Tickets are now on sale for the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS), which is heading to Sydney for the first time next month.

Created by the co-owners of The Local Taphouses, Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, the craft beer extravaganza will have 118 beers crafted specially for the event by the best artisan craft breweries from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

In total more than 300 beers will be on offer, with the Melbourne event taking place at the Royal Exhibition Building 22-24 May and at Sydney’s Australian Technology Park on Saturday, 30 May.

“Breweries can submit any beer they like as long as they’ve never brewed it before,” said Jeffares. “This year we have one-off beers being made from oysters, orange peel, coriander seeds, finger limes, peaches, cherries, truffles, chocolate, biscuits, split peas, pineapple, coconut, vodka and a beer which will taste like banoffee pie.”

This allows the industry to push the boundaries and get creative. As 4 Pines brewer Leigh Smith explains, “Specific events allow the industry to take a risk in an understanding environment. Trying something that has not been done before might not work first time but it might lead to something awesome in the future.”

A good example of just how ‘awesome’ a GABS beer can be is last year’s GABS People’s Choice winner, La Sirène Praline. This beer has enjoyed incredible success since GABS; coming in at number five on The Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2014 and number nine on the Critics’ Choice Top 100 Beers of 2014.

“We thought when we made La Sirène Praline that it would be a novelty that would be well-forgotten, let’s just say that it couldn’t be further from the truth. It goes to show you that sometimes as brewers what we think people are after and what they will truly appreciate and get behind are sometimes different,” said head brewer, Costa Nikias.

“I think GABS is a great event as it really allows for a merging of innovation, experimentation and collaboration between brewers locally and internationally. The GABS platform is also ideal as it allows the small independent craft brewers to reach a mainstream audience and showcase our talents. Steve, Guy and the team at GABS deserve a round of applause as they are truly contributing to our industry.”

There will be a greater emphasis on food at this year’s event, with Sydneysiders enjoying goods from the likes of Three Blue Ducks, Cornersmith, Veggie Patch, Mary’s and LP Meats, and Melbourne chowing down on food from Meat Mother, Uncle and B’Stilla.

Ticket prices are also better value than ever, with new Beer Buddy tickets less than $30 (plus booking fee). So grab your mates and head along! To book tickets, click here.

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