I literally wait all year for GABS as my wife and close friends can attest to! Last year it was in the Redfern Technology Park which was an awesome venue with a fantastic vibe. This year was at The Dome in Homebush Olympic Park with a slightly different vibe, not better not worse just different. The crowd was decidedly younger than other years and there felt like there were a lot more vendors this year (which is a good thing).
The entertainment as always good, however I personally feel the little creatures stage was just too loud and felt a bit out of place at a GABS event. The brass band though that plays the 80’s hits was there again and literally had people off their chairs dancing around. Food was really good this year too with a wide selection, the southern fried chicken though was the highlight!
Now enough of all those distractions lets get down to business, beer business and business was bloody good!!!! It’s called a spectacular for a reason and this year saw more festival beers than ever, before I get started can I just point out that the lines were quite slow in the afternoon addition we attended, but it wasn’t enough to spoil the mood.
The beers, some of them were extremely challenging to the palate, which had you second guessing yourself the whole time “Am I enjoying this beer because it tastes like I’m eating a Thai green curry or is it just a good beer?” Who knows, it was a bit off putting with some of them but that’s half the fun.
My personal top 5 were, in no particular order:
Black Purl – Double Head Brewing – A spectacular dark almost black IPA style beer which was outstanding.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Mangoes – Holgate Brewhouse – Tastes like a highly sessionable IPA but packs an 8% ABV. Great depth of flavour!
Jedi Juice – Hop Nation Brewing Co – Holy Bejesus this was an insanely good American IPA and probably won beer of the arvo for me, an absolutely faultless AIPA that I will be hunting for furiously if its ever sold outside the festival.
Funky Hoppy People – Wayward Brewing Co – You want to say a sour but it has a delicious fruity New England style IPA influence so I just wrote it off as being delicious with a cheeky sour backnote. Excellent beer.
And last but by no means the least…..
Wolpertinger – White Rabbit Brewery – Always been a massive fan of their dark ale off the tap and was really suprised by this beer to be honest. I didn’t expect anything so edgy from one of the more successful brewers. A really nice pineapple IPA with a delightful back note.
All 5 of these beers were truly awesome and my hat goes off to all the brewers. Thanks guys and girls making the brews, thanks GABS for another awesome festival and thanks random dudes from Brewnation (one pictured last) for making the train ride home truly hilarious!