Originally I wasn’t going to write a post on the Hottest 100 but ultimately couldn’t help myself.
I really enjoyed this blog post from Beer Is Your Friend that I felt said everything I had wanted to say. Evidently I had more to add.
Fun. You remember ‘fun’, right? I strongly associate fun with my love of craft beer but sometimes, like during the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers poll, I feel like fun gets overshadowed by snobbery.
I watched social media rant and look down on each and every vote that got James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale into the top 10, five Little Creatures beers into the list and Matilda Bay Fat Yak at thirsty-something.
Results here if you’ve not seen yet
Now, I’m not saying I don’t get worked up about things when it comes to beer. I have been known to voice my annoyance when I am at a venue that clearly doesn’t give a damn about their beer list or when a brewery lists its opening hours incorrectly. But I get annoyed, I move on, everything is alright.
What really bothers me is beer snobbery and it was in every negative comment I read about the poll. The negativity could have only been louder had there been an emoji of a child stamping their foot.
To the casual observer it probably seemed like craft beer isn’t much fun and those who drink it are beer snobs who will judge you for what beer is in your hand. If you have gotten this impression I want you to know that this is not true.
Beer snobs are out there, there’s no denying it, but I believe they are not the majority. Just like every lawyer isn’t a scumbag and every bartender isn’t a hipster male with a beard.
The Hottest 100 is a bit of fun, a way to bring people together with beer as the social glue. It celebrates the diversity of beer and the brilliant brewers who make them.
I don’t take the list to say that Feral Hop Hog must be slipping in quality because they dropped a place to number two and Stone & Wood must be the greatest brewers in the country with their Pacific Ale going up to number one. The list doesn’t mean that Little Creatures are better brewers than Boatrocker.
I think the list is more like a pulse check of beer in Australia, a snapshot of what beers are consistently loved, what styles are getting attention, what breweries are making noise. Every year it shows that more and more people are interested in the beer they are drinking with the increase in votes, it shows that the standard of beer in Australia is improving with some beers consistently placing in the list year after year. It shows me that the beer scene in this country is getting better and better.
If you ever wanted a list of beers you should try, this poll is a great place to start. They’re all Australian, they are all brewed by passionate and talented brewers, you’ll like some, you won’t like others, but the idea is to have fun trying!
PS: I really enjoy the hottest 100, I had a lot of fun jumping on social media and making some noise about the WA beers that made it on the list. Congratulations to all you wonderful brewers making beautiful beer!