GABS 2017: NEW YEAR, NEW VENUE, SAME SUCCESS

In Events - General by Clyde Mooney

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Organisers report another record-breaking GABS in 2017, taking the Sydney event to a new location and repositioned demographic.

2017 was the 7th Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS), and the go-to event in Australia for celebrating the craft beverage industry shows no signs of slowing down.

This year saw a third ‘Kegtainer’ required, bringing capacity for up to 180 of the specially-brewed ‘Festival Beers’ and Ciders made just for GABS. (see full list below)

Appealing to an ever-broadening demographic, encompassing experimental adolescents to hop-hugging connoisseurs to the growing body of people drawn to the pursuit of better food & bev, the festival provides a vast selection of established and up-and-coming brew operations alongside specialty food stalls, all to the accompaniment of waves of entertainment.

GABS is the creation of beer die-hards Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, proprietors of the Local Taphouse brew meccas in St Kilda and Darlinghurst, makers of the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers list, and more recently the Stomping Ground Brewing Co.

The festival has grown to see Melbourne’s instalment at the Royal Exhibition Building this year run 19-21 May, bringing almost 20,000 visitors – up 10 per cent on last year.

The Sydney edition has only run a couple of years, and previously been at Redfern’s Australian Technology Park (ATP), which was sold during the past year ahead of pending redevelopment. Although the events company, SpecTAPular Enterprises, had a pre-booking, this was not honoured by the new owner.

With few Sydney venues suited to holding the growing event, Greenstone and Jeffares turned to The Dome at Olympic Park. While many things worked for the move west, there was initially some reservation about leaving the craft beer-loving inner-west.

“When Steve and I went to the Showground we were skeptical, but we saw The Dome and knew it could work,” reports Greenstone. “It’s an amazing place for what we wanted, in some ways so much simpler, with massive loading docks and maybe a bit more space.

“But the move also demonstrated a lot of trust in us by both the punters and the exhibitors. As it’s been going for a while we have great relationships, and thankfully they were willing to come on board. And the festival-goers awarded us the same sort of trust.”

Despite the inaugural march west of Leichhardt for many city-siders, the Saturday afternoon session was sold out and the evening session around 85 per cent capacity. Shortened to just the two sessions due to the cost of the venue, Greenstone reports the final numbers for Sydney were the same as last year, which was everything they had hoped.

“We were thrilled with the attendance. It was a really great vibe, people friendly and enjoying themselves. It demonstrated we can do this event at the showground.

“The showground people were great to deal with, if the economics work and they demonstrate the same sort of willingness … I won’t say for sure, but we’d be happy to be back there again next year.”

The Auckland instalment of GABS 2017 will take place 16-17 June.

 

Festival Beers

2 Brothers Brewery
THE SMOKING JACKET

3 Ravens Brewery
LITTLE RAVENS MANGO LASSI IPA

4 Pines Brewing Co
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

7 cent Brewery
TROPIC THUNDER

8 Wired Brewing
COSMIC CHAOS

Aether Brewing
BONE AND MARROW

AIBA (Australian International Beer Awards)
CITRUS EAST COAST IPA

AIBA Champion Australian Amateur Homebrewer
DUBBEL DATE

Akasha Brewing Company
LUPULIN FOG

All Inn Brewing Co
LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES

Athletic Club Brewery
WHEAT WINE & A THREE DAY GROWTH

Australian Beer Co
NITRO CHERRY IPL

Australian Brewery
KIWI FRUIT TART

B.Effect Brewing Co
BLAZING HOPS

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co.
BIGSI’S BALTIC PORTER

Badlands Brewery
M.A.D. STOUT

Barossa Valley Brewing
BARREL OF DRUNKEN MONKEYS

Batch Brewing Company
A CURRANT STATE OF INFUSION

BentSpoke Brewing Co
JOE CARB

Big Shed Brewing Concern
#63 THAI GREEN CURRY

Black Brewing Co
BAO BAO PORT ROYALE

Black Heart Brewery
BLACK HEART TART

Black Hops Brewing
BAND WAGON

Blackman’s Brewery
ESPRESSO MARTINI KOLSCH

Blizzard Brewing Company
APRÈS-SKI ALE

Bootleg Brewery
ROCKETSHIP IPA

Brewaucracy
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE NUTS TO WORK HERE

Brewmanity Beer Co
WHISKEY ON EISBOCK

Bridge Road Brewers
THESE PRETZELS ARE MAKING ME THIRSTY

Bright Brewery
YIPPEE THAI YAY

Brisbane Brewing Co
MĀTES PIENS (MOTHER’S MILK)

Brothers Beer
DONUT STOUT

Brouhaha Brewery
RAISIN HELL

Bucket Boys Craft Beer Co
RED VELVET

Burleigh Brewing Company
HEFSTER

Capital Brewing Co
DOUBLE DOUBLE

Castlemaine Brewing Company
FELIX

CBAHK Brewers Guild
WEI(ZEN) OF THE DRAGON

Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery
RUM AND RAISIN BOCK

Choice Bros Brewing
PURPLE RAIN

Chur Brewing Company
CHOCOLATE FISH MILK STOUT

Clifton Hill Brewing Company
THAT’S NUTS

Co-Conspirators Brewing Company
RUMBALL IN THE JUNGLE

Colonial Brewing Co
RYE ‘N GOSE SLING

Concept Brewing
SEXY TIME LOVE JUICE

Cricketers Arms
BURNT BAILS

Cubby Haus Brewing
A9 TO THURSO

Dainton Family Brewery
BROWN EYE RYE

Deeds Brewing Co
JUICE TRAIN NEW ENGLAND IPA

Deep Creek Brewing Co.
THE OLD FASHIONED

Doctor’s Orders Brewing
HOMEOSTASIS

Double Head Brewing
BLACK PURL

Ekim Brewing Co
POWDER TO THE PEOPLE

Emporium Brewing
NO WHEY? YES WHEY!

Feral
DARK MATTER

FogHorn Brewhouse
DUBBEL RAISIN EXTRA STOUT

Forrest Brewing Company
LOST CHERRY

Fortitude Brewing Co
ECHO CHAMBER IPA

Frenchies
KISS FROM A. ROSE

Funk Estate
PINK DRINK IPA

Gage Roads Brewing Co
AMERICAN BROWN

Garage Project
BANGH THANDI

Grand Ridge Brewery
CINNAMON RED ALE

Harringtons
SMASHED ‘EM BRO IPA

Hawkers / Wheaty Brewing Corps
BAKLAVA BROWN

Holgate Brewhouse
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MANGOES

Holiday Brew Co
MANGO MILKSHAKE

Hong Kong Brewers Guild
THE NUTS

Hop Nation Brewing Co
JEDI JUICE

HopDog BeerWorks
PANDAPOPPINFAIRYTURKISHFLOSS

Hope Brewhouse
THE KING’S NUTS (PB & C)

Indian Ocean Brewing Company
BRETT NOT BRETT

Invercargill Brewery
CRIMINALLY BAD

James Squire
MINT HEIST

Kereru Brewing
SWEET BIPPY

Killer Sprocket
BEASTBLADE

Kooinda Brewery
ROSEMARY GOLDEN PORTER

La Sirène Brewing
ESPRESSO SOUR

Little Creatures
FESTOON IPA

Little Rivers Brewing Co
LITTLE LICKA

McCashin’s Brewery
PIC’S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY PORTER

McLeod’s Brewery
BONNIE PALE ALE

Merchant Brewing Company
FRUIT TINGLE

Mike’s Beer
MIKE’S SECOND COMING

Mismatch Brewing Co.
HAZED AND CONFUSED

Moa Brewing Co.
DUBBEL HOP

Modus Operandi
CASCADIAN HOWL

Moon Dog Brewing
THE JIMMY LAUREYS

Mornington Peninsula Brewery
THE MIGHTY BOOCH

Morrison Brewery
GREEN CURRY & RICE SAISON

Mount Brewing
PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME

Mountain Goat Beer
QUETZALACATENANGO

Murrays Craft Brewing Co
BROWN TOWN

Nail Brewing Australia
SUPER VPA

New England Brewing Co
THE SMOLDERING STUMP

Newstead Brewing Co.
FRESH GEORGE

Nomad Brewing Co
REELING TEELING TIPSY CONVICT

Odyssey Craft Brewing Co
JERSEY CARAMEL PORTER

Old Wives Ales
RÜBEZAHL

Otherside Brewing Co
ORANGE IS THE NEW ENGLAND BLACK

Outlier Cartel
WUNDERKAMMER

Pact Beer Co
WHO POURED THE PORTER IN THE COOKIE JAR?

Piha Beer
KINA STOUT

Pikes Beer Company
DOUBLE BARREL BLACK

Pink Boots NZ
GRATEFUL GRAPEFRUIT

Pirate Life Brewing
VANILLA MALT THICKSHAKE

Prancing Pony Brewery
HUNT FOR THE RED VELVET

Red Duck Beer
LEMON, LIME & BITTERS

Red Hill Brewery
THE DARK HORSE SCHWARZ

Riders Brewing Co
X-TRUX

Riverside Brewing Company
SMOKEY MARTINI

Rocks Brewing Company
THE CAPTAIN

Sailors Grave
MILKY WAY

Sawmill Brewery
1.K

Shambles Brewery
‘COOL RUNNINGS’ WHOLE COFFEE STOUT

Shark Island Brewing Co
AT THE COALFACE

Shenanigans Brewing Co
FLOWER POWER

Sierra Nevada
BOMBASTIC MONASTIC

Six String Brewing Company
PURPLE PEOPLE EATER

Staves Brewery
AURORA/RIWAKA SMASH

Stockade Brew Co
THE MOUNTIE MAPLE IMPERIAL STOUT

Stomping Ground Brewing Co
IT TAKES TWO TO MANGO

Stone & Wood Brewing Company
SALTY SOUR EAST

Tallboy and Moose
IRISH COFFEE CARBOMB

Te Aro Brewing Company
(B)RHETT AND SCARLETT

The Craft & Co
SIGNORA AMPHORA

The Little Brewing Company
CHOCOLATE ON RYE

The Mussel Inn
PIG-ME WHALE

Thirsty Crow
ROCKETSHIP IPA

Tooborac Brewery
YANKANADIAN

Tuatara
URBAN DANKSTER

Two Birds Brewing
SLAYER

Two Heads Brewing
CULT OF DIONYSUS

Valhalla Brewing
AUNTY MYRTLE’S KNITTED CARDIGAN

Van Dieman Brewing
AFTER DINNER MINT

Watts River Brewing
HOP WHEEL

Wayward Brewing Company
FUNKY HOPPY PEOPLE

Wedgetail Brewing
MOKO IMPERIAL PILSNER

West City Brewing
WESTIE WHITE STOUT

Westside Ale Works
TRUMPED

White Rabbit Brewery
WOLPERTINGER

Willie the Boatman
MARVIN BERRY’S CHOC-MILK STOUT

Wolf of the Willows
‘RAISIN’ KILTS’ RUM ‘N RAISIN SCOTCH ALE

Yak Ales
FLAPJACK YAK MAPLE ALE

Yeastie Boys
ROYAL TANNINBOMB

Young Henrys
BLANCHE DEVEREAUX

Yulli’s Brews
‘GILBERT’ PINOT GRIGIO WILD ALE

 

Festival Ciders

Blue Elephant Beverage Co.
“ROCKAFELLA” CIDER

Edgebrook Cider
EDGEBROOK ‘WINTER CHAI’ CIDER

Frank’s Cider
FRANK’S RASPBERRY, PEAR AND HONEY CIDER

Golden Axe
“PASH MA COBANA” TROPICAL CIDER

Grand Ridge Brewery
CINNAMON APPLE CIDER

Invercargill Brewery
CRIMINALLY GOOD

LOBO Cider
BODECEA

McCashin’s Brewery
ROCHDALE PINA COLADA CIDER

Moa Brewing Co.
AROHA RHUBARB CIDER

Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse
PAIR À PÈRE

Red Brick Road Cider
THE BLUSHING BELGIAN

Small Acres Cyder
SMALL ACRES SUMMER PUDDING

Spreyton Cider
SESSIONABLE JONAGOLD

The Hills Cider Co
BARREL AGED ORGANIC CLOUDY CIDER

The Mussel Inn
HOT DOG FISH

Three Wise Birds
NATIONAL TREASURE

Willie Smith’s Cider
CERASUS SOUR

Zeffer
CHERRY BOMB

Blue Elephant Beverage Co.
“ROCKAFELLA” CIDER

Edgebrook Cider
EDGEBROOK ‘WINTER CHAI’ CIDER

Frank’s Cider
FRANK’S RASPBERRY, PEAR AND HONEY CIDER

Golden Axe
“PASH MA COBANA” TROPICAL CIDER

Grand Ridge Brewery
CINNAMON APPLE CIDER

Invercargill Brewery
CRIMINALLY GOOD

LOBO Cider
BODECEA

McCashin’s Brewery
ROCHDALE PINA COLADA CIDER

Moa Brewing Co.
AROHA RHUBARB CIDER

Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse
PAIR À PÈRE

Red Brick Road Cider
THE BLUSHING BELGIAN

Small Acres Cyder
SMALL ACRES SUMMER PUDDING

Spreyton Cider
SESSIONABLE JONAGOLD

The Hills Cider Co
BARREL AGED ORGANIC CLOUDY CIDER

The Mussel Inn
HOT DOG FISH

Three Wise Birds
NATIONAL TREASURE

Willie Smith’s Cider
CERASUS SOUR

Zeffer
CHERRY BOMB