Why craft beer is thriving in Australasia


The popularity of craft beer grows and grows each year, so much so that GABS (Great Australasian Beer Spectacular) is organising a poll surveying the ‘hottest 100 Kiwi craft beers.’

Craig Williams, the organiser of GABS Top 100, joins Tony Murrell on Summer Breakfast with on the poll  and the changing face of the craft beer industry on both sides of the Tasman.

Mr Williams explains that while the trend shows that people are drinking less beer, they are drinking craft beer or beer of better quality.

The craft beer scene in Australia boasts over 450 breweries, a number constantly on the rise. Mr Williams says the scene is similar in New Zealand, with great beers coming from the likes of Behemoth Brewing, Garage Project in Wellington, and 8 Wired Brewing in Auckland.

The craft beer philosophy, according to Mr Williams, is “really creating something that is personal to [the brewer]” rather than meeting a market need or ticking off a demographic.

There’s a real story to be told with every single of one these breweries.

While males are the predominant beer-festival attendants in Australia, Mr Williams has noticed that New Zealand has a slightly stronger female contingent enjoying craft beer.

“I think the New Zealand craft beer scene is just fantastic in terms of the level of quality and creativity that we see over there,” he admits.

GABS regularly hosts festivals for craft beer lovers in Melbourne, Syndey and Auckland. 

Australian Brews News calls the GABS survey "the largest and most influential people’s choice poll in the land” where beer fans around Australia and New Zealand can vote for their five favourite craft beers of the year. 

From previous results, Mr Williams predicts that Panhead, Garage Project, Epic, and Behemoth could be some of the frontrunners. With some 650 beers to choose from in the poll, the vote is now in the hands of the public.

The results of the Aussie poll on Saturday 27 January, and the Kiwi poll on Saturday 3 February. Click here to vote for your top five Kiwi craft beers of 2017.

Listen to the full interview with Craig Williams above. 

Summer Breakfast with Tony Murrell, 6am - 9am weekdays on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.