pale Ale' (Australian Pale Ale) SA*
18. Big Shed 'Boozy Fruit' (New England IPA) SA* NEW
19. Balter 'Captain Sensible' (American Pale Ale) Qld* NEW
20. Green Beacon 'Windjammer' (American IPA) Qld*
21. Capital 'Rock Hopper' (American IPA) ACT* NEW
22. Coopers 'Session Ale' (Pale Ale) SA*
23. BentSpoke 'Red Nut' (Red IPA) ACT* NEW
24. Balter 'Strong Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) Qld* NEW
25. Furphy 'Furphy Refreshing Ale' (Kölsch) Vic
26. Philter 'XPA' (Australian Pale Ale) NSW*
27. Capital 'Trail Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) ACT*
28. Stone & Wood 'Cloud Catcher' (Australian Pale Ale) NSW*
29. Jetty Road 'Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) Vic*
30. Pirate Life 'Mosaic' (American IPA) SA
31. Young Henrys 'Natural Lager' (Kellerbier) NSW*
32. Modus Operandi 'Sonic Prayer' (American IPA) NSW*
33. Modus Operandi 'Former Tenant' (Red IPA) NSW*
34. Hemingway's 'Pitchford Betty's' (American Pale Ale) Qld*
35. The Welder's Dog 'Farmhouse Ginger Beer' (Ginger/Spiced Beer) NSW*
36. Dainton 'Blood Orange NERIPA' (New England IPA) Vic*
37. 10 Toes 'Pipeline' (Australian Pale Ale) Qld*
38. Grifter 'Pale' (Australian Pale Ale) NSW*
39. The Welder's Dog 'Australian Wheat Ale' (American Wheat) NSW* NEW
40. 4 Pines 'Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) NSW
41. One Mile '4:21' (Kölsch) NT*
42. The Welder's Dog 'India Pale Ale' (Australian IPA) NSW* NEW
43. Black Hops 'Hornet' (American IPA) Qld*
44. James Squire 'One Fifty Lashes' (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
45. Thirsty Crow 'Vanilla Milk Stout' (Sweet Stout) NSW*
46. Coopers 'Sparkling Ale' (Australian Sparkling Ale) SA*
47. Bridge Road 'Beechy Summer Ale' (Australian Pale Ale) Vic*
48. Burleigh 'Twisted Palm' (Australian Pale Ale) Qld*
49. Capital 'Evil Eye' (Red IPA) ACT*
50. Hop Nation 'The Dawn' (New England IPA) Vic* NEW
51. One Mile 'RDO' (Pale Ale) NT*
52. Akasha 'Hopsmith' (American IPA) NSW*
53. Feral 'Hop Hog' (American Pale Ale) WA
54. Fortitude 'Pacer' (American Pale Ale) Qld
55. Moon Dog 'Old Mate' (American Pale Ale) Vic*
56. Green Beacon 'Wayfarer' (Pale Ale) QLD*
57. Gage Roads 'Little Dove' (American Pale Ale) WA*
58. Pirate Life 'Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) SA
59. Akasha 'Korben D.' (Imperial IPA) NSW*
60. Colonial 'Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) WA/Vic*
61. Capital 'Summit Session XPA' (Pale Ale) ACT* NEW
62. Little Creatures 'Pale Ale' (American Pale Ale) WA/Vic
63. CoConspirators 'The Matriarch' (New England IPA) Vic*
64. Wayward 'Raspberry Berliner Weisse Sourpuss' (Berliner Weisse) NSW*
65. Balter 'Pilsner' (Classic Pilsner) Qld*
66. Gage Roads 'Atomic' (American Pale Ale) WA*
67. 10 Toes 'Longboard' (Australian Pilsner) Qld*
68. Moon Dog 'Beer Can' (Hoppy Lager) Vic*
69. Pirate Life 'IPA' (American IPA) SA
70. 10 Toes 'Happy Days' (American IPA) Qld* NEW
71. Burleigh 'Bighead' (Pale Lager) Qld*
72. Nail 'VPA' (Pale Ale) WA*
73. One Mile 'No Limits' (American IPA) NT*
74. Green Beacon '3 Bolt' (American Pale Ale) Qld*
75. Yak Ales 'Wilk Yak Pacific Ale' (Pale Ale) Vic
76. Jetty Road ' India Pale Ale' (American IPA) Vic* NEW
77. Brouhaha 'Strawberry Rhubarb Sour' (Kettle Sour) Qld*
78. Grifter 'Serpents Kiss' (Fruit Beer) NSW*
79. Pirate Life 'IIPA' (Imperial IPA) SA
80. Blackman's 'Juice Banger' (Hoppy Lager) Vic*
81. 4 Pines 'Indian Summer Ale' (American Pale Ale) NSW
82. One Mile 'Otto's' (Irish Amber/Red) NT*
83. Mornington Peninsula 'Squid Rising' (New England IPA) Vic* NEW
84. Modus Operandi 'Dream Weaver' (New England IPA) NSW* NEW
85. Mornington Peninsula 'Squid Supremacy' (New England IPA) Vic* NEW
86. 3 Ravens 'Juicy' (New England IPA) Vic*
87. Bridge Road 'Bling' (American IPA) Vic*
88. Black Hops 'Super Hornet' (Imperial IPA) Qld*
89. Young Henrys 'Summer Hop Ale' (Australian IPA) NSW*
90. Big Shed 'Golden Stout Time' (Sweet Stout) SA*
91. Fixation 'Fixation IPA' (American IPA) Vic*
92. Batch 'Pash the Magic Dragon' (Kettle Sour) NSW
93. Your Mates 'Donnie' (Porter) Qld*
94. Young Henrys 'Motorcycle Oil' (Porter) NSW*
95. Young Henrys 'Afends Hemp IPA'  (Specialty Beer) NSW* NEW
96. Colonial 'South West Sour' (Hoppy Sour) WA/Vic* NEW
97. Capital 'Hang Loose Juice Blood Orange NEIPA' (New England IPA) ACT* NEW
98. Sauce 'Trubble & Squeak' (New England IPA) NSW* NEW
99. Sauce 'Bubble & Squeak' (New England IPA) NSW* NEW
100. Feral 'Biggie Juice' (New England IPA) WA

* — Brewed by an independent brewery.
NEW — First brewed in 2018.

Images: The Craft Pint.

Published on January 28, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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