4 pines

The 100 Best Craft Beers in Australia Have Been Named

There’s nothing quite like a good clash of passionfruit and hops bursting through your palate. In fact, according to that one craft beer wanker friend everyone seems to have, it’s a near biblical experience. Sure, not everyone is intoxicated by a Double Vanilla Custard Pancake Imperial Nitro Thickshake IPA (that’s a real thing), but you can’t deny the craft beer market has exploded Down Under, and thanks must go to GABS. The almanac of all that is hazy, pale and pacific, the GABS Craft Beer & Cider Festival is renowned for unearthing the very best beers you’ve never heard of and in 2022, the event is already delivering in spades.

Balter xpa

Image: Balter Brewing

Over the weekend, the iconic GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer poll put the sword to the nation’s top brewers, naming the 100 best craft beers in Australia. In a surprise result, Canberra firmed as the nation’s craft beer capital with local brewery Bentspoke’s Crankshaft American IPA being voted Australia’s favourite Craft Beer of 2021 in the closest finish in the history of the poll. Gold Coast’s Balter XPA, a two-time winner in 2017-18, claimed second, while Your Mates from the Sunshine Coast took out third for its Australian Pale Ale, Larry.

What We Learned

Despite a deeply Canberran focus, the battle between the states was a hotly contested one. Specifically, Queensland set the bar at 30 with Black Hops claiming six total spots. Victoria earned 22 places, NSW 20, ACT 12, SA and WA claiming eight each. Best of all, a record 58 breweries made the list this year, including 37 brews making their debut.

But while Hazy and Tropical dominated the list, the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer poll also ushered in a new era for non-alcoholic brews. Heaps Normal’s Quiet XPA came in at 20 in the rankings, while Sobah Beverages, zero alcohol, Pepperberry IPA landed at 69.

“It is just fantastic that the GABS Hottest 100 makes craft beer part of a national discussion. After the year the brewing industry has had, to see venues busy, beer flowing, people celebrating and debating craft beer as we delivered the live countdown on Saturday was incredible,” GABS Festival MD, Mike Bray said. “GABS is all about sharing a common love for craft beer and the fact that more people are joining the conversation each year, only bodes well for the future of the industry.”

A vastly different take on the festival than previous years, the 2022 GABS Craft Beer poll demonstrated the resilience of an industry that has copped the worst of Coronavirus. With venues shut down and breweries forced to divert orders away from on-premises venues, it’s been a complicated year. Ballistic Beer Co. CEO David Kitchen said the success of the festival only served to highlight the strength of the craft beer community in Australia.

“After the couple of years we have all had and the hits to the hospitality industry, this gives us something to celebrate and recognises what we have managed to do as a team despite the challenges,” Kitchen said. “It recognises the increasing number of people who are getting to try, enjoy and vote for our beers as their favourite craft beer. To also have another three beers in the Top 100, including the only stout, is incredibly rewarding and testament to our incredible brewing team, who can brew top quality beer no matter what the style.”

Young henrys

Image: Young Henrys

GABS Festival Hottest 100 Craft Beers Results

With the GABS Hottest 100 done and dusted for another year, the iconic festival has named its top picks. Palates at the ready, here is a list of the 100 best craft beers in Australia, according to you, the people who voted.

  1. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Crankshaft
  2. Balter Brewing – Balter XPA
  3. Your Mates Brewing Co – Larry
  4. Stone & Wood Brewing Co – Pacific Ale
  5. Black Hops Brewery – G.O.A.T.
  6. Better Beer – Better Beer Zero Carb
  7. Capital Brewing Co – Capital XPA
  8. Ballistic Beer Co – Hawaiian Haze
  9. Capital Brewing Co – Coast Ale
  10. Young Henrys – Newtowner
  11. Coopers Brewery – Original Pale Ale
  12. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Barley Griffin
  13. Balter Brewing – Hazy
  14. Bridge Road Brewers – Beechworth Pale Ale
  15. Beerfarm Metricup – Royal Haze
  16. Pirate Life Brewing – South Coast Pale Ale
  17. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Single Fin
  18. KAIJI! Beer – KRUSH! Tropical Pale Ale
  19. Black Hops Brewing – East Coast Haze
  20. Heaps Normal – Quiet XPA
  21. Heads of Noosa Brewing Co – Japanese Lager
  22. Brick Lane Brewing Co – One Love Pale Ale
  23. Little Creatures – Little Creatures Pale Ale
  24. Moon Dog Craft Brewery – Old Mate
  25. Philter Brewing – Philter XPA
  26. Mountain Goat Beer – GOAT Very Enjoyable Beer
  27. Feral Brewing Co – Biggie Juice
  28. Brookvale Union – Ginger Beer
  29. 4 Pines Brewing Co – 4 Pines Pacific Ale
  30. Big Shed Brewing Concern – Boozy Fruit
  31. Hawke’s Brewing – Hawke’s Patio Ale
  32. Bright Brewery – Alpine Lager
  33. Grifter Brewing Co – Pale
  34. Blackflag Brewing – Rage Juicy Pale
  35. Green Beacon Brewing Co – Wayfarer
  36. Stomping Ground Brewing Co – Gipps St Pale Ale
  37. Akasha Brewing Co – Hopsmith IPA
  38. Dainton Beer – Blood Orange NEIPA
  39. Revel Brewing Co – Strawberries & Cream Soul Ale
  40. Coopers Brewery – Sparkling Ale
  41. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Sprocket
  42. Capital Brewing Co – Hang Loose Juice Blood Orange NEIPA
  43. Coopers Brewery – Coopers XPA
  44. Your Mates Brewing Co – Sally
  45. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Cluster 8
  46. Black Hops Brewery – Neverland
  47. Balter Brewing – Eazy Hazy
  48. Ballistic Beer Co – Hawaiian Haze IPA
  49. Capital Brewing Co – West Coast NEIPA
  50. Coopers Brewery – Coopers Pacific Pale Ale
  51. Bodriggy Brewing Co – Speccy Juice
  52. Colonial Brewing Co – Colonial Pale Ale
  53. Grifter Brewing Co – Serpents Kiss
  54. Sunday Road Brewing – Cryotherapy
  55. Deeds Brewing – Juice Train
  56. 10 Toes Brewery – Pipeline Pale
  57. Burleigh Brewing Co – Bighead No-carb Lager
  58. Hop Nation Brewing Co – J-Juice
  59. Range Brewing Co – Lights + Music
  60. Black Hops Brewery – Hop Swap
  61. Black Hops Brewery – Black Hops Pale Ale
  62. Your Mates Brewing Co – Macca
  63. Balter Brewing – Captain Sensible
  64. Capital Brewing Co – Trail Pale Ale
  65. Hawke’s Brewing – Hawke’s Lager
  66. Burleigh Brewing Co – Twisted Palm
  67. One Drop Brewing Co – Double Vanilla Custard Pancake Imperial Nitro Thickshake IPA
  68. Cronulla Beer Co – Next Level XPA
  69. Sobah Beverages – Pepperberry IPA
  70. Jetty Road Brewery – Jetty Road Pale Ale
  71. Brouhaha Brewery – Strawberry Rhubarb Sour
  72. Stone & Wood Brewing Co – Cloud Catcher
  73. Blackman’s Brewery – Juicy Banger
  74. 4 Pines Brewing Co – 4 Pines Pale Ale
  75. Brick Lane Brewing Co – Sidewinder Hazy Pale
  76. Hop Nation Brewing Co – Rattenhund
  77. Sunday Road Brewing – Enigma Ale
  78. Otherside Brewing Co – Anthem IPA
  79. Bad Shephard Brewing Co – Peanut Butter Porter
  80. Ballistic Beer Co – Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout
  81. Black Hops Brewery – Hornet
  82. Little Creatures – Pacific Ale
  83. Your Mates Brewing Co – Eddie
  84. Dainton Beer – Jungle Juice
  85. Bodriggy Brewing Co – Utropia Pale Ale
  86. Young Henrys – The Unifier
  87. Hawkers Beer – West Coast IPA
  88. Mismatch Brewing Co – Mismatch Session Ale
  89. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Side Track All Day XPA
  90. Little Bang Brewing Co – Face Inverter
  91. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Red Nut
  92. Tumut River Brewing Co – Ginja Ninja
  93. Eumundi Brewery – Eumundi Alcoholic Ginger Beer
  94. Deeds Brewing – Once More Into The Fray
  95. Akasha Brewing Co – Akasha Mosaic IPA
  96. Ballistic Beer Co – Low Ha
  97. Capital Brewing Co – Rock Hopper IPA
  98. Wayward Brewing Co – Raspberry Berliner Weisse
  99. Willie the Boatman – Nectar of the Hops
  100. Balter Brewing – CryoHaze

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General FAQs

What is the best craft beer in Australia?

The Crankshaft American IPA from Canberra brewery BentSpoke Brewing Co has taken out top spot in GABS Hottest 100 poll, making it the best craft beer in Australia for 2022.

What is the best craft beer state in Australia?

According to thw results of GABS Craft Beer poll, Queensland is the best state in Australia for craft beer. The Sunshine State managed to nab 30 placings out of a possible 100.


Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.