Bentspoke IPA from ACT topples triple year champ in GABS Hottest 100

January 28, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Bentspoke’s Crankshaft American IPA from Canberra has been voted Australia’s in the prestigious GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers poll.

The IPA wrestled the position from Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale, GABS champion for the past three years.

Even after the challenging year that was for craft breweries, a record numbers of people voted in the GABS Hottest 100 poll, choosing just five of their favourite craft beers of the year. In 2020, 1,951 different beers attracted a share of nearly 200,000 votes.

The live countdown on Saturday was celebrated in pubs around the country and the results set the beer digital world into overdrive. “In craft beer circles it’s on par with the Melbourne Cup,” is how the GABS Hottest 100 is described by Australian Brews News.

In the battle between the states, Queensland set the bar in the Top 10 with Balter XPA and Hazy IPA, Your Mates Larry, Back Hops GOAT and Ballistic Breweries Hawaiian Haze all placing.

GABS Festival Managing Director, Mike Bray, said “ It is just fantastic the GABS Hottest 100 makes craft beer part of a national discussion. 150 people voted in the first poll in 2008, nearly 40,000 voted this time around! After the year the brewing industry has had, to see venues busy, beer flowing, people celebrating and debating craft beer as we delivered the live countdown on Saturday was incredible.  GABS is all about sharing a common love for craft beer and the fact more people are joining the conversation each year, only bodes well for the future of the industry.”

Byron’s Stone & Wood and Sydney’s Young Henry’s Newtowner flew the NSW flag.

Bentspoke added a second ACT beer with the Barley Griffin in tenth and Capital Brewing’s XPA took out the prize for best debut beer.

Victoria had a just one Top 10 representative in Bridge Road’s Beechworth Pale Ale, but they sent a message of things to come with a big resurgence across the board, claiming 25 of the overall spots on offer and as the only state to increase its presence on the GABS Hottest 100.

Impressive performances too came from small breweries like Beerfarm (WA) (18th) and tiny start up, Cronulla Beer Co (NSW) (52nd). Former PM Bob Hawke would have been over the moon with Hawke’s Brewing at 56th, 67th and 92nd.

Independent breweries made up 85% of the list which is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and talented craftspeople in the industry.

Pale, hazy and hop driven ales dominated the list but the move by craft breweries to attract mainstream beer drinkers is clearly working, judging by the number of high quality, easy drinking, gateway Lagers proving popular.

Fun beers also hold their own with Grifter’s Serpent Kiss Fruit Beer, Ballistic’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout and Bad Sheperds Big Peanut Butter Porter.

You can find the full GABS Hottest 100 list here.

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