The Annual GABS Beer Festival Returns To Sydney & Melbourne This Month

The GABS Beer Festival is touring Sydney and Melbourne in May 2022

GABS – the Great Australiasian Beer Spectapular – is just about ready to unleash its trove of over 100 exclusive beers when it tours Australia and New Zealand later this month, hopping around Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland to showcase what’s new and slightly off-kilter in the craft beer industry for 2022. Widely considered one of the best beer festivals in the world, the annual event marks 2022 with a few convenient venue changes but everything else looks to be business as usual with 117 brand new festival beers and over 700 taps to choose from alongside a hefty lineup of gin and whisky stands, food trucks and live entertainment.

You may notice that there’s not much mention of cider this year. Although GABS is still very much a craft beer and cider festival it seems like the organisers have leaned more heavily towards the beer side of things this year. Which makes sense. No one really drinks cider anymore, and those who do usually tap out after one or two rounds. On the other hand, beer is almost always going to go down well at something like the GABS Craft Beer & Cider festival given some of the best breweries from Australia and New Zealand take part, brewing those festival beers exclusively for GABS.

Having direct access to so many beers you can’t taste anywhere in the world is always a good value proposition for GABS, especially when they are usually of the more eccentric type. Over previous editions of GABS Beer & Cider Festival we’ve always seen things like oyster stouts and bubblegum sours steal the show. For GABS 2022, it appears plenty of the festival beers will be taking on an even more indulgent dessert-heavy focus with profiles including lemon meringue pie, New York cheesecake, creme brulee, cola chuppa chups and peanut butter & jelly smores. According to a press release, GABS will also feature left-field brews like a jalapaneo margarita sour and a barrel aged rum & fairy floss dessert beer.

If that all sounds a bit too ridiculous for you – and look, I don’t blame you – there’ll still be plenty of IPAs and pale ales between all those bready stouts and sours.

As per usual, the GABS beer festival will also lead to the beer industry’s hottest 100 countdown, which is typically released the following in January. This year’s countdown, which was based on the GABS beer festival last year, was topped by BentSpoke Brewing Co with Crankshaft.

RELATED: The Hottest 100 Craft Beers Countdown Is The Only One That Matters

Showcasing breweries at GABS echo just how solid (and slightly crowded) the space has become over the past few years. Alongside stalls from stalwarts like Jetty Road Brewery, White Rabbit, Mountain Culture and Wayward Brewing Co., there will be quite a few names that fly under the radar for most people. And it’s usually these relatively more obscure breweries that emerge as the favourites year on year.

GABS 2022 will kick off in Sydney on Friday 20th May and Saturday 21st May at the ICC, Darling Harbour. The following weekend will see GABS 2022 take over the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May. The tour will wrap up in Auckland Showgrounds on Saturday 25th June.

Tickets to one session at GABS 2022 start from around $45 pp. Although if you’re in Sydney take note that you can also use one of your NSW Dine & Discover vouchers to knock that price down to $20.