Ten things about … the GABS festival beers

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You can start with dessert: If you’re a little bit anal retentive like me, you’ll feel a compulsion to start your beer sampling at Container A, Section 1. And if you do that you can start with an all-dessert paddle. That would be made up of 4 Hearts S’more beer, the Choc Banana Split from Bad Shepherd, the Barossa Valley’s Cherry Ripe porter, the Belgian chocolate flavours of Bentspoke’s efforts and another Cherry Ripe beer from Big Shed. Before you ask, yes, this is actually going to be my first paddle of the day. Pavlova popularity: Correct me if I’m wrong but in all the years of GABS there has not been a single pavlova beer. But this year, we have two – Brisbane Brewing’s Pavlova-Lova and Willie the Boatman’s Great Aussie Pav. Not sure how a pavlova will translate into a beer – guess I’ll have to try one of them. Cherry Ripe’s alright: Like pavlovas, Cherry Ripe has not featured as a GABS inspiration before )at least I don’t think they have). There are two this year – from Big Shed and Barossa Valley Brewing. Having brewed one myself at home and been very, very pleased with the result. So I’m dead keen to see how these compare. CUB’s missed opportunity: CUB’s handling of Matilda Bay has taken a few hits in the beer geek community for their focus on their Yak beers to the exclusion of the rest of their craft beers, which includes icons like Redback and  – Redback , Beez Neez and Alpha Pale. So you’d think they’d take the chance to make something a bit odd, a bit different, to appeal to those geeks. Hell, their mainstream craft rival Little Creatures is bringing a gose. But no, under the banner of “Yak Ales”, they’re bringing a standard-sounding  Australian Pale Ale called “Wild Yak”. As for the legendary Matilda Bay name, well, they’re nowhere to been seen at GABS. So sad. Have a sweet time at GABS: The people really dig sweet beers – a look at previous winners of the People’s Choice award will tell you that. In the last three years we’ve had Bacchus Brewing’s Raspberry and White Chocolate Pilsner, La Sirene’s Praline chocolate ale and BrewCult’s Milk and Two Sugars win. It makes the inaugural winner – Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA look very much like an outlier. So perhaps it’s not that surprising to see a lot of sweeter beers this year. By my count – and with a slightly liberal definition of the word “sweet”, I count 20 sweet beers this year. Maybe I should bring along a toothbrush to avoid any cavities. See The Remaining 5 HERE

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