The Critics' Choice - Australia's Best Beers is a publication designed and published by Barrel Media & Events Pty Ltd. Launching in 2010, The Critics' Choice lists the top 100 Australian Beers annually, as voted by a panel of beer enthusiasts. Our beer experts are chosen because of their dedication to the industry, their knowledge of what's available and their passionate involvement in Australia's craft beer industry.
Meet the Critics
This years Critics Choice Panel
Passionate, knowledgeable and never shy to express an opinion. The force behind the Australian Hotel's resurgence in craft beer.
Brewer, learning the craft at Little Creatures/White Rabbit Geelong, Currently in White Rabbit playing with bugs and oak.
Richard (Ric) Dexter, a co-owner of Ballarat's first Craft Beer Pub, The Mallow, is also the Festival Director of the Ballarat Beer Festival.
Co-host of Australian beer podcast Ale Of A Time for the past two years & general industry commentator.
Beer lover and supplier for the masses. Co-owner of Taps Self Service craft beer bars. Full time quality control connoisseur.
Manager of Camperdown Cellars Kingston Road, beer fanatic and hobby brewer, with 6 years selling the best Aussie of craft.
Highly influenced the range of craft beers at Warners at the Bay & Prince of Wales. Currently Co-Owner of The Hop Factory & General Manager at Warners at the Bay.
Justin is a Co-Founder of Stomping Ground Brewing Co, and Operations Manager - The Local Taphouse & GABS.
AKA "That Beer Bloke". Food Scientist, International and Aussie beer judge, Author, Consultant, Writer, Beer can collector.
Melbourne-based scribbler and time-poor dad who writes regularly about beer and pubs for Fairfax. Offsets 'sampling' with a passion for running.
A bored TV producer and an fanatic home brewer Pat switch his career to his passion by opening Willie the Boatman brewery in 2014.
Beer nerd, fanatic and formally the beer specialist at The Wine Emporium (QLD), now based in Sydney at Beer Cartel.
A beer fan and story teller. Dave showcases the local beer community through Dave’s Brewery Tours.
John founded Grain and Grape in 1990 and has been a driving force behind the Australian National Homebrewing Conference.
Head Brewer, story teller, co-founder/owner of Prancing Pony Brewery. Maker of award winning all malt beers. Works past beer'o clock.
Heading up Beer Diva is Kirrily Waldhorn, Australia's first lady of beer. Kirrily is not your stereotypical beer connoisseur.
Based in the beautiful McLaren Vale wine region, Jeff leads the brewing team for the family owned Vale Brewing and their newly released range of beers by Fox Hat Brewing.
Co-owner & VM of Beer DeLuxe Hawthorn. With 15 year’s hospitality experience, takes most pleasure in introducing a punter to a new beer.
Having spent the last 30 years tasting beers around the world, founded Craft Beer Reviewer focusing on local Aussie craft beer
Owner and curator at Brewski, one of Brisbane’s top craft beer bars, Matt still can’t believe he makes a living from beer.
Award winning Head Brewer at Temple Brewing company with over 9 Years as a Professional brewer and judge at CBIA and AIBA beer awards
Manager of the Quarryman's Hotel and wannabe brewer, with 9 years experience in the trade & passionate about good Aussie craft.
Manager at the Franklin Hotel. Beer enthusiast that gets to sounds, sample and serve some of the best beers in Oz.
Ross is one of the co-founders of Byron Bay based Brewery Stone & Wood.
After 28 years in sports journalism, Ross Lewis took up beer writing as editor of The Sip website.
Josh and Elliot. Owners and operators of Mane Liquor - craft beer is our passion and teaching people about all that is beer is what we do best
Brewer and owner of Wolf of the Willows.
Owner & manager of Slowbeer, Australia’s leading craft beer retailer.
Known for his attention to detail, consistency and innovation, Dave has forged a reputation for brewing award-winning, hop-centric ales.
After 10 years of serving, talking and selling beer Pia now writes about it too. Contributor to Crafty Pint and creator of girl+beer.
Daniel Rickard, a long time, passionate craft beer supporter, founded Calibre Craft Beer Trading Co. in 2012.
Johann Van Der Walt
Johann van der Walt, Head Brewer for Green Beacon Brewing Co., Brisbane
Put his 30 years of beer experience to good use by opening craft beer focused restaurant and bar Cammeray Craft
Justin helped kick off the Monk in Fremantle, a short stint at Swan and now heads up the Colonial team in both Margaret River and Port Melbourne.
Barrel Media, Events and Distribution was set up in 2010 initially to publish the Beer Lovers Guide to Australia. Publications have been annual and the Critics Choice was added after we felt a need to have a simple publication for the general public to help them navigate the depths of the Australian Craft Beer scene. We have also published The Complete Beer Service and Sommelier's Manual, which you can order through the store.
Barrel Alcohol Distribution
Barrel manage distribution in QLD and NSW of "Ginger Kid" ginger beer. Barrel do events and tastings mainly throughout Brisbane and parts of QLD and NSW.
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