Pacific Ale back on top in GABS Hottest 100

Editor’s Note

Stone & Wood has reclaimed the title of Australia’s hottest beer as the results of the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2019 has been announced today.

Despite losing the independence label following its sale to CUB, Balter managed to retain its place on the GABS Hottest 100 podium for 2019, with its XPA falling one place to number 2 after two years at the top spot. Balter’s results are unprecedented amongst past results with acquired breweries typically facing a significant backlash post sale.

Meanwhile Coca-Cola owned WA brewery Feral made an strong comeback into the list moving back into the top 10, marking a 93 place rise for its Biggie Juice.

Also in the top 20 and achieving marked ranking rises were Burleigh Brewing’s Twisted Palm pale ale – up 35 places – and Capital Brewing’s Hang Loose Juice up 79 places. It was also a major win for Coopers, as the brewer’s XPA proved a new entrant to the list at number 16, a sign that the brewery’s move to cans had made a major impact on the popularity for Australia’s largest independent brewery.

Amongst the CUB-owned brands, 4 Pines managed to place three beers in the top 100, but Pirate Life failed to make the top 100.

GABS H100 AUS 2019 Top Ten photo credit The Crafty Pint

Media Release

Capping off a remarkable ten years as one of Australia’s most loved beers, Stone & Wood’s ‘Pacific Ale’ has reclaimed the number one spot in the country’s (and possibly the world’s) biggest people’s choice poll in craft beer.

Now in its twelfth year, the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers poll reveals the trends, brands and breweries shaping the craft beer landscape. Described by Australian Brews News as “the largest and most influential people’s choice poll in the land,” the 2019 edition saw a phenomenal 35,500 beer lovers place more than 177,000 votes for their favourite craft beers of the year! The live countdown on Saturday 25 January sent the beer digital world into overdrive and was also celebrated at more than 60 official events around the country.

“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” said Craig Williams, GABS Festival Event Director and organiser of the poll. “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.”

“And through it all, Pacific Ale has been the Hottest 100’s most outstanding performer, debuting at #14 in the 2009 poll (under original moniker ‘Draught’), moving to #3 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.”

Previous two-time winner Balter’s ‘XPA’ moved to second place. After announcing a sale to CUB in December, industry pundits had speculated whether the highly popular Gold Coast brewery’s beers would fall in positioning. However, with two beers in the top ten of the results and a dominant eight beers in total throughout the Hottest 100 list, it appears the sale has made minimal impact on voters in this year’s poll.

In third position (for the third year in a row) is ACT-based brewery BentSpoke with their India Pale Ale ‘Crankshaft’, topping an impressive showing of 6 beers in the list, many of which are in the top 30 placings. Rounding out the top ten are #4 Young Henrys (NSW) ‘Newtowner’, #5 Your Mates Brewing (QLD) ‘Larry’, #6 Bridge Road Brewers (VIC) ‘Beechworth Pale Ale’, #7 Feral (WA) ‘Biggie Juice’, #8 Balter (QLD) ‘Hazy’, #9 KAIJU! (VIC) ‘KRUSH!’, and #10 Hop Nation (VIC) ‘Jedi Juice’.

Feral’s ‘Biggie Juice’ was the biggest climber on the list, moving up an incredible 93 places from last year’s results. The New England (or Hazy) IPA was again a hugely popular beer style in 2019, which alongside hop-driven Pale Ales and IPAs took up almost three quarters of the list. Easier drinking Lager styles also proved popular, with tart and fruity sour beer styles continuing to emerge.

Reflecting the pace at which new craft beers can be released and gain momentum, 30 beers made their Hottest 100 debut, with 18 of those only brewed for the first time in 2019, including an ‘XPA’ from Australia’s oldest family owned brewery Coopers (SA), as well as ‘Participation Award’, a three-way collaboration between Range Brewing (QLD), Mr Banks Brewing (VIC) and Melbourne craft beer bar Mr West. Overall, 79% of the listed beers were made by independently owned breweries.

When it comes to State Of Origin, Queensland has well and truly thrown down the gauntlet to traditionally dominant states of New South Wales and Victoria, claiming 29 positions in the list from 12 different breweries. This included ‘Grape Bubblegum Sour’ from Currumbin Valley Brewing, a Hubba Bubba inspired beer first launched as an exclusive ‘Festival Beer’ at GABS Festival in 2019 and winning the prestigious People’s Choice Award at that event.

Organised by the team behind GABS Craft Beer & Cider Festival, the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers poll is a proven sales driver for the craft beer industry, with many listed breweries enjoying a significant boost in brand awareness and sales, as retailers, bars and consumers use the results when deciding what to buy.

On the poll’s impact, Williams stated “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”.

In addition to the main Hottest 100 list, the organisers have also announced their annual sublists for the Hottest 100 NEW Craft Beers featuring those beers released for the first time in 2019, Hottest 100 INDIE Craft Beers (beers released by independently owned breweries), and the Hottest 100 NEXT Craft Beers (those ranked from 101-200), now available at

If all this talk about great craft beer has made you thirsty, from Tuesday 28 January Dan Murphy’s will be selling a limited release, GABS Hottest 100 mixed case, which features 24 beers from the 2019 list. These rare cases tend to sell out very quickly and can be ordered via their website at

The GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers is proudly supported by Dan Murphy’s, The Crafty Pint, and Australian Brews News.


  • POLL
    Record 35,500 votes received and 177,500 individual beer votes
  • More than 2,500 beers nominated (from 290 breweries) in the poll
  • 60+ events held at bars, brewpubs and craft beer venues around Australia to celebrate the countdown


  • 45 breweries are represented in the list
  • With 8 beers, Balter (QLD) featured the most beers in the Hottest 100
  • BentSpoke and Capital (both ACT breweries) each featured 6 beers in the list
  • Young Henrys (NSW) secured 5 positions in the list


  • QLD: 29 beers from 12 breweries
  • NSW: 25 beers from 12 breweries
  • VIC: 19 beers from 11 breweries
  • ACT: 12 beers from 2 breweries
  • WA: 6 beers from 4 breweries
  • SA: 5 beers from 2 breweries
  • WA/VIC: 4 beers from 2 breweries
  • NT: 0 beers
  • TAS: 0 beers


  1. Stone & Wood PACIFIC ALE (Australian Pale Ale) NSW * ↑ 1
  2. Balter XPA (Pale Ale) QLD ↓ 1
  3. BentSpoke CRANKSHAFT (American IPA) ACT * ↔
  4. Young Henrys NEWTOWNER (Australian Pale Ale) NSW * ↔
  5. Your Mates LARRY (Australian Pale Ale) QLD * ↑ 8
  6. Bridge Road BEECHWORTH PALE ALE (Australian Pale Ale) VIC * ↓ 1
  7. Feral BIGGIE JUICE (New England IPA) WA ↑ 93
  8. Balter HAZY (New England IPA) QLD NEW ☆
  10. Hop Nation JEDI JUICE (New England IPA) VIC * GABS ↓ 1
  11. Balter IPA (American IPA) QLD ↓ 4
  12. BentSpoke BARLEY GRIFFIN (Australian Pale Ale) ACT * ↓ 1
  13. Burleigh TWISTED PALM (Australian Pale Ale) QLD * ↑ 35
  14. Black Hops PALE ALE (Australian Pale Ale) QLD * ↔
  15. Gage Roads SINGLE FIN (Australian Pale Ale) WA * ↓ 5
  16. Coopers XPA (American Pale Ale) SA * NEW ☆
  17. BentSpoke CLUSTER 8 (Imperial IPA) ACT * ↓ 5
  18. Capital HANG LOOSE JUICE (New England IPA) ACT * ↑ 79
  19. Coopers ORIGINAL PALE ALE (Australian Pale Ale) SA * ↓ 2
  20. Balter CAPTAIN SENSIBLE (American Pale Ale) QLD ↓ 1
  21. Philter XPA (Australian Pale Ale) NSW * ↑ 5
  22. Black Hops HORNET (American IPA) QLD * ↑ 21
  23. Stone & Wood CLOUD CATCHER (Australian Pale Ale) NSW * ↑ 5
  24. 4 Pines PACIFIC ALE (Australian Pale Ale) NSW ☆
  25. Balter DAZY (Double New England IPA) QLD NEW GABS ☆
  26. Balter HAZY DC (New England IPA) QLD NEW ☆
  27. 4 Pines PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) NSW ↑ 13
  28. Modus Operandi SONIC PRAYER IPA (American IPA) NSW * ↑ 4
  29. Colonial PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) WA/VIC * ↑ 31
  30. BentSpoke SPROCKET (American IPA) ACT * ↓ 14
  31. Capital COAST ALE (California Common) ACT * ↓ 16
  32. James Squire ONE FIFTY LASHES (Australian Pale Ale) NSW ↑ 12
  33. Black Hops SUPER HORNET (Imperial IPA) QLD * ↑ 55
  34. Grifter SERPENTS KISS (Fruit Beer) NSW * ↑ 44
  35. Moon Dog OLD MATE (American Pale Ale) VIC * ↑ 20
  36. Grifter PALE (Australian Pale Ale) NSW * ↑ 2
  37. Furphy FURPHY REFRESHING ALE (Kölsch) VIC ↓ 12
  38. Colonial SOUTH WEST SOUR (Hoppy Sour) WA/VIC * ↑ 58
  39. Stomping Ground GIPPS ST PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) VIC * ☆
  40. Your Mates SALLY (American IPA) QLD * NEW ☆
  41. Coopers SESSION ALE (Pale Ale) SA * ↓ 19
  42. Brick Lane ONE LOVE (Australian Pale Ale) VIC * ☆
  43. Coopers SPARKLING ALE (Australian Sparkling Ale) SA * ↑ 3
  44. Dainton BLOOD ORANGE NERIPA (New England IPA) VIC * ↓ 8
  45. Heads Of Noosa JAPANESE LAGER (Pale Lager) QLD * NEW ☆
  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 * ↓ 11
  49. Feral IMPERIAL BIGGIE (Double New England IPA) WA NEW GABS ☆
  50. Balter IIPA (Imperial IPA) QLD ↓ 44
  51. Feral HOP HOG (American Pale Ale) WA ↑ 2
  52. 10 Toes HAPPY DAYS (American IPA) QLD * ↑ 18
  53. Capital ROCK HOPPER IPA (American IPA) ACT * ↓ 32
  54. Little Creatures PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) WA/VIC ↑ 8
  55. BentSpoke RED NUT (Red IPA) ACT * ↓ 32
  56. Young Henrys NATURAL LAGER (Kellerbier) NSW * ↓ 25
  57. Modus Operandi FORMER TENANT RED IPA (Red IPA) NSW * ↓ 24
  58. Jetty Road PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) VIC * ↓ 29
  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 * GABS ↓ 43
  62. Young Henrys MOTORCYCLE OIL (Porter) NSW * ↑ 32
  63. Balter STRONG PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) QLD ↓ 39
  64. Colonial IPA (Australian IPA) WA/VIC *
  65. Wayward RASPBERRY BERLINER WEISSE (Berliner Weisse) NSW * ↓ 1
  66. Currumbin Valley GRAPE BUBBLEGUM SOUR (Kettle Sour) QLD * NEW GABS ☆
  67. Capital TRAIL PALE ALE (American Pale Ale) ACT * ↓ 40
  68. Brick Lane BASE LAGER (Helles Lager) VIC * ☆
  69. Stone & Wood THE GATHERER (American Wheat) NSW * ☆
  70. Fixation FIXATION IPA (American IPA) VIC * ↑ 21
  71. Young Henrys IPA (Australian IPA) NSW * NEW ☆
  72. Thirsty Crow VANILLA MILK STOUT (Sweet Stout) NSW * ↓ 27
  73. BentSpoke HOW’S IT GOSEN? (Gose) ACT * NEW ☆
  74. Bridge Road BEECHY XPA (Australian Pale Ale) VIC * ↓ 27
  75. 10 Toes LAGER (Australian Pilsner) QLD * ↓ 8
  76. Green Beacon WAYFARER (Pale Ale) QLD ↓ 20
  77. Bondi Brewing BONDI DRAUGHT (Australian Pilsner) NSW * NEW ☆
  78. Capital BIG DROP DOUBLE IPA (Imperial IPA) ACT * NEW ☆
  79. Your Mates MACCA (Helles Lager) QLD * NEW ☆
  80. Brick Lane RED HOPPY ALE (American Amber/Red) VIC * NEW ☆
  81. Hemingway’s 7TH HEAVEN TROPICAL ALE (Australian Pale Ale) QLD * NEW ☆
  82. Stone & Wood STICKY NECTAR (Milkshake IPA) NSW * ☆
  83. Capital EVIL EYE RED IPA (Red IPA) ACT * ↓ 34
  84. Burleigh BIGHEAD (Pale Lager) QLD * ↓ 13
  85. Beerfarm ASAM BOI GOSE (Gose) WA * ☆
  86. Black Hops CARIBBEAN HAZE (New England IPA) QLD * NEW GABS ☆
  87. Hop Nation DREAMFEED (New England IPA) VIC * NEW ☆
  88. Nail VPA (Pale Ale) WA * ↓ 16
  89. Young Henrys STAYER (MID) (Hoppy Lager) NSW * ☆
  90. Moon Dog BEER CAN (Hoppy Lager) VIC * ↓ 22
  91. 4 Pines INDIAN SUMMER ALE (American Pale Ale) NSW ↓ 10
  92. Akasha MOSAIC IPA (American IPA) NSW * ☆
  93. Green Beacon WINDJAMMER (American IPA) QLD ↓ 73
  94. Brouhaha STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SOUR (Kettle Sour) QLD * ↓ 17
  95. Akasha KORBEN D. DOUBLE IPA (Imperial IPA) NSW * ↓ 36
  96. Mountain Goat SUMMER ALE (Blonde Ale) VIC
  97. Bridge Road BLING IPA (American IPA) VIC * ↓ 10
  98. Range / Mr Banks / Mr West PARTICIPATION AWARD (Double New England IPA) QLD * NEW ☆
  99. Your Mates DONNIE (Porter) QLD * ↓ 6
  100. Batch PASH THE MAGIC DRAGON (Kettle Sour) NSW * ↓ 8

↔ Maintained position from 2018
↑X Up X places from 2018
↓X Down X places from 2018
☆ First Hottest 100 appearance
* Brewed by an independent brewery (as defined by the Independent Brewers Association)
NEW Brewed for the first time in 2019
GABS A ‘Festival Beer’ brewed especially for GABS Craft Beer & Cider Festival

Back to News Releases