Well here it is. The number one beer in Australia according to the voters of GABS Hottest 100.

I must admit, I was disappointed, as I am every year to see this beer so high. I had it years ago and wasn’t all that impressed. What’s wrong with the bearded brigade of discerning beer drinkers? Why does this beer seem to find it’s way to the top of the heap every year?

On a long weekend in Newcastle, I found myself at the Caves Beach Hotel bar faced with the options dished up by the not so mighty CUB, the perfectly acceptable Coopers Pale Ale and the aforementioned beer of the year. Time to swallow my beer snob pride, forget about taking notes in my little nerdy book and drink a beer designed to consume next to the beach.

The result? Thoroughly enjoyable. Massive aromas that took me back to childhood and Frosty Fruit ice blocks (think pineapple, passionfruit, grapefruit and orange). These aromas follow through to the palate, along with a touch of bitterness interwoven through the mid to late palate. Make sure it’s cold, the yeast gets a bit ordinary when it warms up, but I’m a slow drinker.

Best in Australia? No. But that’s not the point. Sometimes you just need a beer (albeit, always well made and flavoursome, which this is). Not something to sniff, sip and intellectualise. Something to drink multiples of on a warm afternoon, preferably with some quality fish and chips (or in this case salt + pepper squid).

Appearance 3/5
Aroma 8/10
Flavour 7/10
Palate 4/5
Overall 13/20