Controversy over the Hottest 100 Beers

On reflection of the controversy around today’s “Hottest 100 Beers” here a few things to consider.

    1. The word “craft” still has no clearly defined meaning so in this case it obviously applies to “all brewers” so despite there being a number of beers from big brewers, it is good to see that it was not dominated by them and the little guys were represented well.
    2. Regarding Dan Murphys involvement, it is not clear what their “sponsorship” involves, but it appears it is linked to the promotion of the event and given that they are probably the largest retailer of “craft” beer nationally, you would expect the brands that they sell to be well represented.
  1. This leads to the topic of distribution. Obviously not all brewers get the same level of distribution, so it going to be hard for some of them to get noticed, BUT if you have a look at Pirate Life’s results, it does show that they can still rate well, even with a limited distribution.
  2. Regarding the voting. Those of you that voted will know that you basically just vote for your top 5 beers and it is basically a popularity vote. What I mean is that there is no rating system for each beer, or voting for best beer in a style, or anything complicated like that. It is just like asking someone “what is your favourite beer?”
  3. Considering all of the above, it is no surprise that beers like S&W Pacific Ale, Feral Hop Hog and Little Creatures Pale Ale all rate well. They are readily available and appeal to a wide range of palettes and rate well on the “happiness factor”.
  4. This of course leads to the most controversial issue of comparing gateway beers like Fifty Lashes to “true craft” beers like Brew Cult’s Milk and 2 Sugars. If we are honest, we would all say, that MA2S is not a gateway beer and none of us would have switched to that straight from the Commercial Beers we drank on tap when we started. We have all traveled a journey from Crap to Craft and along the way have all had our fair share of Fifty Lashes or whatever the equivalent gateway beer was for you. I think what this list shows is the diversity of the great beers that we have now in Australia, when you get the likes of Little Creatures, James Squires and Pirate Life, all ranking in the top 10. Which leads me to my final point.
  5. If there were any thoughts of this being rigged or controlled by the “big guys” consider Pirate Life’s amazing performance. For a small independent brewery, with limited distribution, to get 3 of their beers in the top 15 in their first full year of brewing is an amazing result and one that should prove the doubters wrong. No doubt I have overlooked some aspects, but I think considering everything, it was a pretty good result. Over to you !