WA beer's road map for another GABS tour of duty


Sandgropers prefer to support their local breweries.

Since beer tastes best it is consumed as near as possible to where it was produced there, has been a strong passion for drinks made close to home.

There is one period when the rule about buying locally is waived. But, in essence, the WA craft beer brethren is still supporting their own – just in another State.

A visit to GABS - the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular - has become something of a pilgrimage to brewing holy land and many West Australians wing their way to Melbourne for the annual three-day beer feast. And it just so happens another chapter starts next Friday. That’s correct. The revered days on the beer calendar are back for 2019.

As we know those from the west like to cheer for their teams wherever they play, it is appropriate to highlight the GABS brews on offer at the majestic Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building over the five festival sessions.

There has been a spike in WA beers this year. Indeed, if you throw blend in a couple of Sandgroper-raised breweries that have bases in Victoria and Funk Cider from the Swan Valley then you’ll need four tasting paddles during the session. Maybe get a season pass.

Remember the rules of GABS is that beers on offer at the main container bars mustn't have been produced by that brewery before. Many strive to make a brew not made anywhere else.

So if you’re a GABS attendee with a west coast bent when it comes to your beers, print this out and take it with you as a mud map next week. Remember, Drink West, Drink Best.

WA’s 2019 GABS Melbourne Beers


8: Indian Ocean Brewing Co (WA) (with Dutch Trading Co & Erosion Meadery) OAKLORE BRAGGOT

STYLE: Braggot ABV: 13 % CHARACTER: Fruit/Spicy (Bright) COMPLEXITY: Adventurous Braggot is a blend of beer and mead, and for this collaboration, Dutch Trading Co, Indian Ocean Brewery and Erosion Meadery have blended a bourbon barrel aged Barley Wine, with a 15% mead.

36: Beerland Brewing (WA) SNOZZBERRY JUICE

STYLE: Specialty Beer ABV: 6 % CHARACTER: Tart/Funky (Fruity & vinous) COMPLEXITY: Adventurous ‘The Snozzberries taste like Snozzberries’ Hoppy, fruity, funky and sour as all heck! This is soured, dry hopped and added blueberries and raspberries. Crazy refreshing.

42: Blasta Brewing Co (WA) THE RAMPANT RASPBERRY

STYLE: Wild Fermentation Sour ABV: 4.6 % CHARACTER: Tart/Funky (Fruity & vinous) COMPLEXITY: Easier drinking Four additions of fresh, ripe raspberries, a big whack of passionfruit and a dash of hibiscus, this is a summer sour the Blasta Way.

44: Boston Brewing Co (WA) PEACHES EN RUMALIA

STYLE: Specialty Beer ABV: 6 % CHARACTER: Fruit/Spicy (Bright) COMPLEXITY: Adventurous This semi-sour beer with lactose and peaches has been aged in rum barrels. It’s inspired by peach crumble topped with cream and if you close your eyes it just might take you there.

48: Bright Tank Brewing Co (WA) TROPPO SEASON

STYLE: Double New England IPA ABV: 7 % CHARACTER: Hop (Juicy & hazy) COMPLEXITY: Stepping up This might send you a little troppo as you wonder why it’s so easy to drink. With four dry hop additions, and an addition of mango, it also uses a blend of wild yeast, and a classic Vermont yeast strain. Like the wet season up north, it might send you troppo.

56: Cheeky Monkey Brewery (WA) STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE IPA

STYLE: Milkshake IPA ABV: 7 % CHARACTER: Hop (Juicy & hazy) COMPLEXITY: Stepping up Loads of strawberries and lactose will take you back to those days when you got out of class, rode your pushy down the sun-scorched footpath to grab a carton of pink milk.


66: Eagle Bay Brewing Co (WA) SOUR PINK STOUT

STYLE: Sour ABV: 6 % CHARACTER: Tart/Funky (Fruity & vinous) COMPLEXITY: Stepping up Eagle Bay has grabbed coffee from local roasters Cape Effect, and cacao husks from chocolate makers Bahen & Co, as well as fresh raspberries to give a dry, tart tang.

71: Feral Brewing Co (WA) IMPERIAL BIGGIE

STYLE: Double New England IPA ABV: 8 %