Stone & Wood Pacific Ale GABS Hottest 100

Australia’s favourite craft beers revealed

January 26, 2020
By Alana House

Stone & Wood Pacific Ale has reclaimed the number one spot in the GABS Hottest 100 poll of Australia’s favourite craft beers.

“What a year to be in beer – and even better to be drinking it,” said the Byron Bay brewer. “2019 delivered a barrage of excellent brewing and boundary-pushing beer concepts, plus plenty of the old favourites that we go on loving – many that featured in today’s GABS Festival Hottest 100 Countdown.

“First, we have to thank everyone who enjoyed our beer in the last year; we couldn’t have landed Sticky Nectar, The Gatherer and Cloud Catcher in the top 100 without you! We’re stoked with the result and want to extend that celebration to our mates at Balter Brewing Company & BentSpoke Brewing Co for their spots on the podium too. A big congrats to everyone.”

Stone & Wood Original Pacific Ale GABS Hottest 100 favourite craft beers

“We’re especially humbled to see the Original Pacific Ale at number one and in the top ten for the 10th year running – thank you!

“We’re looking forward to another year of all things beer. Thanks to everyone who continues supporting local and independent beer – you help make the industry what it is.”

Now in its twelfth year, the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers poll reveals the trends, brands and breweries shaping the craft beer landscape. The latest edition saw a phenomenal 35,500 beer lovers place more than 177,000 votes for their favourite craft beers of the year.

“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 No.14 in the 2009 poll (under original moniker ‘Draught’), moving to No.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.

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.

When it comes to State Of Origin, Queensland has well and truly thrown down the gauntlet to traditionally dominant states of NSW 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.

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.”

If all this talk about great craft beer has made you thirsty, from Tuesday, January 28, 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

Here are the top 10 favourite craft 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 ↓ 1
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