Best Beer List

Avoca Hotel

Avoca Hotel

115 High St, Avoca, Vic
(03) 5465 3018

theavocahotel.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST Ian Urquhart
WINEs ON LIST 224 (19 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($16-$7 by the glass)

The Avoca Hotel has much to offer – wine, with a special focus on local offerings (the Pyrenees region of Victoria); sake; cocktails; and spirits, especially gins. Where they shine, however, is with a world-class array of beers. In 2018, they won Best Beer List and they have repeated that this year, deservedly winning again.

Plenty of typically popular ales and lagers, as one would expect, but they have gone above and beyond to compile an extraordinary collection. The Avoca has sourced their beers from every corner of the globe. Feel like a Mexican pilsner or a Sardinian lager, a Japanese IPA or a Californian wheat beer, a Norwegian saison or a Belgian trappist tripel? Well, this is the place. There are light beers and strong ales and even gluten-free beers. And a wonderful assembly of fruit beers, sour beers and lambic beers.

The highlight, especially for fans of the style, must be the stouts and porters. From renowned breweries from around the world, these are a treat. Pricing, for the most part, is appealing, though you can go as high as $60 for a 500ml bottle of the rare North Coast Barrel Aged Old Rasputin XVI from California. A list worthy of raising a glass.  

KEN GARGETT

Finalists

Charred Kitchen & Bar

1-5 New St, Orange, NSW
(02) 6363 1580

charred.com.au

CUISINE Modern Australian
WINE LIST David Collins
WINEs ON LIST 627 (66 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($27-$10 by the glass)

Charred has produced one of the great Australian lists of recent years, offering patrons exemplary choice in wine and beer (and more). Its location in Orange is central to what it offers but the context is very much Australasia and the World. There's huge number of varietals offered, Aussie classics and cutting edge choices. Exemplary and original.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth

Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood, WA
(08) 6252 1900

rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au

CUISINE Contemporary Steakhouse
WINE LIST Andrew Symes
WINEs ON LIST2,785 (71 by the glass)
WINE PRICES$$$ ($69-$9 by the glass)

With 2785 wines to choose from, this is one serious-looking wine list. All Rockpool Bar & Grill restaurants excel in the wine department, but Perth distinguishes itself with West Australia entries and some personal touches. Therefore, the current list has a dedicated ‘sommelier select’ selection of landmark Sherry producer and wunderkind Equipo Navazos, epic in its scope and scale. Half bottles run surprisingly deep and, of course, Champagne is a landmark feature in this list with a wealth of grower producers matched by a collection of grand marques and big name favourites. For those embarking on serious proteins from the grill, there’s superb Burgundy and Rhône reds, with Barolo, Barbaresco and Brunello compelling amongst the rich offering in this list. Around 70 wines by the glass allows guests to explore more, and to keenly match wine to dishes, something this skilled sommelier team will do with aplomb.