Bars & Pubs

The Great Australasian SpecTAPular Kicks off Today!

By Jordan Ciuro
23rd May 2014

Did you know it's Good Beer Week? Yeah, I only just found out myself, which kind of makes sense as beer and I broke up a few years ago and I took the manly action of de-friending them on Facebook. I'm not going to get in to the reasons but let's just say there was a yacht, bikinis, lobster and Leonardo DiCaprio… but back to Good Beer Week and, in particular, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular.
The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (yes, those capitals are for effect), which I will calling GABS from here on in, kicks off today, dear beer enthusiasts. So what exactly is GABS? According to the fine folks involved it's "an annual festival for the discerning craft beer enthusiast, where around 120 creative and modern artisan brews are made specifically for the event with nothing off limits on the ingredient list."

Now in to its fourth year, GABS has grown so quickly that Melbourne's many traditional beer halls (I'm guessing that's you Elephant & Wheelbarrow) can no longer accommodate the large numbers of brewers and tasters. Which is why a few years ago they wheeled the bar taps into the glorious Royal Exhibition Building. That's the Victorian-era building you pass on the tram and wonder what it is and why it's not being used for something more meaningful than a backpacker's expo.

In my opinion, being able to drink in such grand surrounds is worth the price of admission alone, but as I trawled the interwebs for more GABS info, I learned that it's what's coming out of these wheeled-in taps that's truly worth your investment.

GABS will bring together Australia and New Zealand's finest brewers (plus some international folk) for a giant three-day science experiment, allowing them to get crafty with the craft brews. Do you like spices; how about a Sichuan pepper stout?  If that's too fiery, you can cool off with a refreshing watermelon pilsner. (For those of you with allergies, a word of warning, you might want to keep a few taps clear of the peanut butter pale ale).

It goes on; the list of exotic ingredients and half-empty condiment jars that have occupied the hard to reach places of your kitchen. Everything is inspiration for creating something new, something clever, something that'll change the way you see beer.

Perhaps beer and I broke up too soon. GABS is about challenging what beer can be and, like all relationships, some brews will be more successful to stomach than others. Maybe this is what I need get me back sipping beer again. Now, who's this friend request from?

GABS runs from 23rd - 25th May
Visit the website for further information

Main Image Credit: Pinterest

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