Best Australian Brewers Power Rankings

Who would you rate as Australia’s best brewers? This is the question that I’m answering on a regular basis with these Power Rankings that break down the best brewers in Australia.

I determine the best brewers based on a criteria of:

  • Quality of core range/go-to beers
  • Quality of seasonal and one-off beers
  • Good breadth and diversity of beer styles produced
  • Creativity and innovation in the beers produced
  • Availability of beers across Australia

December 2016 Power rankings for the best brewer in Australia

My latest subjective ranking of Australia’s best brewers with their previous ranking in brackets.

10. tied (new) 4 Pines / Murrays

4 Pines continue to grow and expand as one of Australia’s biggest independent craft brewers. They also make really good beer that is accessible anywhere. Their Amber Ale, brewed with a healthy amount of the excellent Mosaic hop, was their best core beer yet. While I may not rush to get their one-offs, they produce good beers in a wide range of styles.

I also had to have Murrays on this list after they returned to form in a big way this year. They seemed to have dropped off the craft beer radar a bit but really came back to form this year with their special releases including Thunderbolt IPA that won Crafty Pint’s blind tasting, Coffee Wild Thing (see above) and Skully, a Red IPA.

9. (10) Wayward 

I was stoked to visit their premises in Annandale this year and sample more of their impressive range. I’m yet to have a bad beer from these guys and they have a great variety of beers beyond just pale ales.Their Fat Charmer, a bigger version of their classic Charmer Red Ale, was a highlight for its flavour and drinkability at the NSW Pint of Origin, while I also enjoyed their tart Sourpuss raspberry Berliner Weisse and dry fruity Saison. They’ve also started bottling this year so we should more of their core range.

8. (9) Bacchus Brewing 

My wish came true and we’re seeing more and more of their beers available in good beer stores. They became the first two-time People’s Choice GABS winners with their win at this year’s festival with the Peanut Brittle Gose that was another desser-like beer – sweet with a salty finish in a unique take on the style.

7. (4) Holgate

Their Flanders Red ale has received quite the praise from Crafty Pint and their barrel-aged stout also had some good wraps. I enjoyed their Tangelo Gose and these craft beer vets showed that they are still among the best in the business.

6. (6) Mornington Peninsula

I was really impressed by the range this year. Nothing too crazy but a good range of different styles released regularly and all done well. I mentioned A nice complement to one of the best core ranges in the business.

4. (7) Pirate Life

Another big year for Pirate Life, quickly moving up these rankings and set to be one of the top performers again in the Hottest 100. Their Triple IPA at GABS delighted the punters with the best rating on Untappd and they turned out a good range of beers this year. I was most impressed by their stout, particularly as it was the first beer of theirs I’d had that wasn’t hop-focused.

4. (5) La Sirene

La Sirene is all class. Their beers are always well-made, complex and intriguing. Their Avant Garde series met a lot of praise (and had beautiful labels), while their Urban Pale was a great first example of them bringing their farmhouse-style beers to a wider audience.

3. (3) Bridge Road

Continue to pump out creative beers that push the envelope and bring Australia craft beer forward. The Mayday Hills range, featuring a huge wooden barrel innoculated with brett yeast is the latest example of that. While I also found their duo of Biere De Wilde beers featuring wild yeasts from different winemakers intriguing and tasty.

2. (2) Boatrocker

The barrel program continues to be a success and produce high-quality beers that are unmatched in Australia. Ramjet once again impressed as one of Australia’s best beers, big and flavoursome and balanced, while the Dark Saison was probably my favourite beer this year from them. They are breathing down the neck of Feral at no. 1.

1. (1) Feral

A relatively quiet year in my books from Australia’s best brewer but they still have a great core range of beers complemented by a variety of excellent limited releases. It seems that many agree with me on their ranking as Beer Cartel’s industry survey also had them in the top spot. Look forward to seeing what they do after moving to a new brewery with greater capacity this year.
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4 thoughts on “Best Australian Brewers Power Rankings

  1. Not sure how you couldn’t find a spot for Stone & Wood, not even a mention. Their Pacific Ale was top of the Hottest 100 and has been top 2 for the last five years. Pretty average article written by somebody who seemingly spends too much time buying beer from Dan Murphys rather than from quality liquor outlets. Holgate in the top 10? Please. Think outside Victoria.

    • Stone and Wood weren’t in the list because they don’t have a wide and diverse range. The beers they have are pretty good but they don’t have the variety of say a craft beer stalwart like Holgate.

      I toyed with a number of additional NSW breweries on the list but the Victorian breweries have more runs on the board at this point, though the gap is closing fast. I expect that some more will be on there for the next edition.

      Lol at the suggestion I haven’t stepped outside of Dan Murphys. Take a look around the site mate. Beer snobbery does not become you.

  2. What’s sad about mountain goat being bought?
    You said yourself they are still making good beer. And with wider distribution available through asahi chances are if you go into a rural pub in the arse end of victoria in five years you wont just have a choice of CUB, but CUB and maybe Steam Ale. Cant think of much better for Aussie Craft Beer than having that foot in the door.
    As long as they continue to make good beer, im gonna buy and drink it.

    • Fair enough! Yeah I feel like the sale maybe knocked them down in some peole’s view but I agree with you their beers are still good! And they’ve been great at getting craft beer across many venues. I ranked them highest for availability.

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