The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, better known as GABS, returns to Melbourne for its for its seventh year over the weekend of May 19–21. After humble beginnings right here in Melbourne, the festival has now expanded to cover three cities, two countries, and is rightfully considered by most as the best craft beer and cider festival in the Asia Pacific region.
Creators Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone (The Local Taphouse, Stomping Ground Brewing Co.) are making 2017 the biggest year yet, upping the offering to a whopping 180 festival beers and ciders by introducing a third festival bar into the mix. These exclusive and often wacky specialty brews are created just for the event and are generally the festival's main draw, giving attendees the rare chance to try brand spanking new beers while meeting the brewers behind them. This year's festival brews include, strangely enough, three Thai inspired beers, a mango lassi IPA by 3 Ravens Brewery, a Pinot Grigio wild ale by Yulli's Brews and — possibly the most jarring — a 'mother's milk' beer from Brisbane Brewing Co.
GABS Melbourne is the culmination of the city's Good Beer Week, and, since Melbourne is the GABS's original home, it is always the biggest (and, frankly, the best) of the bunch. Add in the 18-metre-high Yenda Ferris Wheel of Beer, wandering performances and food stalls from some of the best producers in the city and you've got yourself one hell of a party. The event is categorised in five sessions over three days, with tickets to multiple sessions also available. Tickets to all five sessions are already sold out — we wish those ticket holders the best of luck.