10 of the best Australian craft beers

Go back one generation and stocking the esky meant a slab of VB, Tooheys, XXXX, or your regional equivalent. The weekly beer run used to be so much simpler.

But since 2015, small breweries have opened at the astonishing rate of one a week in Australia, bringing with them a massive array of new beers all vying for our thirsty attention.

While the beers we are drinking may have changed, some old habits die hard according to Stone & Wood co-founder Jamie Cook.

Case by case

He recently revealed that 65 per cent of all craft beer is still purchased by the case, a figure that may surprise the small, yet vocal minority of drinkers who purchase only individual bottles and six-packs.

"Yes, there are those people that drink for as much flavour or as much weirdness as they can… But by and large, in Australia, people drink beer for refreshment," said Cook.

A pioneer of craft beer in Australia, Malt Shovel brewmaster Chuck Hahn said he is reminded of this fact every time he returns to the United States.   

"I get back every year and drink with the Americans and I find they seem to sit on their beers forever, where we just tend to drink it before it warms up too much," he said.

"We tend to drink beer colder and faster, because we're drinking it for refreshment."

Refreshment factor

The record summer temperatures we are currently experiencing suggest refreshment will be at the core of our beer buying decisions for many weeks yet in 2017.

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But that needn't mean compromising on flavour, nor restricting yourself to macro lagers, nor garden variety pale ales.

Refreshment is somewhat subjective, after all, and our skilled brewers are becoming increasingly deft at crafting thirst-slaking beers in a gamut of styles.

Ranging from wheat beers to sours, hoppy mids to pilsners and india pale lagers, here's a selection of new and innovative Aussie beers you need in your esky before summer is out.

Check out the gallery above to see the top 10 beers to stock up your esky before summer's out.