Hottest 100: It’s Fun, Honestly

I really enjoyed the post Beer Is Your Friend wrote on the Hottest 100 beers, I felt said everything I had wanted to say but evidently I have more to add.

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!

 

 

 

 

Hottest 100 2014

As I get older I find my interest in Triple J’s Hottest 100 fading away; I put this down to the fact that as I am pulled kicking and screaming into my mid-thirties I now say things like “I don’t get this song” about new music and “f**k yeah!” when I hear stuff that was released when I was in my teens/early twenties.

On the flipside, The Local Taphouse Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers is increasingly of interest to me. The all Australian beer countdown is hosted by Melbourne venue The Local Taphouse, with support from Australian Brews News & Crafty Pint, and counts down our countries favourite beers from 100 to 1 on Australia Day.

See the full list of 100 beers here

Some feel as though the countdown is a bit boring what with Feral Hop Hog and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale taking out 1st and 2nd position in 2012 and 2013. Incidentally they did it again for 2014 and whilst many predicted this result for the third year running, a pretty impressive achievement even if it’s a bit repetitious, there is a lot that isn’t at all predictable from 3rd to 100th.

Excellent infographic of the 2014 results here

Here is what I noticed from the countdown –

Little Creatures

When Little Creatures was bought by Lion Nathan in 2012 there was some talk of a falling out between craft beer drinkers and LC Pale, the prediction of the end of a great love affair. Yet in this poll by aforementioned craft beer drinkers Little Creatures Pale was voted –

2012 – Little Creatures Pale Ale #3

2013 – Little Creatures Pale Ale #3

2014 – Little Creatures Pale Ale #4

I thought this year may have seen a bigger drop in Fremantle’s favourite brew but it held strong. To think this beer was #1 when the poll first started in 2008 and eight years later it continues to poll in the top 5 is fairly remarkable.

Little Creatures at Gourmet Escape 2012

On a side note Little Creatures Bright Ale jumped up 29 positions to #51. That’s huge! I have no idea what would cause this jump, I know personally I have had an on/off relationship with Bright. When it first came out I loved it, dare I say it, it was my favourite LC beer. Then I went off it, I found it too lolly sweet and now, probably in the last twelve months, I have actually enjoyed a few pint bottles of it.

Another great analysis of results can be found here at Crafty Pint

Mash Copy Cat

I genuinely wasn’t sure where this beer would poll, trying to weigh up the accolades both beer and brewery collected in 2014 with the fact that it’s a WA beer in a poll generally dominated by VIC . I think to debut at #16 is pretty impressive, equal to the impressive nature of the beer itself I reckon.

How WA Breweries Performed

Feral took the most positions with six beers in the poll followed by four beers from Little Creatures and three from Nail Brewing.

Feral Beers

 

Tasting Paddle at Feral Brewing

How I voted

I was happy to see that three of the five beers I voted for made it into the list –

#33 – Feral Watermelon Warhead

#66 – Nail – Red Ale

#70 – La Sirene – Wild Saison

My Votes - Hottest 100 Beers 2014

How I voted

Whilst I knew Cheeky Monkey was an unlikely show in the poll since their distribution isn’t much greater than WA, I was still eager to vote for it because it was such a stupidly delicious beer.

GABS 2015 will be in May hitting Melbourne and Sydney, check out the website for more info.

GABS Beers

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular aka GABS is one of the best beer events on the Australian calendar and part of the festival involves ‘GABS Beers’, beers brewed specially for the festival. The result of a brief like this is more than 100 totally unique beers to make your Untappd check in’s skyrocket.

La Sirene’s Praline scored the highest of the GABS beers at #5 and I am super stoked I bought one from Mane Liquor when I saw it. It’s also one of the few beers I didn’t try when I was at GABS last year.

GABS Booklet 2014

See? No scratchy notes = I didn’t try La Sirene Praline at GABS 2014

Another good read can be found here at Beer is Your Friend where Glen gives his thoughts on the countdown.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Two Birds Taco place at #13, not bad considering it was a GABS beer in 2013 before being made available in bottles in about April 2014. Clearly the bottled beer was an equal success and probably able to reach more hands than at GABS because it climbed 12 places from 2013.

GABS-LOGO-FINAL-WHITE

If you like beer, whatever beer, get in and vote next year!

Did anything stand out to you about the poll? Any surprises? Did all your beers get into the countdown?