Panhead founder Mike Neilson, left, and General Manager Josh Drake, right


Panhead Custom Ales has taken out the GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers for the second year running with its ‘Supercharger’ American Pale Ale.

Completing the podium were two beers from Wellington’s prolific Garage Project: in second place, ‘Death From Above’, a South-East Asian inspired American IPA, and ‘Pernicious Weed’ Double IPA in third.

Garage Project was also the most dominant on the list overall, with an impressive 19 beers featured; also prominent were Auckland-based brewers Behemoth – which operates using the name Chur in Australia (13 beers) – and 8 Wired (10 beers).

Seven of the beers on the list also started life as a ‘Festival Beer’ brewed especially for the GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest, including Behemoth/Chur’s ‘Chocolate Fish’, 8 Wired’s ‘Cosmic Chaos’, and Yeastie Boys’ ‘Royal Tanninbomb’.

“It’s fantastic to see so many new beers making the list,” said GABS Co-Founder Steve Jeffares. “For us, this illustrates the incredible vibrancy of the Kiwi beer scene.

“In this year’s Aussie list, we saw hoppy styles such as Pale Ales and IPAs dominate with 75% of beers being hop-driven. While that trend is still strong in New Zealand, it’s very rewarding to see Kiwi beer lovers also voting in numbers for Sours, Stouts, Goses and other more experimental beers.

“There are some hugely creative beers being made all across New Zealand and it’s obvious they’re striking the right chord.”

Panhead brewery’s popular ‘Supercharger’ beat more than 650 beers nominated by New Zealand’s leading breweries to earn the overall title.

The Upper Hutt brewery’s victory comes only months after being relaunched in the Australian market following a year of absence, following its purchase by the New Zealand arm of Lion in May 2016.

Click here for the full list of GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers for 2017.

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