31 January 2023

Bentspoke places on the podium in nationwide froth-off

| Lucy Ridge
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Giant XPA beer can costume

The Capital Brewing Co. XPA took out number 12. Photo: Capital Brewing Co.

The results from the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers poll have been released and, once again, Canberra has a podium finish!

The popular vote poll is run yearly in Australia and New Zealand and aims to highlight the huge diversity of craft beers and encourage drinkers to try something new.

“Now considered one of the biggest polls of its type in the world, the campaign makes conversations about craft beer the topic of the day,” according to GABS.

“With an average of 30 per cent of the list rotating each year, it introduces new craft consumers to beers they may never have been exposed to before.”

giant beer can on truck

The CAN from CANberra that CAN – Bentspoke took out third spot. Photo: Bentspoke.

GABS stands for Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, the name of the initial beer festival that kicked off the organisation nine years ago. Now GABS runs beer and cider festivals across Australia and New Zealand, as well as a design competition for the best beer labels and the fiercely contested Hottest 100.

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Much like their Triple J namesake, comments following the GABS Hottest 100 are often along the lines of “should have been higher!” for certain favourite drinks. But Canberrans should be pretty stoked with the results for Bentspoke and Capital Brewing in the countdown.

People holding beers at Bentspoke Bewery

Bentspoke Founders Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain celebrate the countdown. Photo: Bentspoke.

Bentspoke Brewing, co-founded in 2012 by Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain, took to the podium with Crankshaft, one of the first beers they ever released. The orange can placed third overall and was the highest-ranking IPA. This is the 6th year in a row that Bentspoke has placed in the top three. A giant Crankshaft Can was the focus of their ‘CANpaign’, which they dubbed “The Can from Canberra that CAN!”

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The Bentspoke team and their supporters celebrated at the Braddon Brewpub on Saturday (28 January) as they followed the countdown. On social media, they thanked everyone that voted for them: “We are so humbled by the support of the community around us. You all push us to do what we love every day.”

lineup of cans with numbers

Capital Brewing Co. had five beers in the top one hundred, second only to Balter, which had six. Photo: Capital Brewing Co.

Capital Brewing had the second-highest number of beers in the countdown with five different brews all making the cut from their Rockhopper IPA at number 80 to the Capital XPA at number 12. The GABS Hottest 100 is a tightly contested campaign with a vast number of entries, and the Capital team were rightly chuffed to have such a successful result.

“With 2,140 beers entered and 60,000 people voting, it’s an achievement the entire Capital crew is incredibly proud of!!⁠” they posted on social media.

Non-alcoholic Canberra start-up Heaps Normal also made the list at number 33, proving that trend of non-alcoholic beers is here to stay!

group of people celebrating with beer

The team at Mountain Culture Beer Co were very excited by their win! Photo: Mountain Culture Beer Co.

The overall winners were Katoomba-based brewery Mountain Culture with their Status Quo New England Pale Ale making its debut entry in the poll in top position.

Check out the full list of winners at the GABS website.

Follow Bentspoke Brewing on Facebook or Instagram. Follow Capital Brewing Co. on Facebook or Instagram.

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