Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers of 2018 announced

In a major poll of the country’s craft beer lovers, Garage Project’s ‘Pernicious Weed’ has taken the title of New Zealand’s favourite craft beer. The 8% Double IPA (India Pale Ale) topped a list of over 900 beers produced by more than 60 breweries in the annual GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers poll.

Based on the highly successful Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers which has been run for the past eleven years, and created by the team behind GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest, the third edition of the Kiwi poll saw thousands of craft beer lovers around the country vote for their five favourite craft beers of the year. The results shine a spotlight on the trends, brands and breweries shaping the booming craft beer industry.

The win tops a remarkable showing from Garage Project, with the prolific brewery also claiming second place with the recently rebranded ‘DFA’ (formerly known as Death From Above), as well as another 23 positions throughout the list with beers ranging from white peach sours to barrel aged porters.

Previous two-time winner ‘Supercharger’ from Upper Hutt’s Panhead Custom Ales retained a podium position with third place. Owned by Lion, the brewery was one of only two ‘non-independent’ producers (along with Lion stablemate Emerson’s) to place on the list (down from seven in the previous year).

Breweries from the Auckland region were represented in force, led by Behemoth Brewing Co with 16 beers (including three in the top ten), 8 Wired (8 beers) and Epic Beer and Liberty Brewing with 6 beers each.

Deep Creek also featured prominently, with its highest placing at #8 with ‘Brewtiful Haze’, a New England IPA brewed in collaboration with leading craft beer retailer Liquorland. This was one of an impressive 36 beers made for the first time in 2018 to place in the Hottest 100, indicating the impact a popular release can have in a short time in the fast-moving craft beer industry.

As a beer style, the New England IPA (or ‘Hazy IPA’) has taken the beer world by storm over the last two years, and with 17 beers placing in the Hottest 100 list (up from 6 in 2017), it seems that New Zealand has also been swept up in the ‘haze craze’. While hop-driven beers were dominant with 66% of the list, the Kiwi poll showed greater diversity of beer styles than its Australian counterpart, with a healthy number of sour beers, stouts and lagers making the cut.

Steve Jeffares, co-Founder of GABS Festival and the GABS Hottest 100 poll, noted the placing of several ‘GABS Festival Beers’ on the list: “Every year at our festivals, we put the call out to the brewing industry to brew a unique beer to be released at the events. Many of these ‘Festival Beers’ go on to become a core beer for those breweries, and it’s great to see eight of those beers voted into this year’s Hottest 100, including Garage Project’s standout ‘DFA’, and the 2018 GABS People’s Choice winner ‘Mocha Madness’ from Behemoth.”

GABS Auckland is regarded as one of the premier beer festivals in New Zealand and takes places at the ASB Showgrounds on Saturday 29 June. Tickets go on sale Friday 10 May. Visit for more info.

The GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers is proudly supported by Liquorland and The Crafty Pint.


1 Garage Project PERNICIOUS WEED (Imperial IPA) WGN* ↑2

2 Garage Project DFA (Specialty Beer) WGN* NEW GABS

3 Panhead SUPERCHARGER (American Pale Ale) WGN ↓2

4 Behemoth LID RIPPER (New England IPA) AUK* ↑9

5 Behemoth SNOW MEXICAN (Imperial Stout) AUK* NEW

6 Garage Project PARTY & BULLSHIT (New England IPA) WGN* ↓1

7 Behemoth DUMP THE TRUMP (American IPA) AUK*

8 Deep Creek BREWTIFUL HAZE (New England IPA) AUK* NEW

9 Garage Project HAPI DAZE (New Zealand Pale Ale) WGN* ↑1

10 Epic HOP ZOMBIE (Imperial IPA) AUK* ↓6

11 Garage Project FRESH IPA (New England IPA) WGN* NEW

12 Garage Project BOSS LEVEL (Imperial IPA) WGN* ↑12

13 Garage Project GARAGISTA (American IPA) WGN* ↑2

14 Liberty PROHIBITION PORTER (2018) (Wood-Aged Beer) AUK* ↑16

15 Parrotdog KEITH (New England IPA) WGN* NEW

16 8 Wired CUCUMBER HIPPY (Berliner Weisse) AUK* ↓7

17 Garage Project WHITE MISCHIEF (Gose) WGN* ↑11

18 Funk Estate JUNGLE BOOGIE (Kettle Sour) BOP* GABS ↓2

19 Parrotdog BITTERBITCH (New Zealand IPA) WGN* ↓5

20 Liberty KNIFE PARTY (American IPA) AUK* ↓8

21 Liberty CITRA (Imperial IPA) AUK* ↓13

22 Liberty YAKIMA MONSTER (American Pale Ale) AUK* ↑4

23 Garage Project WHITTAKER’S CHOCOLATE BEER (Sweet Stout) WGN* NEW

24 Deep Creek MISTY MIYAGI (New England IPA) AUK* NEW

25 Garage Project FUZZ BOX (New England IPA) WGN* ↑4

26 Epic ARMAGEDDON (American IPA) AUK* ↓20

27 Parrotdog SUSAN (New England IPA) WGN* NEW

28 Panhead RAT ROD HAZY IPA (New England IPA) WGN NEW

29 8 Wired iSTOUT AFFOGATO (Imperial Stout) AUK* NEW

30 Parrotdog COLIN (American IPA) WGN* NEW

31 Garage Project OMG (New England IPA) WGN* NEW GABS

32 Panhead QUICKCHANGE XPA (American Pale Ale) WGN ↓11

33 Parrotdog FALCON (American Pale Ale) WGN* ↑15

34 Garage Project CEREAL MILK STOUT (Sweet Stout) WGN*

35 Behemoth TRIPLE CHOCOLATE MILK STOUT (Sweet Stout) AUK* ↓2

36 8 Wired FISTFUL OF CHERRIES (Mixed Fermentation Sour) AUK* ↓4

37 Deep Creek LUPULIN EFFECT DOUBLE IPA (Imperial IPA) AUK* ↑7

38 Garage Project PILS N THRILLS (New Zealand Pilsner) WGN* ↓2

39 8 Wired HOPWIRED (New Zealand IPA) AUK* ↓16

40 Garage Project LOS LOBOS (American IPA) WGN*

41 Garage Project MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (Extra Stout) WGN* ↑19

42 Fortune Favours THE NATURALIST (New Zealand Pale Ale) WGN*

43 Garage Project YUZU RISING SUN (Specialty Beer) WGN*

44 Outlier Cartel CLOUDBURST (Imperial IPA) AUK* NEW GABS

45 Behemoth 6 FOOT 5 (American IPA) AUK* ↑37

46 Deep Creek HOPPY McHOPFACE (Imperial IPA) AUK* ↓26

47 Garage Project TRIPLE DAY OF THE DEAD (Specialty Beer) WGN*

48 Liberty HALO PILSNER (New Zealand Pilsner) AUK* ↓11

49 Fortune Favours THE WELLINGTONIAN (New Zealand IPA) WGN* NEW

50 McLeod’s PARADISE PALE ALE (International Pale Ale) NTL*

51 8 Wired WILD FEIJOA (Mixed Fermentation Sour) AUK* ↑14

52 Epic THUNDER (American Pale Ale) AUK* ↑15

53 Garage Project HOPS ON POINTE (New Zealand Pilsner) WGN* ↑4

54 Behemoth UNDER-ARM (Australian IPA) AUK* NEW

55 Garage Project DAY OF THE DEAD (Specialty Beer) WGN* ↑42

56 Boneface BIG UNIT (Imperial IPA) WGN* NEW

57 Urbanaut COPACABANA (Brut IPA) AUK* NEW

58 Behemoth IM-PEACH-MENT (Kettle Sour) AUK* ↓16

59 Garage Project VERBOTENE FRUCHTE (Schwarzbier) WGN* NEW


61 Sawmill RASPBERRY SOUR (Kettle Sour) AUK* NEW

62 Behemoth MUSIC CITY (New England IPA) AUK* NEW

63 Garage Project BEER (Pale Lager) WGN* ↓23

64 Parrotdog FORGET-ME-NOT (American IPA) WGN*

65 Emerson’s HAZED & CONFUSED (International IPA) OTA


67 8 Wired LOKOMOTIV MERLOT (Imperial Stout) AUK* NEW

68 Behemoth BRAIN SMILES (New England IPA) AUK* NEW

69 Behemoth DRINK YESTERDAY NO.1 (New England IPA) AUK* NEW


71 New New New SYNAPTIC VOYAGE (Kettle Sour) OTA* NEW

72 Behemoth MOCHA MADNESS (Imperial Stout) AUK* NEW GABS



75 Epic TRIPLE ALPHA (Imperial IPA) AUK* NEW

76 Behemoth BRAVE BIKKIE (English Brown Ale) AUK*

77 Brave TIGERMILK IPA (American IPA) HKB*

78 Epic LOVE & AFFECTION (American IPA) AUK* NEW

79 Epic MAGIC DUST (American IPA) AUK* ↓61

80 McLeod’s 802 #13 UNFILTERED IPA (New England IPA) NTL* NEW

81 8 Wired HIPPY BERLINER (Berliner Weisse) AUK* GABS ↓38

82 Boneface UNIT (New Zealand IPA) WGN*

83 Boneface HOPTRON (American Pale Ale) WGN* ↑1

84 Good George IPA (New Zealand IPA) WKO* ↓57


86 Emerson’s BIRD DOG (American IPA) OTA ↓64

87 Liberty OH BROTHER (American Pale Ale) AUK* ↓26

88 Panhead THE VANDAL (New Zealand IPA) WGN ↑8

89 Sawmill XPA (New Zealand Pale Ale) AUK* ↑4

90 Bootleg APEHANGER (American IPA) WKO* ↓41

91 Bach VELVET MARLEY (Specialty Beer) AUK* NEW GABS

92 McLeod’s TROPICAL CYCLONE (Imperial IPA) NTL* ↓16

93 Behemoth CHEECH & CHONG BLAZY IPA (New England IPA) AUK* NEW

94 Behemoth THE DUDE ABIDES (Imperial Stout) AUK* ↓77

95 Garage Project ARO NOIR (American Stout) WGN* ↓25

96 Behemoth CHUR (New Zealand Pale Ale) AUK* ↓15

97 Garage Project DIRTY BOOTS (American Pale Ale) WGN*

98 Garage Project BLOCK PARTY (New Zealand IPA) WGN* NEW

99 8 Wired JUICE TRAIN (New England IPA) AUK* NEW

100 Alibi IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (American Stout) AUK* NEW GABS



↔ Maintained position from 2017

↑X Up X places from 2017

↓X Down X places from 2017

First Hottest 100 appearance

* Brewed by an independent brewery

NEW Brewed for the first time in 2018

GABS A ‘Festival Beer’ brewed especially for GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest

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