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GABS 2018 is a hole new ball game for beers

GABS Festival. The Sip Beer

Rodney Dangerfield came up with the idea almost 40 years ago.

And now Australia’s premier beer festival will again prove brews and golf can mix when the little white balls join the little taster cups at GABS 2018.

For the millennials in the audience Caddyshack is the greatest golf movie of all time. In one scene the Great Uncouth, Dangerfield, bounds onto an ultra-traditional country club fairway with a golf bag equipped with a beer keg. Unfortunately, it only poured Budweiser.

But the idea has inspired two generations of club swingers who love a brew. Although it is shunned by just about every course on the planet the desire to imbibe on a beer while belting a dimpled pill still captures the imagination of most weekend hackers.

GABS, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, now in its eighth incarnation, has recognised the desire by adding golf to the agenda of its three-day beverage extravaganza.

For those beer lovers who live under a shell, GABS has become renowned for its unique approach to brews. It now showcases up to 160 unique beers, and a few ciders, in 85ml tasters that provide a significant challenge for craft drinks aficionados.

Each year the GABS crew adds something different to the event – if the requirement that none of showcase have ever been produced for anywhere else isn’t sufficiently unique.

The May event in Melbourne will have a golf theme. We doubt the drivers will be pulled from the bag in the picturesque and antique Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building. But the putters will get a run. We just hope the gophers stay away.

The Holey Moley Golf Club will put down a few holes during the event and will be complemented by the Colonial Caddyshack. And with a new emphasis on distilleries at GABS 2018 there might even be the opportunity to relive Bill Murray’s famous “cannonball” scene from the 1980 film classic - minus the smoke!

But GABS is really about the beers. That is what brings in over 25,000 punters to the event.

While there will be around 160 brews and ciders at the three vending containers there will be around 350 more on offer at the stalls throughout the venue.

It is best summarised by GABS event director Craig Williams, “For the brewers, it's a chance to showcase the quality, creativity and diversity of styles inherent to craft beer and cider. And for beer lovers … well, it's kind of like Christmas really!”

“We like to think of GABS as much more than a beer festival; it’s an experience. And every year, we like to raise the bar on what that experience can be. It’s about looking at the world around craft beer and bringing that to life in a fun way, whether that’s through Holey Moley’s hugely popular mini-golf bars; Milawa cheeses washed with beer, wine and whisky; or a boilermaker pairing whisky and beer.”

Education is also a core 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 Brick Lane Craft College panel discussions and masterclasses offer beer enthusiasts an opportunity to hear from some of the best in the business. New this year is 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.

So there is plenty to learn at GABS 2018, which also includes sessions in Sydney and Auckland.

Some are even hoping Jordan Spieth might make a special appearance to teach a few divot makers how to sink a putt.


Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Fri 18 - Sun 20 May 2018


Sydney Showground, Olympic Park

Sat 2 June 2018


ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane

Sat 30 June 2018

Tickets are on sale now.




Soured Fruit Beer 4.5%

From their own brewery garden, Beerfarm have picked rockmelons and rhubarb to add to this kettle-soured farmhouse ale. It’s a true taste of WA produce in a beer.



Berliner Weisse 3%

We all know beer is good for you, but this one takes it one step further. Packed full of Vitamin C producing blackcurrants, this Berliner Weisse is delicious, and nutritious!



Saison/Farmhouse Ale 6%

Brewed with locally picked Satsuma plums, local pecans and honey, this classic Saison is earthy and peppery with a hint of biscuit and fruit.


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