The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) Festival series kicks off tomorrow, and the first stop on the tour is Sydney, taking place at ICC Darling Harbour from Friday 31 May through to Saturday 1 June.

Each year breweries submit expressions of interest for the chance to brew a GABS Festival beer. Over the years, 1,400 brews have been made for GABS, but restricted by the number of taps available on the GABS Festival bar, only 120 can make the list each year.

This year, punters can expect to see more unusual flavours from the 120 different craft breweries who had the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild, along with an appearance from the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephaner. Flying in from Germany, Weihenstephaner, which is almost 1,000 years old, will be pouring as a special guest at the event.

Alongside award-winning brewers such as Mountain Culture, Balter and Bentspoke, the GABS Festival bars will cater to all tastes with a wide selection of IPAs, sours, stouts, lagers, porters, fruit beers, smoked beer and ciders.

Some of the unusual flavours that can be found at the festival are reflective of current trends and tastes in the craft beer industry, and native produce is proving popular. This year, the GABS Festival bars will be pouring beers that have been infused with ingredients such as indigenous Ooray (Davidson) plums, local macadamias, Australian native blood limes, fresh cherries and grapes from regional wineries.

Nostalgia is a popular theme in the broader liquor industry right now, and so it is unsurprising that flavours like S’mores, Warheads, Milky Bar Shake, Fanta Orange and cereal will make an appearance.

Continuing the theme of sweeter flavours, some of the beers take their influence from desserts. Guests can expect to try caramelised fig, cherries and white chocolate, Dulce de leche, Vienna coffee and custard tart, Biscoff, and chocolate orange.

As always, there are experimental concoctions that feature unconventional flavour combinations and ingredients, such as crushed corn tortilla shells, basil and peppercorn, Tajin salt, tequila and ghost chili, sweet potato and smoky bacon.

The beer selection will include brews with a broad range of ABVs, starting at 2.5 per cent with Urban Alley Brewery’s Yu Zerious? Yuzu Russ Fruit Beer ranging up to 12 per cent with Deeds Supermassive Black Hole Pastry Stout, and everything in between.

The GABS Festival tour will kick off tomorrow at 6pm in Sydney, and later journeys to Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Friday 14 to Saturday 15 June, and Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *