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Six Counties Craft Beer: Northern Ireland centenary lager in running for top 100 2021 Australian beers

The Co Down expat behind a limited edition lager to celebrate the centenary of Northern Ireland is hoping to see it voted as one of Australia’s top 100 craft beers for 2021.

Bangor man Andrew Power launched Six Counties Craft Beer in June.

The response was overwhelming and saw the first batch sell out in less than two weeks after its initial release.

Andrew, who moved Down Under in 2005 and lives in Brisbane, owns Ulster Distributions, which distributes beer, wines and other products to bottle shops and bars across south east Queensland.

After Andrew spoke to the brewers at Helios about creating the limited edition beer, work quickly progressed to bring together the 4.5% strength lager, which has been described as hoppy with lemon and citrus notes.

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Six Counties Craft Beer has now been entered into the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) Hottest 100 Craft Beer people’s choice poll.

Since the poll began in 2008, lager lovers in Australia are asked to select, in order of preference, their five favourite craft beers of the year.

Almost 40,000 people cast their votes last year as Canberra’s Bentspoke Brewing Co’s Crankshaft IPA was crowned the GABS Hottest 100 winner.

Andrew said it would be a magnificent achievement to see Six Counties finish in the top 100 as it will go up against thousands of other beers.

“Six Counties is in there which is fantastic, so we’re asking everyone who has enjoyed it to give us a wee vote,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“Obviously a lot of the expat community are right behind it as well.

“We’ve had posts from the Our Wee Country fanzine and a lot of other posts online on social media, so people have been really positive about it and enjoyed the beer.

“I must say, it’s not just Northern Irish people, a lot of Aussies have enjoyed the beer as well, so hopefully it will come out as one of the favourites.”


Andrew Power.

Andrew Power.

Andrew Power.

Andrew said both he and micro-brewer Helios have been “punching well above our weight” with Six Counties as the beer has been sold all over Australia and shipped overseas.

“Helios is only a small micro-brewery, so we’re not expecting to be in the top five but just to get into that top 100 would be amazing because it’s a national voting poll,” he added.

“Having said that, we have sent our beers right across Australia to Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin as well, so our beers have been to every corner of Australia.

“You just never know. People like the concept and obviously the centenary is a very unique celebration and we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

“If anyone back home wants to give us a wee vote, we would love it.”

As for 2022, Andrew hopes to continue on from the success of Six Counties, in partnership with Helios.

“We want to do something special to follow up on the centenary beer - a Six Counties follow up for 2022,” he said.

“We’ve got a couple of ideas which we’ll certainly bring to fruition early next year.”

If you would like to vote for Six Counties Craft Beer, visit www.gabshottest100.com.

The GABS Hottest 100 poll closes on Friday, January 14, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, January 22.

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