New beer festival a dream for aficionados 

OPINION

Beer festivals are a lot of fun, with the chance to try a range of different beers.

But imagine a beer festival where all the beers are brand new. Literally, because they were made especially for that event.

Well, that's the idea behind the Great Australian Beer Spectapular (GABS), an annual event that takes place in Melbourne from May 24-26.

The brainchild of The Local Taphouse owners Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, GABS debuted last year with 60 new beers.

This time around, about 100 new beers are expected. Among the participants are Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewery and Moylan's Brewery from the US, Mikkeller from Denmark, Japan's Baird Brewery and Birra del Borgo from Italy.

South Coast breweries Illawarra Brewing Company and HopDog BeerWorks are also making a one-off beer for the event.

Jeffares said there have been a few changes made to address issues raised last year to do with beer access during busy times and better chances to meet brewers.

"This year will see a 'Beer Market' for the first time, where up to 60 breweries and industry related businesses can showcase their products and visitors to the event can meet and talk to some of the brewers behind the beers," Jeffares said.

"It also means another way to access a great beer, minimising waiting time at the main shipping container bars, which have also been redesigned."

GABS is on from May 24 to May 26. For information about the festival and ticketing visit gabsfestival.com.au.

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