beer business

It’s Hottest 100 time

h100

Around this time of year it is the done thing that all Australian beer bloggers must write a post about how they cast their votes in the Hottest 100 Craft Beers of 2013 poll.

And so here’s my missive about the five best beers of the year.

Much like Pia at Girl + Beer, working out my favourite five beers is no easy feat. I taste so many that picking five is tricky – and they’re likely to change on any given day. Ask me tomorrow and the top five I choose may well be very different.

It’s also hard because I know a few brewers and get concerned about hurting their feelings if I don’t make them one of my top five. Really, I think it needs to be a top 10. But then I’d likely be worried about hurting the feelings of those who would have come in 11th, or 12th.

The way I made my selections was fast – scroll down the list, find five beers that I loved and click ’em. The idea was to go with a gut response, rather than spend too much time thinking about things.

So here’s the five beers I done chose

1 Illawarra Brewing Company – Apocalypso
They’re local – from my home town of Wollongong (even though I grew up in Sydney I consider Wollongong my home town). And it’s a lovely, juicy IPA. It was initially brewed as a seasonal but I like think my pestering helped to force them to make it a part of the regular line-up.

2 Two Birds – Taco
I’ve only had the chance to try this beer – a wheat beer with coriander and lime – a few times. That’s because it’s only on tap. But every single time I see it in a bar, I always buy it. Because it’s good. Maybe if this beer finishes high in the list they’ll start bottling it.

3 Brewcult – Acid Freaks
It’s got vinegar in it! Yeah, vinegar – and it’s not a novelty beer. The vinegar actually works. Any brewer that can take an acidic ingredient and make it an integral part of a beer is doing some damned impressive work in my book.

4 Doctor’s Orders – Zephyr
Only ever had this beer once, on a growler in Newcastle one summer. And it was perfect – a deliciously refreshing beer and one that certainly doesn’t feel as strong as its 7.5 per cent.

5 Bridge Road Brewers – Beechworth Pale Ale
This is an old favourite; a beer that showed me just how good craft beer can be. I still remember the first time I had it – I sat there sniffing the beer rather than drinking it because the aroma was so amazing.

Of course, I went back through the beer list and tortured myself with the other beers I could have chosen – HopDog’s White Christmas, Temple’s Bicycle Beer and La Sirene’s Saison among others. I also noted the curious ability to vote for beers from the Five Islands Brewery, a former Wollongong establishment which hasn’t made any beers for a few years now.
Also featured on the list was the odiously-named Bitch Lager. Here’s hoping that beer gets no votes at all.

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