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Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular 2015

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by JoM (subscribe)
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Event: -
Festival of the best local and international craft beers
Described as 'One of the Top 20 Beer Festivals in the World' by Beer Connoisseur Magazine, this event is not to be missed.

The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) is returning to Melbourne for a three-day extravaganza at Royal Exhibition Building from 22nd-24th May 2015. Running since 2011, this is a very popular event for Victorian beer lovers, with over 37,000 visitors in the last 3 years.

GABS, great Australasian Beer SpecTABular, Beer Festival, Melbourne Beer Festival, beer paddles
Beer sampling at the Festival

More than 150 local and international breweries will be featured at the event, with over 300 beers available. All the beers have been created specially for this event.

The brewers have certainly been getting creative, with some of the beers including flavours such as orange peel, cherries, chocolate, split peas, oysters, coconut, pineapple and more! There are also more standard offerings if you are not that adventurous!

The festival runs on a 'token' system. 1 token ($2) will get you an 85ml individual taster, or, the most popular option is a sampler paddle with 5x85ml tasters for 5 tokens ($10). If you find something you really like, you can get a large glass filled for 3-4 tokens ($6-8) depending on the strength of the beer.

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Sampling paddles at GABS

There are also plenty of other activities to keep you busy. There is a series of free (beer-related) educational seminars, master classes, and 'Q and Ale' sessions by top brewers from around the country. Some of these sessions include blind tastings to really test your senses!

GABS, great Australasian Beer SpecTABular, Beer Festival, Melbourne Beer Festival, beer paddles
Blind tasting at the Beer SpecTAPular

The Sunday Session is dubbed 'Silly Hat Sunday', and everyone is encouraged to get into the spirit and wear a funny hat or wig. The best-dressed will be invited to join in the 'Fashions on the Field'.

To make sure no-one is drinking on an empty stomach, there is a wide variety of high quality food from popular vendors. All menu items even come with suggested beer pairings for the ultimate foodie/beer lover experience! Food options available include Uncle, Huxtaburger, Mr Claws, Meatmother, Milk the Cow, B'Stilla, Salumi, The Local Taphouse and many more.

GABS, great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, Beer Festival, Melbourne Beer Festival, beer paddles
Delicious food on offer at the Beer SpecTAPular!

Tickets can be purchased for each of the five sessions over the weekend. There are afternoon sessions from Friday-Sunday (12pm-5pm), and evening sessions on Friday and Saturday (6:30-11:30pm). Tickets are available for presale online for $35, or $43 at the door. Your ticket includes a GABS Official Guide, Coopers Festival Glass and GABS Craft Beer Passport with over $500 worth of discounts.

There is also an Official App for your phone which includes detailed info about all the beers, and can help select beers for you based on your own palate and preferences.

This festival is proudly part of 'Good Beer Week', a celebration of all things beer. It's a celebration that's so good they couldn't restrict themselves to just one week - it runs over 9 days, from May 16th-24th. See website for details of a multitude of other beer-related events.

Good Beer Week, beer festival, Melbourne, GABS, beer
Good Beer Week - a celebration of all things BEER! (Image courtesy

GABS is traveling!
For the first time, GABS will also be holding a festival in Sydney this year. There will be 2 sessions on Saturday 30th May at Exhibition Hall, Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. See event website for details.

To purchase tickets, click here. For more information, see GABS website or Facebook page.

All images used with permission from
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Why? To sample unique local and international craft beers with like-minded beer lovers
When: Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th May 2015. 12-5pm daily and 6:30-11:30pm on Friday and Saturday evenings
Where: The Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Cost: $35 pre-sale, or $43 at the door
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