Dear local crafties, As summer starts to fade and the New England Autumn leaves start to brown, so will the styles of beer.
We are lucky to have such distinct seasons here in the New England, and each brings a thirst for different styles of beer.
Out with the pales, summers, goldens, kolschs, lagers and pilsners, and in with the ambers, browns, porters and stouts in all their weird and wonderful variations. The beginning of the colder months also mean it’s nearly that time of the year again to start training for the annual Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) held in Melbourne and Sydney in May.
We have had the pleasure of experiencing this event in all its hazyness and glory the past two years and are gearing up for what is said to be an even bigger event this year. It is a fun-filled three days of strenuous work that requires a well devised game plan and plenty of stamina. It has been judged as one of the best beer festivals in the world.
GABS is not only a great weekend out for the discerning Craft Beer enthusiast, but an industry extravaganza for anyone in the field to get the latest on brewing techniques, equipment, trends and connections.
Circulating marching bands, giant jenga, silent discos, workshops and games all in the style of a German Beer hall provides something for everybody and promotes the exciting craft industry to almost 23,000 people just in the Melbourne event.
Above all, GABS is really just a whole barrel of fun, where breweries are given an unconditional creative licence to produce one-off brews for the event and with around 130 one-offs to try and up to 250 beers in total, make sure you bring your A-game. It is up to the public to vote for the winning brew, of which a limited batch is brewed and highly sought after by craft venues around the country. You may remember “Milk And Two Sugars”, a Sweet Coffee Stout by Brewcult (VIC) we had on tap last year, which was the 2015 winner. Below are just a few others we encountered last year:
NZ’s Behemoth Brewing entered a Grapefruit Farmhouse India Pale Ale; Barossa Valley Brewing’s Sticky Nipple Stout, a Milk Porter; Sex, Drugs and Rocky Road, a Dessert Beer brewed with the flavours of Darrell Lea Rocky Road by Bacchus Brewing in QLD.
These can all be perfectly food-matched with a huge selection of boutique food stalls at the event.
If you think this all sounds a bit extravagant, well it sure is, because it’s all about encompassing the spirit of craft beer – creating not only interesting tastes but experiences and pushing the boundaries of mainstream products and challenging the status-quo of beer culture in Australia.
We will be organising a weekend bus trip to the Sydney GABS. If anyone is interested in coming along to try a selection of over 130 limited edition brews from the best Australian and New Zealand breweries, come and have a chat with us.
Drink less; taste more!
Dan Emery and Tom Croft,
The Welder’s Dog