With tickets to some events already sold out, volunteer for GABS Fest 2016 and enjoy guaranteed, FREE entry to one of the most popular Beer Week events, along with lots of other perks. Experience Good Beer Week a different way and enjoy being part of something huge.
Sometimes know as the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, GABS was first poured in 2011 by Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone and has since been named one of the top 20 beer festivals in the world according to American magazine, The Beer Connoisseur.
Not just a celebration of some of the best craft ciders and beers from both Australia and New Zealand, and there are 120 'Festival' products in the mix to try, GABS is also home to the 'Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of the Year poll'. Be part of the Australia-wide judging panel and vote for your favourite to win Beer of the Year. In true blue Aussie style, beer lovers can then partake of the result countdown on Australia Day.
Highlights of the GABS Festival include 120 'Festival Beers' brewed especially for this event, featured in two Kegtainer Bars made from old shipping containers. The Festival Beers will feature alongside a brand new range of 'Festival Ciders' made especially by 10 leading craft cider producers from around Australia. A full listing of participating cider producers is available on the website.
The Yenda Wheel of Beer will be the first time a ferris wheel has been erected inside the Royal Exhibition Building. Take a ride and enjoy a bird's eye view of this event.
Take a stroll through Dan Murphy's Marketplace and try not to be overwhelmed by the size and range of products and exhibitors on offer. Also try and catch one or two 'mini events' happening throughout the hall, such as rare beer and cider tastings, invitation-only sessions with producers and special guests or play games to win a prize. A schedule of events will be available on the Official GABS App, to be launched 2-3 weeks prior to this event.
Street food is becoming a staple at festival events and you will find a wide variety of the highest quality at the GABS Fest. Try something from Huxtaburger, Meatmother, Milk the Cow (cheese fromagerie), Hammer & Tong, The Local Taphouse and more.
You'll be entertained by roving entertainers with the return of the Yak Ales Carnivale and 'The Ale Capones.'
Finding this hectic schedule a bit hard going? Then book yourself into a Timeout Magazine free tour around the GABS fest. A knowledgeable guide will tell you more about the beers, along with a few anecdotes and even introduce you to a brewery personality or two. Several tastings are included in the tour and full details are available on the website.
Photo Credit: GABS Festival Facebook Page
Festival tour too small a taste? Book into a FREE Craft College seminar at the Local Taphouse Craft College to hear a range of speakers talking and answering any number of questions.
There is heaps more to see and do, so a visit to the website and downloading the app is well worth the effort.
The GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest can be found at the Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton. There will be 5 session across 3 days from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May 2016.
Visitors can park at the Melbourne Museum or surrounding street parking, but organisers recommend the use of public transport. Take the Free City Circle tram to Victoria Parade or city loop train to Parliament Station or bus to Rathdowne Street.
Pre-purchased tickets are slightly cheaper and there is a ticket only option starting at $36, or entry ticket plus $20 GABS currency card starting at $56. Included in the cost of entry is a Coopers Festival Glass.
Access to all 5 sessions is granted with a Season Pass, which can only be pre-purchased online for $110.
The Local Taphouse Ale Star annual members and GABS Volunteers enter FREE.