On Saturday, the Great Australasian Beer Spectacular is coming to the Auckland for the first time. It has a slightly overblown name, but it manages to live up to it because this event is much more than a beer festival. Here are five reasons we’re excited to head to the ASB showgrounds tomorrow.
It is a beer event, obvs, and over 60 craft breweries from NZ and Australia will be there. You get a 285ml beer glass with your ticket, and then you can taste everything, although we probably don’t advise that. There are also six festival beers to try – brewed exclusively for GABS. There are bars made from shipping containers, called Kegtainer bars, where you can get tasting paddles of all six festival beers. The Kegtainer bars have 240 beer taps. That is insane.
Some of our favourite street food vendors will be at GABS, including the wonderful folk from Judge Bao. Go and see them and get yourself a sloppy po. It’s a kindness. Dixie BBQ have teamed up with Behemoth for BBQ and beer pairings like Brave Bikkie Brown Ale with Beef Brisket. Not all of the pairings include that much alliteration. Go to Coreano for Kimchi fries. Because in a dream world kimchi comes with everything, and GABS could just be that dream world.
We said this was more than a beer festival and we meant it. GABS has a silent disco, tenpin bowling and table tennis. There are giant board games and, perhaps most importantly, roving circus performers, musicians and acrobats. Did I mention the silent disco though? Rad.
It doesn’t have to all be about drinking, eating and dancing. GABS also has a “craft college” hosted by Pete Mitcham, featuring panels of local industry professionals. These discussions are free with your ticket, but they are first come first served. There are free beer and cider tastings at craft college, too.
Let’s face it, it’s Saturday night in New Zealand in winter. The All Blacks are playing. There is obviously going to be big screen playing the game at GABS because it is the best beer festival ever, and as if the best beer festival would miss an opportunity like that. Over 400 beers plus the All Blacks. C’mon.
HAVE FUN RESPONSIBLY. Dance between drinks.