The annual Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) will kick off this year with its inaugural Brisbane event at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in South Bank on Saturday 27 April. The tour will then move on Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne (17-19 May), Sydney Showground (1 June), and ASB Showgrounds in Auckland (29 June).

The event will showcase 170 beers and ciders made especially for GABS by leading brewers and cidermakers in Australia and New Zealand, approximately 100 of which will be on tap at the new Brisbane event. Bacon, donuts, hemp flour, sake, rum, gin, Tim Tams, popcorn, agave, and edible green ants are just some of the ingredients found among the ‘Festival Beers & Ciders’.

“For us, GABS has always been about sharing our love of craft beer and cider with as many people as possible, so bringing the festival experience to Brisbane has long been on the agenda,” GABS Co-Founder Steve Jeffares says. “We’re thrilled to now be able to make this a reality, and can’t wait to showcase the booming craft beer scene to Queenslanders in true GABS style!”

Collaboration is a particular focus for this year’s festival, with many brewers pairing up with other food and drink brands to develop their GABS Collabs Festival Beers & Ciders, including coffee roasters, tea houses, gin and whisky distillers, biscuit makers and even an American BBQ smokehouse.

Education is also a huge focus of the festival. At the Ariston Food & Drink Experience, attendees are taken on a gastronomic journey of food, beer and cider pairings. And the Mornington Peninsula Brewery Craft College panel discussions and masterclasses offer beer enthusiasts an opportunity to hear from some of the best in the business. At the My Dan Murphy’s Discovery Deck, where guests are invited to ‘find their perfect beer match’ through guided tastings of some of the best examples of various beer styles.

Many of those breweries and cideries also set up interactive stands at the festival as part of the Dan Murphy’s Marketplace, providing attendees with the chance to chat with the team behind the products as they sample from their ranges of core and limited-release beers and ciders.

In Melbourne, the new Yak Ales BBQ Heaven features an all-star lineup including Bluebonnet BBQ, Biggie Smalls and Leonard’s House of Love. Sydney punters can feast on dishes from Bovine & Swine, Happy As Larry Pizza, Chur Burger and Dirty Bird. Brisbane food trucks include King Of The Wings, Mac From Way Back, Netherworld’s Hellmouth Diner and more.

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