Myriad WA craft beer aficionados flock to Melbourne each May for the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular.
The 2018 event, starting on Friday, will again feature plenty of Sandgropers catching the jet-propelled big birds east to stretch their tastebuds with frontier-pushing brews.
And if attendees are keen to try as many west coast brews as they can, The Sip has trawled through the near 180 unique beers on offer at GABS to pick out the home-grown drops on offer.
For the uninitiated, exhibitors at the three containers within the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building have had to produce a brew they haven’t ever had in their repertoire – and, indeed, most devise a beer no-one has tasted before.
The three-day, five-session festival has advanced considerably since it commenced with 20 breweries at the Local Taphouse in 2011.
WA was represented by Mash (Rye IPA) and Feral (Karma Citra) in year one.
In 2018 there will be 10 of the State’s breweries showcasing a new brew.
They are –
AUSTRALIAN HOMEBREWER OF THE YEAR (VIA CHEEKY MONKEY)
DEATH BY NO CHILL
Beer Description: Ben Tearne has bought his award-winning Chocolate Porter recipe. If you think you don't like dark beer, then this is the one that will change your mind.
BEERFARM and ROCKY RIDGE BREWING CO (COLLAB)
ROCKMELON & RHUBARB FARM SOUR
Beer Description: Beerfarm have picked rockmelons and rhubarb from their brewery garden to add to this kettle-soured farmhouse ale. It’s a true taste of WA produce in a beer.
BLACK BREWING CO
BAD BOY BAO BAO
Beer Description: The regular Bao Bao from Black is 4.5%. This is over double that and is badder, with additions of cinnamon and oats. Expect thick, boozy, and soft. Doesn't sound that bad, I guess.
BEAN THERE HOP THAT
Beer Description: A lovely citrus and roast profile has been barrel-aged in Leeuwin Estate red wine barrels and dosed with cold brew coffee from That Cold Stuff. A curious combination with layers and depth.
CHEEKY MONKEY BREWERY AND CIDERY
Beer Description: This kettle-soured Berliner has blackcurrants added throughout the brewing and fermenting process. We can't say for sure if they added a dose of vitamin C, but we can say it's a dose of delicious.
EAGLE BAY BREWING COMPANY
Beer Description: In the tradition of classic Saison ('season' in French) brewing, this farmhouse style ale is made with locally picked Satsuma plums, local pecans and honey. Seasonal brewing at its best.
FERAL BREWING COMPANY
Beer Description: With Weet-bix, Frosted Flakes, Froot loops, All Bran, Nutri-grain, and Cornflakes, this is a true breakfast juice. It smells like tropical fruit, looks like orange juice, tastes like sweet cereal, and smells like tropical fruit.
INDIAN OCEAN BREWING CO
BIÈRE DE MINDARIE
Beer Description: Kettle souring, combined with funky yeast and a bit of blending gives this a classic Belgian yeast character, a touch of tartness, and a sparkling dry finish.
DAWN TIL D’HUSK
Beer Description: This big, dark lager has been brewed in collaboration with Perth chocolatier Sue Lewis. It uses cocoa husks (a by-product of chocolate production), to marry complex chocolate aromas with the cleansing nature of a lager.
NOWHEREMAN BREWING CO
RIPE FOR THE PICKING!
Beer Description: The brewery has told us that everyone loves a double dipped Cherry Ripe. And while the dark choc version is FAR superior, they are still right. This is a rich, Baltic porter with coconut and cherry.