It started with a simple idea.

What if we could convince the country’s most exciting craft breweries to all brew and release a brand new beer on the same day at the one event? The idea caught on like wildfire, and over six years, we’ve probably brought more than 700 “Festival Beers & Ciders” into the world.

Created in 2011 by beer impresarios Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone (the guys behind The Local Taphouse beer temples and Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall in Collingwood), the event was originally known as the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular, and was designed as a celebration of craft beer diversity and creativity. The inaugural event (check out the taplist below!) was such a success that Jeffares and Greenstone jumped on the opportunity to create a unique, educational and fun festival experience that excited both converted craft beer fans and the uninitiated.

While renowned American magazine, The Beer Connoisseur, listed GABS as one of the top 20 beer festivals in the world in 2015, GABS is now, in truth, so much more than a beer festival. It showcases the best Australian and New Zealand craft breweries and cider producers and features hundreds of beers and ciders – including up to 180 ‘Festival Beers & Ciders’ made just for the event, outstanding local food vendors, interactive exhibitor stalls, food and drink education, along with fun entertainment and activities.

Each December, GABS also runs the influential Hottest 100 Craft Beers of the Year poll which sees thousands of beer fans all over Australia and New Zealand vote for their favourite beers of the year. The results are counted down and celebrated across the country each Australia Day (for the Aussie poll) and Waitangi Day (for the Kiwi poll).

 

GABS 2011 TAPLIST
(The Local Taphouse, Melbourne & Sydney)

Original Fassbier
Kellerbier matured on roasted oak chips
Last Drop, WA (4.6%)

Cucumber Sandwich
Summer Ale
Mountain Goat, VIC (4.2%)

kb
Kriek Berliner Weisse served through morello cherries
Wig & Pen, ACT (4.3%)

Organic Blueberry Hefeweizen
Otway Estate, VIC (5%)

Belgian Raspberry Wit
Kooinda, VIC (5.5%)

Fanny Gertrude's Anzac Bickie Beer
Oats, coconut and vanilla ale
Burleigh Brewing, QLD (5%)

Red Relief
Stone & Wood, NSW (4.7%)

Cherry Bomb
Cherry and coconut porter
True South, VIC (5%)

Quince Ale
Lobethal & Brew Boys Collaboration, SA (5.6%)

Zephyr
Double White Ale
Doctors Orders Brewing, NSW (5.6%)

Chocolate Chilli Porter
Hunter, NSW (5.8%)

2 Hills Maibock
Collaboration between Hargreaves Hill & Red Hill Breweries, VIC (6.8%)

Wee Heavy
4 Pines, NSW (7.8%)

Rye IPA
Mash, WA

Karma Citra
Black IPA showcasing the Citra hop
Feral, WA (5.9%)

Lemon Myrtle IPA
Jamieson, VIC (7%)

The Secret Romance of Herman van Rompuy and Cherry Poppens
Belgian style Flanders red
Moondog, VIC (7.3%)

The Empress
Imperial Mocha Porter
Holgate, VIC (10%)

Big Red Rocket
Imperial Red Ale
Bridge Road, VIC ( 9%)

Imperious
Imperial Belgian Blond Ale
Murrays, NSW (11%)