Wellington Scoop

Panhead and Garage Project voted most popular craft beers

Photo: Jono Galuszka, The Crafty Pint

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Upper Hutt brewery Panhead Custom Ales has secured back-to-back wins in the second edition of the GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers poll with its popular ‘Supercharger’ APA (American Pale Ale).

Based on the highly successful Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers (now in its tenth year), and created by the team behind GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest, the Kiwi version of the poll saw thousands of craft beer lovers around the country vote for their five favourite craft beers of the year, choosing amongst more than 650 beers
nominated by New Zealand’s leading breweries. The results shine a powerful spotlight on the trends, brands and breweries shaping the booming craft beer industry.

Completing the podium were two beers from Wellington’s Garage Project . In second place was ‘Death From Above’, a South-East Asian inspired American IPA (India Pale Ale) which the brewery recently announced would be discontinued in light of negative feedback about the beer’s provocative name and label artwork.

Maintaining its hold on third position was ‘Pernicious Weed’, an 8% ABV Double IPA. In total, the prolific brewer was the most dominant in the list with an impressive 19 Garage Project beers featured.

Also prominent were Auckland-based brewers Behemoth (13 beers) and 8 Wired (10 beers). Amongst those were Behemoth’s ‘Chocolate Fish’ Milk Stout and 8 Wired’s ‘Cosmic Chaos’ Kettle Sour, which along with ‘Royal Tanninbomb’ from Yeastie Boys (who recently moved its brewing operations from Invercargill to Auckland), were brewed especially for GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest as a ‘Festival Beer’, then packaged and sold exclusively after the festival at Liquorland as part of a GABS Festival Beer Mixed Six Pack.

In total, seven beers on the list started their journey as a GABS Festival Beer, including ‘Jungle Boogie’ from Funk Estate in Mount Maunganui. The Blood Orange Sour Ale was also the biggest climber on the list, moving up 71 places from last year’s results to secure 16th position this year.

Collaboration between brewers also looks to be an emerging theme, with two ‘collab’ beers placing on the list: ‘Beautiful Trouble’ from Birkenhead Brewing Co and renowned US brewer Ninkasi; as well as ‘Threeway Sour Mango IPA’ from Emerson’s ,
Behemoth and Funk Estate .

Breaking into the top ten for the first time was Liberty Brewing Co (Helensville) with its distinctive ‘Citra’ Double IPA in 8th and ‘The Kush’ IPA in 7th, which was the first of 28 beers on the list brewed for the first time in 2017.

Co-Founder of GABS and organiser of the poll Steve Jeffares said “It’s fantastic to see so many new beers making the list. For us, this illustrates the incredible vibrancy of the Kiwi beer scene”.

Jeffares also remarked on the diverse beer styles represented in the list in comparison to its Australian counterpart. “In this year’s Aussie list, we saw hoppy styles such as Pale Ales and IPAs dominate with 75% of beers being hop-driven. While that trend is still strong in New Zealand, it’s very rewarding to see Kiwi beer lovers also voting in numbers for Sours, Stouts, Goses and other more experimental beers. There are some hugely creative beers being made all across New Zealand and it’s obvious they’re striking the right chord”.

GABS Auckland is regarded as one of the premier beer festivals in New Zealand and takes places at the ASB Showgrounds on Saturday 30 June. Tickets go on sale Friday 20 April. Visit www.gabsfestival.com for more info.

The GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers is proudly supported by Liquorland and The Crafty Pint.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew, 3. February 2018, 18:45

    The term ‘craft beer’ may still apply to the Garage Project beer, but given the volume of Sour Charger that is being made, it should no longer apply to PanHead.

    PS, Sour instead of Super is not a typo…