Stone & Wood tops GABS Hottest 100

29 January, 2020 by Brydie Allen

Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale has reclaimed victory and taken out the top spot in the GABS Hottest 100 for 2019.

The 12th year of the Australian craft beer poll saw 35,500 beer lovers place over 177,000 votes for their favourite craft beers of the year, nominating more than 2,500 beers from 290 breweries. The results were revealed in a live count down over the weekend and also celebrated at more than 60 official events in venues around the country.

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Craig Williams, GABS Festival Event Director and organiser of the poll, described the intertwined history of the Hottest 100 and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale.

“In many ways the Hottest 100 has grown organically alongside the Australian craft beer industry, while holding a mirror to it at the same time. In its very early days, there might have been only 50 craft breweries in all of Australia. Today, voters could choose from more than 2,500 beers made by nearly 300 breweries. It’s quite remarkable how far craft beer has come in such a short time,” Williams said.

“And through it all, Pacific Ale has been the Hottest 100’s most outstanding performer, debuting at number 14 in the 2009 poll (under original moniker ‘Draught’), moving to number three in 2010 and has truly stood the test of time never straying from the podium since, including wins in 2011, 2015, 2016 and now 2019. To me, it’s a testament both to the beer’s quality and consistency, but importantly to the community and lifestyle they’ve built around the brand.”

Taking out silver on the podium was previous two-time winner Balter with their XPA. It was highly speculated that Balter’s sale to CUB in December would impact their ratings, however the brand was the most represented in the Hottest 100, with eight beers on the list including two in the top ten.

In third place for the third year in a row was Bentspoke’s IPA called Crankshaft, which was one of six Bentspoke beers in the list.

In terms of the styles that were most popular in the list, the New England or Hazy IPA continued to be a popular style, and alongside hop-driven pale ales and IPAs accounted for almost three quarters of the list. One of these was Feral’s Biggie Juice, who moved up 93 places from last year’s results, the biggest climber of the year.

Independent breweries were well represented in the poll, with 79 per cent of beers made by independently owned breweries. Across the whole list, 30 beers also made their Hottest 100 debut, 18 of which were brewed for the first time in 2019.

Judging by state, Queensland was the most awarded, claiming 29 spots on the list from 12 different breweries. This included the People’s Choice Award recipient of last year’s festival, the Grape Bubblegum Sour from Currumbin Valley Brewing that was first an exclusive festival beer.

Williams reflected on the list and said: “With everything we do, whether it’s our events or the Hottest 100, it’s about celebrating the craft beer industry and welcoming more people into the craft beer world. If the poll, and all the discussion around it, is successful in getting just a few more mainstream beer drinkers to think about all the other amazing options out there, then that’s a great thing.”

The full Hottest 100 is below, and can also be found on the GABS Festival website, along with sublists for the Hottest 100 New Craft Beers, Indie Craft Beers and the list from 101-200.

  1. Stone & Wood ‘Pacific Ale’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  2. Balter ‘XPA’ (Pale Ale) QLD
  3. BentSpoke ‘Crankshaft’ (American IPA) ACT
  4. Young Henrys ‘Newtowner’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  5. Your Mates ‘Larry’ (Australian Pale Ale) QLD
  6. Bridge Road ‘Beechworth Pale Ale’ (Australian Pale Ale) VIC
  7. Feral ‘Biggie Juice’ (New England IPA) WA
  8. Balter ‘Hazy’ (New England IPA) QLD
  9. KAIJU! ‘Krush! Tropical Pale Ale’ (Pale Ale) VIC
  10. Hop Nation ‘Jedi Juice’ (New England IPA) VIC
  11. Balter ‘IPA’ (American IPA) QLD
  12. BentSpoke ‘Barley Griffin’ (Australian Pale Ale) ACT
  13. Burleigh ‘Twisted Palm’ (Australian Pale Ale) QLD
  14. Black Hops ‘Pale Ale’ (Australian Pale Ale) QLD
  15. Gage Roads ‘Single Fin’ (Australian Pale Ale) WA
  16. Coopers ‘XPA’ (American Pale Ale) SA
  17. BentSpoke ‘Cluster 8’ (Imperial IPA) ACT
  18. Capital ‘Hang Loose Juice’ (New England IPA) ACT
  19. Coopers ‘Original Pale Ale’ (Australian Pale Ale) SA
  20. Balter ‘Captain Sensible’ (American Pale Ale) QLD
  21. Philter ‘XPA’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  22. Black Hops ‘Hornet’ (American IPA) QLD
  23. Stone & Wood ‘Cloud Catcher’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  24. 4 Pines ‘Pacific Ale’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  25. Balter ‘Dazy’ (Double New England IPA) QLD
  26. Balter ‘Hazy DC’ (New England IPA) QLD
  27. 4 Pines ‘Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) NSW
  28. Modus Operandi ‘Sonic Prayer IPA’ (American IPA) NSW
  29. Colonial ‘Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) WA/VIC
  30. BentSpoke ‘Sprocket’ (American IPA) ACT
  31. Capital ‘Coast Ale’ (California Common) ACT
  32. James Squire ‘One Fifty Lashes’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  33. Black Hops ‘Super Hornet’ (Imperial IPA) QLD
  34. Grifter ‘Serpents Kiss’ (Fruit Beer) NSW
  35. Moon Dog ‘Old Mate’ (American Pale Ale) VIC
  36. Grifter ‘Pale’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  37. Furphy ‘Furphy Refreshing Ale’ (Kölsch) VIC
  38. Colonial ‘South West Sour’ (Hoppy Sour) WA/VIC
  39. Stomping Ground ‘Gipps St Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) VIC
  40. Your Mates ‘Sally’ (American IPA) QLD
  41. Coopers ‘Session Ale’ (Pale Ale) SA
  42. Brick Lane ‘One Love’ (Australian Pale Ale) VIC
  43. Coopers ‘Sparkling Ale’ (Australian Sparkling Ale) SA
  44. Dainton ‘Blood Orange Neripa’ (New England IPA) VIC
  45. Heads Of Noosa ‘Japanese Lager’ (Pale Lager) QLD
  46. Bondi Brewing ‘Beach Beer Bondi’ (Australian Pale Ale) NSW
  47. Ballistic ‘Oaked XPA’ (Pale Ale) QLD
  48. 10 Toes ‘Pipeline’ (Australian Pale Ale) QLD
  49. Feral ‘Imperial Biggie’ (Double New England IPA) WA
  50. Balter ‘IIPA’ (Imperial IPA) QLD
  51. Feral ‘Hop Hog’ (American Pale Ale) WA
  52. 10 Toes ‘Happy Days’ (American IPA) QLD
  53. Capital ‘Rock Hopper IPA’ (American IPA) ACT
  54. Little Creatures ‘Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) WA/VIC
  55. BentSpoke ‘Red Nut’ (Red IPA) ACT
  56. Young Henrys ‘Natural Lager’ (Kellerbier) NSW
  57. Modus Operandi ‘Former Tenant Red IPA’ (Red IPA) NSW
  58. Jetty Road ‘Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) VIC
  59. Mountain Goat ‘Goat’ (Hoppy Lager) VIC
  60. Moon Dog ‘Splice Of Heaven Pine-Lime’ (Milkshake IPA) VIC
  61. Big Shed ‘Boozy Fruit’ (New England IPA) SA
  62. Young Henrys ‘Motorcycle Oil’ (Porter) NSW
  63. Balter ‘Strong Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) QLD
  64. Colonial ‘IPA’ (Australian IPA) WA/VIC
  65. Wayward ‘Raspberry Berliner Weisse’ (Berliner Weisse) NSW
  66. Currumbin Valley ‘Grape Bubblegum Sour’ (Kettle Sour) QLD
  67. Capital ‘Trail Pale Ale’ (American Pale Ale) ACT
  68. Brick Lane ‘Base Lager’ (Helles Lager) VIC
  69. Stone & Wood ‘The Gatherer’ (American Wheat) NSW
  70. Fixation ‘Fixation IPA’ (American IPA) VIC
  71. Young Henrys ‘IPA’ (Australian IPA) NSW
  72. Thirsty Crow ‘Vanilla Milk Stout’ (Sweet Stout) NSW
  73. BentSpoke ‘How’s It Gosen?’ (Gose) ACT
  74. Bridge Road ‘Beachy XPA’ (Australian Pale Ale) VIC
  75. 10 Toes ‘Lager’ (Australian Pilsner) QLD
  76. Green Beacon ‘Wayfarer’ (Pale Ale) QLD
  77. Bondi Brewing ‘Bondi Draught’ (Australian Pilsner) NSW
  78. Capital ‘Big Drop Double IPA’ (Imperial IPA) ACT
  79. Your Mates ‘Macca’ (Helles Lager) QLD
  80. Brick Lane ‘Red Hoppy Ale’ (American Amber/Red) VIC
  81. Hemingway’s ‘7th Heaven Tropical Ale’ (Australian Pale Ale)
  82. Stone & Wood ‘Sticky Nectar’ (Milkshake IPA)
  83. Capital ‘Evil Eye Red IPA’ (Red IPA) ACT
  84. Burleigh ‘Bighead’ (Pale Lager) QLD
  85. Beerfarm ‘Asam Boi Gose’ (Gose) WA
  86. Black Hops ‘Caribbean Haze’ (New England IPA) QLD
  87. Hop Nation ‘Dreamfeed’ (New England IPA) VIC
  88. Nail ‘VPA’ (Pale Ale) WA
  89. Young Henrys ‘Stayer (mid)’ (Hoppy Lager) NSW
  90. Moon Dog ‘Beer Can’ (Hoppy Lager) VIC
  91. 4 Pines ‘Indian Summer Ale’ (American Pale Ale) NSW
  92. Akasha ‘Mosaic IPA’ (American IPA) NSW
  93. Green Beacon ‘Windjammer’ (American IPA) QLD
  94. Brouhaha ‘Strawberry Rhubarb Sour’ (Kettle Sour) QLD
  95. Akasha ‘Korben D. Double IPA’ (Imperial IPA) NSW
  96. Mountain Goat ‘Summer Ale’ (Blonde Ale) VIC
  97. Bridge Road ‘Bling IPA’ (American IPA) VIC
  98. Range / Mr Banks / Mr West ‘Participation Award’ (Double New England IPA) QLD
  99. Your Mates ‘Donnie’ (Porter) QLD
  100. Batch ‘Pash The Magic Dragon’ (Kettle Sour) NSW