GABS Craft Beer Fest

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular returns to Melbourne with 120 brews, panels, games and a silent disco.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 27, 2024

Overview

For beer lovers, the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular is the kind of festival that you plan your calendar around. 2024's chance to do just that in Melbourne arrives from Friday, June 21–Sunday, June 23 at Melbourne Showgrounds — and you won't be leaving this three-day event feeling thirsty.

Of course, the Victorian capital hosts beer festivals most weekends, but GABS is its own unique beast. It dedicates itself to weird, wild, wonderful and inventive varieties that are made exclusively for the booze-fuelled party. Think of a foodstuff — peanut butter, coffee, earl grey tea, chicken salt, pizza, fairy floss, bubblegum, doughnuts, red frogs and sour gummy bears, for instance — and there's likely been a brew made to taste exactly the same at GABS.

Attendees can look forward to a fest that's considered to be one of the best craft beer and cider festivals in the Asia Pacific region. If you're a newcomer to GABS, it started off as a Melbourne-only celebration of ales, lagers, ciders and more. Then it began spreading along Australia's east coast capitals, as well as to New Zealand. Now, in its Aussie stops, it pours at least 120 different types of brews each year.

The event surveys both Australian and New Zealand breweries, with more than 60 normally showcasing their wares annually. Also on the bill: other tipples, including non-alcoholic beers, seltzers, whiskey, gin, cocktails and wines.

GABS is known for dishing up a hefty lineup of activities to accompanying all that sipping, too, which usually spans a silent disco, roaming bands, circus and sideshow performers, games and panels with industry leaders, plus local food trucks and vendors to line your stomach.

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