Where and when?
GABS Melbourne is staged at the stunning Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.
There are five 5-hour sessions held between Friday 17 and Sunday 19 May 2019, which is also the closing weekend of Good Beer Week (check it out!).
FRI 17 MAY
Session 1: 11.30am - 4.30pm
Session 2: 6.30pm - 11.30pm
SAT 18 MAY
Session 3: 11.30am - 4.30pm
Session 4: 6.30pm - 11.30pm
SUN 19 MAY (SILLY HAT SUNDAY)
Session 5: 11.30am - 4.30pm
How do I get there?
Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Located just north of Melbourne’s CBD, the World Heritage listed building is easy to get to via public transport (an option we would very much recommend).
Door 1 is via the Nicholson St entrance to the Royal Exhibition Building.
Door 2 is via the Melbourne Museum forecourt entrance.
Train / Tram / Bus
Plan your trip using PTV’s Journey Planner. Options include:
Tram 86 or 96 to corner of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets
Free City Circle Tram to Victoria Parade
City loop train to Parliament Station
Bus routes 250, 251 and 402 to Rathdowne Street
Free City of Melbourne Tourist Shuttle Bus to stop No. 4
There is a taxi rank located on Nicholson St outside the Royal Exhibition Building.
If you absolutely have to drive (and you have a designated driver), we recommend parking at the Melbourne Museum undercover car park next door to the Royal Exhibition Building. It is open from 6am to midnight daily. Enter via Rathdowne Street or Nicholson Street. Book online and save up to 40%.
What do I bring?
I know, right? After purchase, this will be emailed to you. Print it out, have it ready on your phone, or open it in the Eventbrite app. No ticket, no GABS.
Proof Of Age
Knowing the MC Hammer dance won’t cut it. Licence, passport or proof of age card are a must-have. Under 18s are welcome (and under 12s are free) but they won't be able to drink. All people under the age of 18 will be required to wear a tamper-proof wristband for the duration of their stay at GABS.
Credit / Debit Card
GABS is a 100% cashless event. With no cash to handle, this helps our bars and exhibitors process transactions quickly, which means more time for you to enjoy the festival. You’ll need a valid Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit, debit or EFTPOS card to purchase food, drinks and merchandise using Square PayWave readers. No cash is accepted at all.
My Dan Murphy’s Card
If you’re a member of the My Dan Murphy’s loyalty program, bring your little black membership card, or download and log into the Dan Murphy’s app to display the card on your phone. You can join the My Dan Murphy’s Express Lane on entry (beat the queue!), and take part in a guided beer tasting as part of the My Dan Murphy’s Discovery Deck. *immediately joins My Dan Murphy’s program*
A Silly Hat
If you’re coming to Session 5, bring a silly hat. You’ll thank us later.
What not to bring?
Bottles, cans, glass, food, drink, alcohol, illicit drugs, illegal substances, fireworks, explosives or anything that can be used as a weapon cannot be brought into the festival. Please note all bags are subject to inspection at any point during the event.
As you enter, you’ll be given a Souvenir Festival Glass and your Official GABS Guide. And then you’re good to go!
What’s included in my ticket?
All tickets include a souvenir GABS Festival Glass, our 72-page Official Guide featuring all Festival Beer & Cider tasting notes, free entry to the Ariston Food & Drink Experience and Mornington Peninsula Brewery Craft College sessions (including free food and samples), the biggest Silent Disco in town, circus and sideshow acts, the Ale Capones (just wait and see), exclusive access to up to 180 Festival Beers & Ciders made just for the event, as well as hundreds of beers and ciders from Australia and New Zealand’s leading producers, and much, much more! Check out the highlights here.
How does this cashless thing work?
Just Bring Your Credit / Debit / EFTPOS Card! No more tokens or wristbands. We’ve partnered with the legends at Square to provide card readers at every container bar, brewery stand, food vendor and merch stand. Be sure to bring your Visa, MasterCard or Amex credit, debit or EFTPOS card, or any device with Apple Pay or Google Pay, and you’re all set. If you don't have PayWave, that's ok. As long as your card has a chip, you can insert and enter your pin.
How do Festival Beers & Ciders work?
Every year, we put the call out to the brewers and cidermakers of Australia and New Zealand to brew something brand new for GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest.
This year, we’ll be serving almost 180 ‘Festival Beers & Ciders’ from the Husky Container Bars, and this is your chance to be one of the first to sample them.
Here’s how it works…
Take a look at the Official Guide you’re given on arrival, or download the GABS App (available a week or two out from the event), to check out the Festival Beer & Cider tap list. We’ve marked each beer and cider with our ‘traffic light’ indicators (Easier Drinking / Stepping Up / Adventurous) to give you some guidance on what might suit your tastes.
Create a ‘Tasting Paddle’. We’ll have loads of these wooden paddles at the festival, and they allow you to get five different 85mL tasters in one hit.
Once you know what you want, use the chalk provided (again, it’s everywhere) to mark down the Festival Beer or Cider numbers on the paddle, take it to the appropriate Husky Container Bar (there are three containers divided into sections), hand it to the bartender, and they’ll pour that bad boy for you. Please try and keep each paddle within the same Container Bar section for speed of service.
You can buy the tasters individually for $2.50 each, or a paddle of five for $12. Even better, if you reuse your Taster Cups for the next and subsequent paddles, it’ll be $11 - a $1 saving and helping out on sustainability - nice one!
If you then find something you want a little more of, at any time you can have your Souvenir Festival Glass filled with a 285mL serve of beer or cider. Prices for glass fills start from $6.50.
PRO TIP: Don't start at tap number 1. The tap numbers are ordered alphabetically by brewery and don't mean anything from a tasting perspective. But for some reason, lots of people start there. Start somewhere else and avoid the queues.
You’re very welcome to keep and take home your Souvenir Festival Glass, but please place your Tasting Paddles in the Paddle Bins as you exit your session.
What if I’m not into beer or cider?
We won’t hold it against you. ;-)
Enjoy delicious wines from the 19 Crimes Wine Bar.
Experiment with beer barrel aged whiskies at the Jameson Caskmates stand.
Grab a soft drink from the Street Food Market.
And free water will be available from stations throughout the festival hall.
What else do I need to know?
Smoking is not permitted anywhere within the festival hall. Smokers are asked to smoke outside the main entrance and to one side.
STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
This little shindig wouldn’t happen without the support of many awesome staff and volunteers. It just wouldn’t. They’ll all be in GABS t-shirts and easy to identify. Be nice to them. Give them a hug, even.
If anyone thinks GABS is a swillathon, they will only be disappointed.
While GABS is all about responsible beer and cider appreciation and education in a fun and festive atmosphere, anti-social behaviour will not be accepted.