2014 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular most successful to date

A great hop for craft beer following gift of the GABS

Media release
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Shane Warne rings the bell to start Great Australasian beer specTAPular 2014

Shane Warne rings the bell to start Great Australasian beer specTAPular 2014

Great Australasian beer specTAPular 2014 - outside the venue
Great Australasian beer specTAPular 2014 - blind tastings
Great Australasian beer specTAPular 2014
Great Australasian beer specTAPular 2014 - Pouring


The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) has gone from strength to strength, showcasing artisan craft breweries to a cast of thousands at Melbourne’s historic Royal Exhibition Building, and cementing itself as the leading craft beer festival of its kind in the country.

Just three years since its inaugural launch, record numbers attend this year’s event with figures showing in excess of 12,000 people attended from 23 - 25 May.

GABS is the premier event for brewers wanting to push the boundaries with a one-off beer, with nothing off limits on the ingredient list - and it’s proving a big draw card for craft beer enthusiasts.

This year saw the number of modern artisan beers created specifically for the event rise from 89 last year to 105 - with brewers incorporating peanut butter, rice, spiced rocket leaves, blueberries, apricots and toasted coconut into their beers and fermenting and aging them in all manner of ways including using wine and spirit barrels.

In total, more than 250 beers from 130 breweries were showcased over the three days of the event, as well as gourmet street food, a fromagerie, live entertainment and games including a silent disco, brewery and industry stands and free educational seminars.

Legendary cricketer Shane Warne opened the event by ringing the official GABS bell, before pouring punters a few of his own craft beer -’99 Not Out’ - a ‘new world’ style pale ale made in collaboration with Moa Brewing Company and showcased at the Moa stand during the event.

The best of Australian breweries attended including 2013 Australian Champion mid-sized Brewery Feral Brewing (WA), 2014 Australian Champion Mid-Sized Brewery Thunder Road Brewing (VIC), Stone & Wood Brewing (NSW) and Bright Brewery (VIC), while growing international interest saw some of the most acclaimed craft breweries from around the world participating, including Sierra Nevada Brewing Co (USA), Mikkeller and To'ol (Denmark), Garage Project (NZ), Nøgne Ø (Norway) and Stillwater Artisanal Ales (USA).

This year’s MX People’s Choice Best Festival Beer went to La Sirene for its ‘Pralene’ - a six per cent ABV Belgian Specialty Ale made from a Belgian Stout base brewed with organic vanilla pods, cacao nibs and hazlenuts.

La Sirene head brewer Costa Nikias says they were, and still are, taken aback by the whole event and the responses to its beer, which was its first attempt at a one-off festival beer.

“It is so rewarding to be recognised for creating something that people really enjoyed and more importantly showcasing the versatility that beer has as a beverage to change mindsets.”

GABS co-founder Guy Greenstone says while this year has been a huge success, it’s by no means a chance to rest on their laurels for next year, and they’ll be working hard to make sure the 2015 event is even better.

“We see GABS as a unique opportunity to celebrate the very best in craft brewing, and bring that to the increasing number of people interested in a quality beer experience.  It’s about celebrating the craft-brewer’s talents, educating people about better beer and adding a great dose of entertainment and fun.”

La Sirene 'Praline' will be available on tap at select specialty beer venues including The Local Taphouse in St Kilda and Darlinghurst and bottled in coming months.


  • Melbourne (VIC)

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