Critics' Choice Countdown #1

Well, time for the big reveal…although anyone following the countdown will most likely have already picked the winner with the number one in the Critics’ Choice Top 100 going to Feral Brewing Company’s Hop Hog India Pale Ale.

Fans of good beer gush when they talk about this beer. The Critics’ Choice panel of 39 of Australia’s most respected beer connoisseurs agree and have voted it the best Australian beer for 2011.

The brewer’s notes explain that ‘originally a beer style brewed in Britain and shipped off to colonial India, our Hop Hog is an American incarnation of the India Pale Ale with strong pine needle and citrus aroma followed by an aggressive bitterness and a dry finish.’

Critics’ Choice Editor, Pete Mitcham, writes that ‘awards and accolades and the praise of beer lovers across the country shower down upon this beer which is a consistent Top 10 performer. It’s lucky its brewer, Brendan Varis, is such a humble and unassuming bloke for, if his head was allowed to swell in harmony with the quality of this beer, he’d not fit it inside his tiny Brewhouse.’

In absolute terms, ‘best’ beers are a nonsense as there are so many factors and individual preferences that make the question an impossible one to answer definitively. Even polls rely to an extend on availability and distribution. However, looking at the table below, which presents the last two Taphouse Hottest 100s and the last two Critics Choice top 12s, I think we can a pretty good idea of Australia’s three most highly regarded beers. With the annual Taphouse poll very much a popular vote and the Critics’ Choice a select poll, definite preferences are thrown up in both.

Select venuesaround the country will be launching the Critics’ Choice by featuring the top 12 beers tonight. Get along and try some of Australia’s best beers.

The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers
RRP $14.95
Available April 2
from newsagents & bookstores

Comparison of Australia’s ‘Top 12’ beers…

[table id=17 /]

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