Sydneysiders, Melbournites and for the first time ever, Kiwis rejoice! The hugely popular and expansive GABS Beer, Cider & Food Festival (formerly known as the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular) is back bigger, better and more bevvy laden than ever before in May, and will see more than 400 craft beers and ciders including 120 ‘Festival Beers’ and 10 ‘Festival Ciders’ produced exclusively for GABS by the best producers Australia and New Zealand have on offer.
Australia’s hard earned thirst will be served with a hoard of well-loved local breweries such as Western Australia’s Feral and Little Creatures, South Australia’s Pirate Life, Victoria’s Two Birds, and Sydney brewers Young Henry’s and 4 Pines. New Zealand represent with ParrotDog, Tuatara and Yeastie Boys amongst others. For those equally appreciative of the art of compressing apples into delicious alcohol, Victoria’s Napoleone and Tasmania’s Willie Smith’s Cider will be part of the cider line-up.
GABS 2016 will run from May 20th to the 22nd in the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, May 27th to the 28th at Australian Technology Park in Sydney and June 18th at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland. Whilst mostly about the beer, the event will also include excellent food offerings from culinary kings Three Blue Ducks, Mexican staple Playa Taqueria, and Mr Bao via the James Squire Food Market, with more outlets to be announced.
There will also be a stack of educational classes and seminars hosted by The Local Taphouse ‘Craft College’ and Steel’s ‘Food & Drink Experience’ and a whole bunch of interactive games such as Giant Jenga, ten pin bowling and cornhole.
Dave Phillips (Dave’s Brewery Tours) and Scott Dewar (Aussie Brewery Tours) will be conducting tours of the breweries on behalf of Timeout and to top things off, entertainment will come in the form of circus performers, roaming musicians and a mega ferris wheel set-up in Melbourne, there definitely will not be a lack of ways to get involved!
For punters unsure of where to start, GABS have put together their Hottest 100 every year as voted by their staff and customers. The poll is a spoof of Triple J’s Australia Day tradition, allowing beer fans nationwide to vote for their 5 favourite brews and enjoy countdown of the results at their local or via live podcast or social media. Last year’s results are available on the official GABS site HERE.
Early bird tickets go on sale to subscribers to the GABS website from March 14th and to the general public on March 18th. Single session tickets are $36 but groups of more than five people get up to 15% off the regular price with the popular ‘Beer Buddies’ tickets.
For event locations, ticketing, highlights and participant information please visit http://gabsfestival.com/