• 2018's craft beer favourites.
Credit: The Crafty Pint
    2018's craft beer favourites. Credit: The Crafty Pint

Gold Coast brewery Balter Brewing, which is partly owned by surfing champion Mick Fanning, has cleaned up in the latest GABS Top 100 beer poll.

Balter Brewing brews came in first, sixth and seventh place in the people's choice poll which attracted 31,000 votes.

The GABS Top 100 beer poll, which is now in its 11th year, aimsd to to pin down the hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers each year.

Balter claimed the title of Australia’s favourite craft beer for the second year running with its ‘XPA’ (Extra Pale Ale), and its IIPA (Double IPA) and IPA (India Pale Ale) came in sixth and seventh position respectively, from a field of 2350 beers from more than 260 breweries.

Balter’s IIPA was one of 21 beers released in the last twelve months to make the list, and the New England IPA, or ‘Hazy IPA’, style was prevalent amongst the new entries, according to organisers.

Craft beer drinkers are also increasingly supporting beers and breweries from their immediate region, and the Top 100 2018 list for the first time featured a Northern Territory brewery - Darwin’s One Mile Brewery.

Overall, Queensland led the pack in terms of growth with 22 beers from nine breweries (up from 15 beers and five breweries in 2017). NSW, meanwhile, maintained its overall presence on the list with 26 beers from 13 breweries, while Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia dropped in representation from last year.

Also, 88 per cent of the beers on the list were made by independently owned breweries, up from 71 per cent in 2017.

A strong resurgence from South Australian family brewer Coopers was also noted by organisers. In 2017, its ‘Sparkling Ale’ was the sole entry at #97. That beer made the biggest jump of this year’s list, moving 51 places to #46. In addition this year, Coopers ‘Original Pale Ale’ came in at #17 and ‘Session Ale’ at #22.

“I think it’s just become this wonderful tradition that’s grown alongside the craft beer industry, allowing beer lovers to reflect on their favourite beers of the year and give a vote to the brewers who made them,” GABS Co-Founder Steve Jeffares said.

“This year’s list is again very revealing about what people are drinking and enjoying, whether that’s a more mainstream Pale Ale or a Strawberry Rhubarb Sour from their favourite Sunshine Coast local”.

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