Drunken Speculation

Liam’s GABS Hitlist

GABSlogoIt’s just about a week and a half now until the craft beer lovers wet-dream of festivals, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (more affectionately known as GABS), kicks off and today, I’ve just copied ammo and created a hit list. In the interest of sparing you having to read through another twenty, I’ve cut mine down to a simple top ten.

Firstly, holy shit, how strong are all the beers? There’s half a dozen, at best, under 5%. Are we having a contest to see who can brew the strongest beer and create the most hassles for security? I’m going to have to bring my big boy pants.

Secondly, there’s surprisingly little overlap in what I wanted to try and what ammo has down. Clearly, though, my choices are way more awesome:

  1. 4 PINES BREWING CO Dunkel Monkey – I’ve talked about 4 Pines’ German efforts before (and there’s a review of the hef in the pipeline as well). Between the quality of Franziskaner’s Dunkelweiss and 4 Pines brewing, I can only imagine that this might be my gateway to a cheaper, locally produced, quality dunkelweiss. Or, at least, an 85mL beer sensation. 
  2. SIERRA NEVADA BREWING CO Return of the Red Eye IPA – I’ve tried a couple of Sierra Nevada beers a long time ago and didn’t much approve. My tastes have changed a bit since then, so I’m keen to give a go to one of America’s biggest craft brewers. Red ale is not my favourite style but “mango and grapefruit aromas are complemented by a malt grown in Chile and Argentina, making for a creamy mouthfeel and dry finish” aaand I’m in. 
  3. TRUE SOUTH BREWERY Killer Python Kölsch – Killer pythons are awesome. Their sugary goodness got me through much of my childhood, much in the same way beer gets me through my twenties. With 10 kilograms of killer pythons in the mix, how can this go wrong? 
  4. PRICKLY MOSES Black Stallion – This beer has a “viscous & rich palate with caramel, mocha chocolate and a roasted backbone.” Sold. You had me at caramel. 
  5. HOPDOG BEERWORKS An American Werewolf In Belgium – I’m surprised this didn’t make ammo’s list. Everyone seems to be doing IPAs and Belgian style beers these days, so it’s hardly surprising that Hopdog have had a crack at combining the two. I’m expecting to have to sit down when this hop bomb goes off. 
  6. BROOKLYN BREWERY Grand Cru – Another American brewer is turning up for the festival. This one is bringing a Belgian witbier with them. There’s a few witbier-based offerings at GABS, so it will be interesting to see which stacks up the best. 
  7. MOUNTAIN GOAT BEER Andy’s Reserve Amber Ale – I wasn’t much enamoured with the Hightail Ale, on which this beer is based. I’m hoping Andy can turn things around. A more flavoursome kick is just what the Hightail Ale needs. 
  8. OLD SALT BREWING CO Like a SunriseI don’t care how popular Ketut is, it’s a bit lame to name your beer after an insurance ad. Putting marketing to one side, the beer itself is described as “tropical orange coconut porter”. My ancestors are rolling in their graves at the thought of a coconut porter but I see considerable potential for a beach cocktail porter market. Turns out Old Salt can’t make it. I found out on Instagram. Not going to replace them in my list because screw it, that’s why. 
  9. BRIGHT BREWERY Supermucilaginisticexpialidocious – I just don’t see how they can jam this many flavours into a beer. Normally, when tasting notes read like a shopping list, ninety percent just aren’t bold enough to be noticed. I look forward to holding Bright Brewery to their word. 
  10. BIRRA DEL BORGO Myrtle’s Bunga Bunga Party – Birra probably could’ve chosen a less incendiary name for their beer. Bunga bunga parties are a joke here but that shit is serious in Italy. Could imagine what would happen if John Howard had done that? Actually, spare yourself and don’t imagine that. Nonetheless, the beer sounds enticing. I fully believe lemon and beer and can co-exist outside of a shandy so I hope this is the one.

Check out the complete list of festival beers here if you want to create your own list (which I strongly recommend) or you can download the GABS Official Guide here.

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