Australia is great at many things, but one of the most well-known is its output of craft beer. According to Statista, there are over 300 independent brewers that call Australia home, and the overall craft beer market is valued at over AU $150 million and is increasing by five to 10 percent each year.
With such a huge number of craft beer breweries outputting all manner of creative concoctions each year, how do you decide which ones to buy each time to step into a bottle shop? Well, we’ve put together this list of our favourite craft beers to help you get started.
This is by no means a ‘definitive’ list since there are simply far too many incredible craft beers to choose from – you can check out GABS’ hottest 100 beers as voted for by Aussie drinkers here – but it should help serve as a perfect place to start, whether you’re new to craft beer or are in search of something new.
But first, in case you weren’t too sure, what exactly is a craft beer?
What is craft beer?
Craft beer shouldn’t be a new term to you, but have you ever wondered exactly what it means? The traditional definition says it’s a beer that has been produced in limited quantity by small-scale, independent breweries, i.e. those that aren’t owned by larger corporations.
Essentially, it’s a beer that has been produced with craftsmanship.
However, there are many craft beers in Australia that come from breweries that are now owned by large corporations. This technically no longer makes them ‘craft’, yet they will still be labelled so. In most cases, the quality of the beer won’t change, and the only reason larger corporations get involved is so they can produce the beer on a larger scale and distribute it over a greater area.
Best craft beer Australia
BentSpoke Brewing Co. Crankshaft
Be sure to also check out the Sprocket IPA.
Little Creatures Pale Ale
Make sure you also check out the Little Creatures Pacific Ale for a summer day refresher.
Balter Brewing XPA
Consistently ranked as one of the best craft beers in Australia, Balter XPA has it all. Bursting with tropical and aromatic flavours. It can be dangerously easy to drink several Balter XPAs in one session, but this only speaks volumes of how enjoyable it is.
Better Brewing Co. Better Beer
Stone & Wood Brewing Co. Pacific Ale
Capital Brewing Co. Capital XPA
Young Henrys Newtowner
Your Mates Brewing Co. Larry
While Larry is Your Mates' original brew, in the few short years they've been brewing, the team has now added a whole selection of craft beers (a few of which also made it into the hottest 100) to the menu that we seriously recommend you seek out at your nearest bottle shop.
Coopers Brewery Original Pale Ale
Gage Roads Brew Co. Single Fin
Heaps Normal Quiet XPA
The Heaps Normal team are all about mindful drinking, believing that "there's things in life that are too good to be wasted," and sinking a few Quiet XPAs on your next night out will allow you to enjoy those good times to the max. If anything, it tastes better than some other alcoholic XPAs, delivering a refreshing, tropical taste. Who knows, you may be converted to an alcohol-free lifestyle after your first sip.