Now in its fifth year, the GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers list puts great local brews in the spotlight. 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 thousands of voters taking part this time round.
Hazy IPAs are dominant on this year's list, with four of the top five contestants pulling out the tropical, aromatic and foggy style. Wellington's Garage Project is no stranger to the countdown. After taking out both second and third place in the people's choice poll last year with its 'Pernicious Weed' and 'Aro Street' releases, the brewery has claimed the title of New Zealand's most popular craft beer in 2020. The 'Sunrise Valley' hazy IPA is part of the brewery's 'Home & Away' series, which brings overseas collabs back Down Under. The winning release with Boston-based brewery Trillium balances bitterness, huge flavour and aroma.
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In pole position is fellow capital city brewery Parrotdog with its 'Birdseye' hazy IPA. Auckland's Deep Creek Brewing Co claimed its first-ever podium finish with the tropical 'Misty Miyagi' hazy IPA in third place, while previous winner Panhead Custom Ales moves to fourth place for its much-loved 'Supercharger' IPA.
While the haze craze was notable on the list, a healthy number of sours, unfiltered IPAs and milk stouts also made the cut. All the big names were there, too, including Epic, Behemoth Brewing Co, 8 Wired, Emerson's, and Tuatara. Working your way through them isn't just a great way to show your appreciation for locally made brews — consider it research for the 2021 countdown.
For more information about the GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers of 2020 and to see the full list, head to the GABS website.
Published on February 04, 2021 by Stephen Heard