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BentSpoke’s Crankshaft named Australia’s No.1 craft beer in GABS Festival Hottest 100 | The Canberra Times

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Canberra’s own BentSpoke Brewing Co. has taken out the top spot in the annual GABS Festival Hottest 100 beer countdown with its popular Crankshaft, after taking third place for three years in a row. Crankshaft beat out last year’s No.1 – Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale, which came second – and was among 12 ACT beers which made the top 100 Seven Capital Brewing beers made the list, beating out last year’s record of six in the top 100. The brewery had polled six beers in the list in the two previous years. BentSpoke co-owner and head brewer Richard Watkins said it was amazing a small brewery from Canberra could match it with some of Australia’s largest craft breweries. “We really back ourselves on the quality of our beer and we can see that people really love the quality of our stuff here,” Mr Watkins said on Saturday evening. Mr Watkins said the best thing about the Hottest 100 competition was it was judged by the people who bought the beer – not judges assessing the technicalities. “It’s voted by the people who put their hard-earned money down and enjoyed the beer,” he said. Crankshaft was a foundation beer for the BentSpoke brew pub, and was one of the first the brewer took to market in a can. Mr Watkins said it was a massive confidence boost to their strategy to see the first two beers it took to market in a can – Crankshaft and Barley Griffin – make it into the GABS Fest Hottest 100. Breweries nominate beers they had available commercially in that calendar year and beer drinkers vote for their favourites. More than 40,000 people submitted 200,000 votes, the organisers of the Great Australasian Beer Spectacular, which runs the countdown, said. In June, BentSpoke marked six years since it opened, and co-owner Mr Watkins told The Canberra Times the quality of Australian beer could still improve. “New people who want to come from mainstream beer into craft beer really want to have that good experience otherwise they’re not going to pay a lot more money for a craft beer,” he said at the time. “I think that while there’s a lot of potential for our industry to be one of the best in the world – we probably are in the top five in the world – there’s a couple of things that I think we can be a bit better at. “Let’s face it, we’re only 5 per cent of the beer market, so if we were able to get another 1 per cent of that beer market, there wouldn’t be another stainless steel tanks in Australia to actually brew that extra volume required to go that extra 1 per cent. “I think we have got such a good opportunity. In the UK and the US, their craft beer markets are 15 per cent, so we’ve got a long way to go and a massive market out there that we can tap into.”

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