Balter Crushes in GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers for 2018

In an unsurprising turn of events for Australia’s flourishing craft beer industry, Gold Coast brewery Balter has taken out number one, as well as two other coveted top-ten spots, in the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular’s (GABS) annual Hottest 100 Craft Beer list for 2018.

Announced on Sunday–the same day Triple J’s iconic Hottest 100 playlist aired–, GABS’ Hottest 100 Craft Beers list saw over 31,000 local beer lovers place in excess of 155,000 votes for their very best frothies of the year that was. The results of this ballot were released in a live countdown at 45 official events around Australia.

Over 260 breweries were responsible for producing the 2,350-odd beers which received voted from the thirsty crowds, but only 100 could claim to be victorious enough to end up on the final list, which was topped by the Delicious Balter XPA–an extra pale ale from the relatively new Queensland brewery backed by pro surfer Mick Fanning.

The sun-drenched brewery, known for its proclivity for creating brews that are big on flavour without losing their refreshing, moreish edge, also enjoyed spot number six on the list, for their IIPA (double IPA), and number seven for their IPA. The double IPA was new to market this year, one of 21 new crews to feature in the Hottest 100 lists, and a fair indictment that the craft beer scene is very much about innovation and the odd shake-up.

Second place went to Stone & Wood’s stalwart Pacific Ale: an annual top-three favourite for its light and complex summery flavours and pleasant bitterness, without the smack-in-the-face boozy, hoppy hit of other craft ales. Crankshaft–an IPA from Canberra brewery BentSpoke–came in at third. BentSpoke also boasted four more Hottest 100 brews, all in the top 25, branding their name as a modern favourite for Aussie drinkers.

Proving that the market thrives on change and regeneration, Queensland is punching well above its weight this year, with 22 beers from nine breweries (up from 15 beers and five breweries in 2017). New South Wales maintained its dominant presence on the list (26 beers from 13 breweries). Interestingly, breweries from Canberra are proving their mettle at a startling rate, with

“I think it’s just become this wonderful tradition that’s grown alongside the craft beer industry, allowing beer lovers to reflect on their favourite beers of the year and give a vote to the brewers who made them”, says GABS Co-Founder Steve Jeffares.

“With breweries opening in all corners of the country, pushing the boundaries of style, technique and creativity, there’s really never been a better time to be a craft beer drinker. And with such a huge number of votes behind it, this year’s list is again very revealing about what people are
drinking and enjoying, whether that’s a more mainstream Pale Ale or a Strawberry Rhubarb Sour from their favourite Sunshine Coast local.”

See below to find out if your favourite brew made it into the top 100 for 2018.

Full List of GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers for 2018

  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
  7. Balter IPA (American IPA) QLD
  9. Hop Nation JEDI JUICE (New England IPA) VIC
  10. Gage Roads SINGLE FIN (Australian Pale Ale) WA
  11. BentSpoke BARLEY GRIFFIN (Australian Pale Ale) ACT
  12. BentSpoke CLUSTER 8 (Imperial IPA) ACT
  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
  19. Balter CAPTAIN SENSIBLE (American Pale Ale) QLD
  20. Green Beacon WINDJAMMER (American IPA) QLD
  21. Capital ROCK HOPPER (American IPA) ACT
  22. Coopers SESSION ALE (Pale Ale) SA
  23. BentSpoke RED NUT (Red IPA) ACT
  24. Balter STRONG PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) QLD
  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 PITCHFORK BETTY’S (American Pale Ale) QLD
  35. The Welder’s Dog FARMHOUSE GINGER BEER (Ginger/Sp
  36. iced Beer) NSW
  37. Dainton BLOOD ORANGE NERIPA (New England IPA) VIC10 Toes PIPELINE (Australian Pale Ale) QLD
  38. Grifter PALE (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  39. The Welder’s Dog AUSTRALIAN WHEAT ALE (American Wheat) NSW
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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 WILD YAK PACIFIC ALE (Pale Ale) VIC
  76. Jetty Road INDIA PALE ALE (American IPA) VIC
  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 JUICY 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
  84. Modus Operandi DREAM WEAVER (New England IPA) NSW
  85. Mornington Peninsula SQUID SUPREMACY (New England IPA) VIC
  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
  96. Colonial SOUTH WEST SOUR (Hoppy Sour) WA/VIC
  98. Sauce TRUBBLE & SQUEAK (New England IPA) NSW
  99. Sauce BUBBLE & SQUEAK (New England IPA) NSW
  100. Feral BIGGIE JUICE (New England IPA) WA