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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 2023, the event delivered in spades.

Related: Our complete list of beer types and styles will guide you on a beer journey like no other.

Mountain Culture Beer Co Status Quo Pale Ale | Image: Mountain Culture Beer Co
Mountain Culture Beer Co Status Quo Pale Ale | Image: Mountain Culture Beer Co

The Top 3

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, the Blue Mountains firmed as the nation’s premier craft beer spot with local brewery Mountain Culture Beer Co’s Status Quo Pale Ale voted Australia’s favourite Craft Beer of 2022. Gold Coast’s Balter XPA, a two-time winner in 2017-18, claimed second, while last year’s winner, Bentspoke’s Crankshaft American IPA rounded out the top three.

To see our flagship beer, Status Quo is beyond our wildest dreams,” co-founder DJ McCready said. “Our team works so hard to make the best quality product possible and the fact we’ve been the #1 rated brewery in Australia on Untappd for the past few years (a global beer rating system with over 8 million users) speaks to that, but to take out GABS win also, against huge breweries that we’ve always admired, is mind blowing. We can’t thank people enough for taking the time to vote.”

Mountain Culture Beer Co Status Quo Pale Ale | Image: Mountain Culture Beer Co
Mountain Culture Beer Co Status Quo Pale Ale | Image: Mountain Culture Beer Co

1. Mountain Culture Beer Co Status Quo Pale Ale

The new GABS Hottest 100 Champion of 2022, Status Quo Pale Ale arrives directly from the Blue Mountains’ first brewpub. Brewed by the husband and wife team, DJ & Harriet McCready, the juicy New England Pale Ale captured some serious attention from beer lovers, nabbing the top spot. The drop is designed for fans of hoppy flavours, with a decidedly more tropical finish than the brewery’s other releases.

“Status Quo encapsulates so much of what we are about,” co-founder Harriet McCready said. “It was one of our first ever brews on our original brew kit in the early days of our Katoomba brewpub. We called it Status Quo because we wanted to create a beer that set our benchmark for our standard of brewing, so it’s pretty cool that it’s the beer that won!”

Brand: Mountain Culture Beer Co
Release: Status Quo Pale Ale
Region: Blue Mountains
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.2%

Balter XPA | Image: Balter
Balter XPA | Image: Balter

2. Balter XPA

Two-time previous champion, Balter Brewing was pipped at the post this year, but its iconic XPA still managed to score some major accolades. Legends Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Scott Hargrave’s fan favourite finished runner-up for the second successive year, courtesy of its tropical and floral aromatics, not to mention the fruity palette.

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Brand: Balter Brewing
Release: XPA
Region: Queensland
Style: Extra Pale Ale
ABV: 5.0%

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Bentspoke Crankshaft American IPA | Image: Bentspoke Brewing
Bentspoke Crankshaft American IPA | Image: Bentspoke Brewing

3. Bentspoke Crankshaft American IPA

After taking out top place in 2021, Bentspoke finished third on this year’s list. The Crankshaft American IPA scored major points for its familiar West Coast IPA finish, however, there were some nice additions. The beer is revered for its floral nose, alongside bold notes of citrus and pine.

Brand: Bentspoke
Release: Crankshaft American IPA
Region: Canberra
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 5.8%

What We Learned

Despite firmly east-coast flavour, the battle between the states was a hotly contested one. Specifically, NSW set the bar at 28, followed by Queensland with 26. Victoria earned 18 places, Western Australia 11, ACT 9, and SA matching its efforts from last year with eight entries. Best of all, a record-equaling 58 breweries made the list this year. 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, with Heaps Normal’s Quiet XPA coming in at 33 in the rankings.

The results come after a lengthy polling process that saw over 60,000 Aussie register to vote. According to GABS,  an incredible 311 breweries and a whopping 2,140 different beers attracted votes, shattering the previous record and highlighting the strength of the domestic craft beer industry, something Billy Ryan, category manager customer discovery at Endeavour Drink acknowledged post-event.

Dan Murphy’s has been a sponsor of GABs for many years and our partnership means we can get the best Craft Beers from around the country into the hands of customers looking to explore new styles and discover new breweries,” Ryan said. “Dan Murphy’s ranges 91 of the top 100 Beers awarded this year, and have the official GABs mixed pack of 24 awarded beers which we will be selling online, this is a great option for customers looking to get a taste of GABS

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. Mountain Culture – Status Quo Hazy Pale Ale NSW
  2. Balter Brewing – Balter XPA Pale Ale QLD
  3. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Crankshaft American IPA ACT
  4. Stone & Wood Brewing Co – Pacific Ale Australian Pale Ale NSW
  5. Your Mates Brewing Co – Larry Australian Pale Ale QLD
  6. Better Beer – Better Beer Zero Carb Australian Pilsner NSW
  7. Young Henrys – Newtowner Australian Pale Ale NSW
  8. Coopers Brewery – Original Pale Ale Australian Pale Ale SA
  9. Bridge Road Brewers – Beechworth Pale Ale American Pale Ale VIC
  10. Black Hops Brewery – G.O.A.T. New England IPA QLD
  11. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Single Fin Australian Pale Ale WA
  12. Capital Brewing Co – Capital XPA Pale Ale ACT
  13. Pirate Life Brewing – South Coast Pale Ale American Pale Ale SA
  14. Revel Brewing Co – Strawberries & Cream Sour Ale Kettle Sour QLD
  15. Mountain Culture – Cult IPA New England IPA NSW
  16. Brookvale Union Ginger Beer – Ginger Beer NSW
  17. Philter Brewing – Philter XPA Australian Pale Ale NSW
  18. Beerfarm – Royal Haze Hazy IPA WA
  19. Balter Brewing – Hazy IPA Hazy IPA QLD
  20. Black Hops Brewery – East Coast Haze Hazy Pale Ale QLD
  21. Balter Brewing – Eazy Hazy Hazy Pale Ale QLD
  22. Little Creatures – Little Creatures Pale Ale American Pale Ale WA
  23. Heads Of Noosa Brewing Co – Japanese Style Lager Lager QLD
  24. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Barley Griffin Australian Pale Ale ACT
  25. 4 Pines Brewing Co – 4 Pines Pacific Ale Australian Pale Ale NSW
  26. Coopers Brewery – Sparkling Ale Australian Pale Ale SA
  27. Hawke’s Brewing – Hawke’s Patio Pale American Pale Ale NSW
  28. Brick Lane Brewing Co – One Love Pale Ale American Pale Ale VIC
  29. Grifter Brewing Co – Pale Australian Pale Ale NSW
  30. Modus Brewing – Modus Cerveza Lager NSW
  31. Mountain Goat Beer – GOAT Very Enjoyable Beer Lager VIC
  32. Better Beer – Better Beer Ginger Beer Ginger Beer NSW
  33. Heaps Normal – Quiet XPA Pale Ale ACT
  34. Capital Brewing Co – Coast Ale California Common ACT
  35. Blackflag Brewing – Rage Juicy Pale Pale Ale QLD
  36. Mountain Culture – Be Kind Rewind New England IPA NSW
  37. Matso’s Broome Brewery – Matso’s Ginger Beer Ginger Beer WA
  38. Your Mates Brewing Co – Tilly Ginger Beer QLD
  39. Coopers Brewery – Coopers XPA American Pale Ale SA
  40. Balter Brewing – Bucket Full Of Nothin’ Hazy IIPA QLD
  41. CBCo Brewing – Pale Ale American Pale Ale VIC
  42. Capital Brewing Co – Hang Loose Juice Blood Orange NEIPA New England IPA ACT
  43. 10 Toes Brewery – Pipeline Pale Australian Pale Ale QLD
  44. Balter Brewing – Captain Sensible American Pale Ale QLD
  45. Ballistic Beer Co – Hawaiian Haze Hazy Pale Ale QLD
  46. Bright Brewery – Alpine Lager Lager VIC
  47. KAIJU! Beer – KAIJU! KRUSH Australian Pale Ale VIC
  48. Grifter Brewing Co – Serpents Kiss Fruit Beer NSW
  49. Feral Brewing Co – Biggie Juice New England IPA WA
  50. White Rabbit – White Rabbit Dark Ale Dark Ale VIC
  51. Big Shed Brewing – Concern Boozy Fruit New England IPA SA
  52. Green Beacon Brewing Co – Wayfarer Tropical Pale Ale Australian Pale Ale QLD
  53. Range Brewing Co – Disco Hazy Pale Ale QLD
  54. Stomping Ground Brewing Co – Gipps St Pale Ale American Pale Ale VIC
  55. Young Henrys – Hazy Pale Ale Hazy Pale Ale NSW
  56. Willie The Boatman – Albo Australian Pale Ale NSW
  57. Burleigh Brewing Co – Twisted Palm Australian Pale Ale QLD
  58. Hawke’s Brewing – Hawke’s Lager Australian Pilsner NSW
  59. Akasha Brewing Co – Super Chill Australian Pale Ale NSW
  60. Dainton Beer – Equalizer Hazy Pale Ale VIC
  61. 4 Pines Brewing Co – 4 Pines Pale Ale American Pale Ale NSW
  62. Kosciuszko Brewing Co – Kosciuszko Pale Ale American Pale Ale NSW
  63. Black Hops Brewery – Black Hops Pale Ale Australian Pale Ale QLD
  64. Brouhaha Brewery – Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Kettle Sour QLD
  65. Moon Dog Craft Brewery – Old Mate American Pale Ale VIC
  66. Blackman’s Brewery – Juicy Banger Lager VIC
  67. Capital Brewing Co – Trail Pale Ale American Pale Ale ACT
  68. Hop Nation Brewing Co – J-Juice New England IPA VIC
  69. Blackflag Brewing – Astro Punk XPA Pale Ale QLD
  70. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Side Track All Day XPA Pale Ale WA
  71. Your Mates Brewing Co – Sally American IPA QLD
  72. Bodriggy Brewing Co – Speccy Juice Session IPA VIC
  73. Burleigh Brewing Co – Bighead No-carb Lager Lager QLD
  74. Coopers Brewery – Coopers Pacific Pale Ale Australian Pale Ale SA
  75. Eumundi Brewery – Eumundi Alcoholic Ginger Beer Ginger Beer QLD
  76. Rocky Ridge Brewing Co – Jindong Juicy Hazy Pale Ale WA
  77. Young Henrys – Natural Lager Lager NSW
  78. Dainton Beer – Blood Orange NEIPA New England IPA VIC
  79. Hop Nation Brewing Co – Rattenhund Pilsner VIC
  80. Capital Brewing Co – Rock Hopper IPA American IPA ACT
  81. Little Creatures – Pacific Ale Australian Pale Ale WA
  82. Diablo Co – Diablo Ginger Beer Ginger Beer QLD
  83. Stone & Wood Brewing Co – Cloud Catcher Australian Pale Ale NSW
  84. BentSpoke Brewing Co – Sprocket American IPA ACT
  85. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Hazy As Hazy Pale Ale WA
  86. Wayward Brewing Co – Raspberry Berliner Weisse Berliner Weisse NSW
  87. Young Henrys – Motorcycle Oil Porter NSW
  88. Mismatch Brewing Co – Session Ale Session IPA SA
  89. Little Creatures – Rogers Amber Ale WA
  90. One Drop Brewing Co – Double Vanilla Custard Pancake Imperial Nitro Thickshake IPA Milkshake IPA NSW
  91. 4 Pines Brewing Co – Hazy Pale Ale Hazy Pale Ale NSW
  92. Balter Brewing – Balter IPA American IPA QLD
  93. Coopers Brewery – Best Extra Stout Extra Stout SA
  94. Hawkers Beer – West Coast IPA American IPA VIC
  95. Gage Roads Brewing Co – Pipe Dreams Coastal Lager Australian Pilsner WA
  96. Range Brewing Co – Lights + Music TIPA QLD
  97. Dainton Beer – Jungle Juice Hazy IPA VIC
  98. Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel – Three Sheets Australian Pale Ale NSW
  99. Bad Shepherd Brewing Co – Peanut Butter Porter Porter VIC
  100. One Drop Brewing Co – We Jammin’ Sour NSW

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General FAQs

What is the best craft beer in Australia?

The Status Quo Pale Ale from Blue Mountains brewery Mountain Culture Beer Co's has taken out top spot in GABS Hottest 100 poll, making it the best craft beer in Australia for 2023.

What is the best craft beer state in Australia?

According to the results of GABS Craft Beer poll, New South Wales is the best state in Australia for craft beer. The state managed to nab 28 placings out of a possible 100.

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Nick Hall

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is an award-winning journalist and the current Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many. With an extensive background in the media industry, he specialises in feature writing, lifestyle and entertainment content. Nick is the reigning Mumbrella Publish Awards ‘Editor of the Year’ and B&T ‘Best of the Best - Journalist’, courtesy of his work with Man of Many.

Prior to working at the men’s lifestyle publication, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting.