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A new champion craft beer and brewery has been revealed as Craft Beer lovers of New Zealand declared their favourite beers of 2021 in the annual GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers poll.
It was another cracking line up of brews this year as consumers were once again spoilt for choice with beers nominated from 75 breweries! Saturday’s live countdown saw forty-six changes to the 2020 line up with 35 beers debuting onto the Hottest 100 list and 11 beers making strong comebacks and returning to the list after missing out in recent years.
Making history by joining an elite group of breweries and beers as GABS NZ Hottest 100 Champions are the legends from Wellington’s popular Lyall Bay, Parrotdog Brewing Co. The brewery was conceived in 2011 out of a love for good beer by three guys called Matt. Fast forward to 2021 and Parrotdog has soared to #1 in the GABS NZ Hottest 100 with Birdseye. It is an enjoyable 5.8% ABV Hazy IPA that sees things differently with heightened colours and fresh hues, combined with a mellow soft and silky texture.
Placing second was Garage Project’s Sunrise Valley Hazy IPA collaboration with Trillium Brewing Co. It was another epic and extraordinary result after this stunning 8% Hazy IPA made history last year, becoming the first new beer to ever win the Hottest 100 in that same year it was released.
Upper Hutt’s champion brewery Panhead is back on the podium with its Supercharger Pale Ale. This much loved and legendary Wellington brew comes in at #3 this year and increasing its status as one of the Hottest 100 most consistent performers over several years with wins in 2016,17 & 19. Voters ensured the supercharge mantra of “The orange one. Forever charges on” lives on for this well balanced 5.7% Pale Ale.
The boutique craft team from Taranaki’s, Shining Peak continued their great fairytale success story with Skunk Juice Hazy IPA claiming 4th spot. The biggest mover from last year’s Hottest 100 to break into the TOP 10 was Garage Project’s beautifully refreshing Cucumber Dill Pickle Sour. With a cracking can design matching the great drop inside and Pickle Beer followed up its gold medal in the peer judged NZ Brewers Guild Awards with consumers now voting into the TOP 10 at #7
There were also strong performances by Fortune Favours, Behemoth Brewing Co, Deep Creek, Emerson’s, Epic Brewing, Good George, Urbanaut, Duncan’s, Alibi and Mount Brewing Co and it was fantastic to see voters rewarding a range of breweries with positions on the list going to Bootleg, Brave, Cassels, Chinchiller, Cowabunga, Derelict, Dogstar Brew Lab and Lakeman Brewing Co all receiving votes of appreciation for the great beers they are brewing.
Wellington confirmed its position as the craft beer capital of New Zealand with Auckland in second. Whilst Hazy IPAs certainly led the trend for 2021, there is a wide range of New England IPAs, Pale Ales, Kettle Sours and Stouts like Duncan’s Brewing Toasty Marshmellow, Derelict Brewing’s Some Kind of Monster, Alibi’s Deep Lowing and 8 Wired Brewing’s Double Imperial Istout.
GABS Festival MD, Mike Bray, said “After Covid brought about another very challenging year for craft breweries and New Zealand still being severely impacted by strong limitations across hospitality, it was fantastic to see a the Hottest 100 so well embraced by consumers sharing their appreciation for all the breweries in the poll and the bloody hard work that they have put into the last year just to ensure we can still get to drink our favourtite beers.”
The GABS Hottest 100 reveals the trends, brands and breweries shaping the local craft beer landscape with each voter set the very challenging task of selecting only their five favourite craft beers of the year.
The accolade for best new beer brewed in 2021 went to Garage Project’s Double Pernicious Weed 10th Anniversary Edition. This 10% ABV Double Monster Hop IIPA had more of everything – malt, hops, bitterness, juicy grapefruit, citrus flavour and ripe passionfruit aroma. Ranking #6 on the GABS NZ Hottest 100 list, it was clearly a huge hit with beer drinkers across the country.
You can find the full list and download a free poster at https://gabshottest100.com/nz/results/