Here’s your no hangover guide to enjoying the GABS beer festival, one of the world’s leading craft beer festivals. GABS is hitting Brisbane on June 12, 2021.
GABS brings together the best breweries from Australia and New Zealand to rethink and celebrate the way we drink craft beer and cider.
This Brisbane beer festival was inspired by Queensland’s thriving brewing industry and the popularity of locally brewed craft beers. You’ll be able to see them all at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Entry tickets start at $32 for a morning or afternoon session.
The GABS Beer Festival Survival Guide
GABS veteran Alex Stone shares his nine top tips honed from long experience to make the most of your session.
“Think of GABS as a craft beer Oktoberfest,” says Alex. “You buy tickets to a session which last four hours and try and make your way through the 200 odd craft beers on offer.
“Your goal should be to taste and enjoy but not give yourself the mother of all hangovers.”
1. Go hard early
You’ve only got a limited amount of time at a beer festival to try these glorious beers most of which will never be made again so dig in!
2. Drink your beers in descending alcohol percentage
While each beer is only a 60ml cup, there’s only so many 17 per cent whiskey barrel aged stouts anyone can take in a beer festival. Try them early to avoid fatigue.
3. Don’t follow the 1- 20 beers list at the start
A lot of people try and just work their way down the list, and this can lead to long lines at the beginning. If the lines are short elsewhere, jump on over.
4. If you hear about a good beer go for it ASAP, they do sell out.
A lot of the beers made for gabs are one-off creations. If you hear of a good one jump in asap because they do sell out!
5. Read your program and plan your attack but adjust on the fly
It is good to have a read of your beer festival program and look through what beers grab your attention. There’s too many to try to work out what you like.
Some beers are also designed to be drunk with other beers at the festival like the peanut and jelly one I had last year. All this information is in your program.
6. Go to the stalls and chat to the brewers
Do you enjoy learning about craft beer as much as drinking it? A lot of the brewers are at a separate stall set up around the venue selling their less exotic beers and love a chat. This is great to do later in the session when you are craving something a little simpler on the palate.
7. It’s a craft beer festival but you should drink water!
Seriously drink water! It’s a long day of high percentage drinks. There is a hangover that’s coming for you if you don’t!
8. Don’t just do the weird beers
Don’t just grab something because it’s made from the yeasty droppings of a small endangered species. I mean dig in if that’s for you, but there are some tremendous pale ales and lagers on offer too.
Although Vietnamese pho, Tim Tams, doughnuts, wine, hemp, popcorn, and green ants (yes you read that right) aren’t the first thing you think of when you think great craft beers and ciders they are just a few of the ingredients mixed into this year’s beer festival brews.
9. Eat before the beer festival and eat early
Not only the beers sell out but the food too! Plus the stall lines can get very long at the end of a session. The food at gabs is excellent and also helps line the stomach to avoid the pesky hangover that will chase you down if you’re not ready.