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?

No beer at Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams is a fantastic entertainer and surprisingly funny, like referring to himself as a “fat Justin Bieber” and I had a smile on my face for the whole show. I didn’t, however, have a single beer for the whole show.

I didn’t think I would have ever expected to be writing a blog post on Robbie Williams, much less be using his name for the post title.

The reason for this strange turn of events is because I happened to see Robbie Williams live at Perth Arena last week during his Swings Both Ways Tour.

It was a last minute thing and whilst I’m not exactly a huge fan I certainly thought it would a great show.

I had been enjoying the official opening of Northbridge Brewing Co. when I got the phone call …

“Do you want to see Robbie Williams?”

“Hell yeah”

“Cool, you need to be here fast”

“Ah …. ”

And so I made my departure from brewery to arrive at the arena after a brisk ten minute walk.

Northbridge Brewing Co official opening that I was lucky enough to be invited along to - Thank you NBC!
Northbridge Brewing Co official opening that I was lucky enough to be invited along to – Thank you NBC!

Robbie Williams is a fantastic entertainer and surprisingly funny, like referring to himself as a “fat Justin Bieber” and I had a smile on my face for the whole show. I didn’t, however, have a single beer for the whole show. The reasons for this were a) I didn’t feel like lining up with the rest of the female population of Perth to use the bathroom and b) the uninspiring nature of the beer available.

I think we were close enough to the action ...
I think we were close enough to the action …

The last time my partner and I were at the Arena was for Queens of the Stone Age & Nine Inch Nails where we had plastic cups of Hahn Super Dry. Oh so rock n roll.

Our post-Robbie Williams dinner was at Grill’d on Murray Street where we sat down to a couple of burgers and two of our absolute favourite Australian beers – Feral Hop Hog and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. Whilst this is great I couldn’t help but think it was a shame we couldn’t have enjoyed the same local brews at our own Perth Arena; especially given how many local breweries we have in the state let alone if we extend the idea of “local” out to the rest of the country. Of course I get why, I know I’m probably not part of a huge portion of the Robbie Williams crowd who would have killed a glass of Bootleg Speakeasy IPA or Colonial Small Ale but wouldn’t be nice to have some kind of local beer on offer?

Chicken burger at Grill'd
Chicken burger at Grill’d

I feel like having great Australian craft beers fits perfectly at Grill’d, it reflects my perception of them as a venue that is concerned with supporting local companies, where quality is more important than dollar margins and from this I conclude that I’m going to get food with the same qualities. Grill’d embrace the point that so many places time and time again fail miserably to show the slightest bIt of attention to – the beers on your list are just as much a reflection of your venue as your wine list, your food options, the music you play and the way you decorate. Having a list entirely made up of mass produced lagers is like having a wine list of only New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or playing R&B despite being an Irish pub – it doesn’t fit and it tells people you didn’t care enough to think about it.

In short (because I have rambled) when I go to the Perth Arena to see an amazing concert, an act with international fame of unmeasurable proportions, inside a structure that has been designed and built to be a drawcard and icon for our city and I look down at my cup of boring … Well, I love you Perth Arena but why does it feel like no one cares about the beer?

Feral Hop Hog and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale at Grill'd Murray Street, Perth

Feral Hop Hog and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale at Grill’d Murray Street, Perth