Australia’s favourite annual boutique beer, gourmet food and for the first time cider festival will return this year with GABS 2016 expected to bring more to the plate (and glass) than ever before!

Cider lovers will be able to quench their thirst with boutique cideries from across the country taking part, including Small Acres (NSW), Napoleone (VIC), Red Brick (TAS) and LOBO Cider (SA).

I will be looking forward to a few speciality ciders crafted just for the festival. I’ll be loading up my chalk board paddle with:

  • Batlow Cider’s Saison Cider, a cider made with a French saison yeast, this should be one to convert the adventurous beer drinkers over to cider
  • Custards & CO‘s Cider of Great Heads. A wild ferment with whole pieces of fruit are in the barrel.
  • St. Ronan’s Split Decision. Aged in gin barrels
  • Small Acres Shekar. A blend of English apples pressing in an old fashioned straw press.
  • Willie Smith’s Pommy Sundowner. Also blends English apples and straw pressing techniques with a wild ferment

That’s just 5 of the 140 craft beverage producers on show at GABS this year.

With craft beer and cider consumption steadily increasing in Australia, it’s no surprise that GABS continues to expand its reach, adding extra days onto their Melbourne and Sydney legs and appearing for the first time in New Zealand. Tickets from the GABS website

  • Melbourne. May 20th – 22nd, Royal Exhibition Building
  • Sydney. May 27th – 28th, Australian Technology Park
  • Auckland, NZ. June 18th, ASB Showgrounds

By educating attendants on the craft cider and beer industry, GABS stands out from other festivals, enriching every person’s experience with an immeasurable passion for the craft of artisan brewing and extensive knowledge and connection to the products they produce from every brewery, large and small.

Kegtainer Bars

Since its inception in 2012, GABS has become a widely anticipated and revered food and beverage festival, ranking in the top 20 beer festivals around the world. Craft beer and cider lovers and people interested in learning more about craft beer and cider will find something to suit their every whim with the very best breweries, cideries and hand-picked food providers on offer

The food on offer is as good as the beers and ciders, with a hand-picked selection of food vendors at the venues, including Huxtaburger, Meatmother and Milk the Cow in Melbourne, and Ze Pickle, Mr Bao and Three Blue Ducks in Sydney, to name a few.

GABS began with a beer between Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, friends and co-founders of the renowned Local Taphouse beer bars in Melbourne and Sydney. In just four years GABS has become one of the top twenty beer festivals in the world, according to the prestigious American magazine, Beer Connoisseur – a great Aussie success story!

Celebrating the diversity of craft beer and cider, GABS features hundreds of beers, ciders, brewery stands, combined with outstanding local food vendors, education classes, circus performers, brilliant roaming musicians including the well-loved ‘Ale Capones’- and even a giant Ferris wheel in Melbourne – GABS is always a unique and fun festival experience.

Sponsored by the Australian Beer Company, the wheel will offer unique views over the festival hall and inside the dome, donating all ticket sales for the experience to the charity Brewmanity. The proceeds of ticket purchases will go towards MND research.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the event this year with tickets on sale now and selling out fast. So if you don’t want to miss out, get in quick at

Presale ticket prices online are cheaper than at the door so hurry now to get your tickets to Australia and New Zealand’s greatest beer, cider and food festival this May/June and see why it has been judged one of the best in the world.

If you’re at the Sydney leg on the Saturday session come and say hi, and tell me what your drinking.

Don’t forget to get your Real Cider Reviews merch