The Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular wrapped up 2016 with the Sydney instalment over the weekend consolidating another record-breaking year for the event.
GABS has become of the go-to events for craft beverages in recent years, voted one of the world’s best beer festivals. 2016 has pushed the limits again, seeing a bigger and better Sydney presentation follow the traditional Melbourne extravaganza, and an Auckland edition to take place for the first time, on 18 June.
The past two weekends in the eastern capitals have seen a record 27.600 attendees – upping last year’s record by 22 per cent. GABS organisers, and operators of Melbourne & Sydney’s The Local Taphouse, Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, were very pleased with this year’s event.
“Guy and I are absolutely thrilled by the response to GABS 2016 in Melbourne and Sydney,” said Jeffares. “There is clearly a growing appreciation and awareness of craft beer and cider across the country, and we are very proud of the part GABS plays in that.
“Our whole team worked so hard to raise our game again this year and it’s very gratifying that so many of the new elements and improvements went down so well.”
This year also saw the introduction of Festival Ciders, joining the 120 ‘Festival’ beers created especially for the GABS festival. Mixed paddles of Festival brews kept eager festival-goers filling the lines at the enormous draught stations.
There was specialty events and sessions across the weekend, and in Melbourne Australian Beer Company constructed the Yenda (ferris) Wheel of Beer, raising over $10,000 for Motor Neurone Disease research and Brewmanity.
Consumer enthusiast beer rag Beer & Brewer partnered again with the Australian Brewery, and hosted this year’s People’s Choice Awards.
BEST FESTIVAL BEER (MEL & SYD): Peanut Brittle Gose (Bacchus Brewing Co, QLD)
BEST FESTIVAL CIDER (MEL & SYD): Barrel Aged Sour Cherry Cider (The Hills Cider Company, SA)
BEST FOOD DISH (SYD): Brisket Burger (Three Blue Ducks)
BEST FOOD DISH (MEL): Southern Fried Chicken (The Local Taphouse)