Tuesday, 26 May 2015

GABS 2015 Part 1 - Thursday, Friday and everything in between

Hey all, welcome to a special GABS edition of the blog, covering our trip to Melbourne, GABS, and everything else inbetween. This will be a long, rambling post so I'm just warning you all in advance!

It's that time of the year again!

The trip started on Thursday afternoon, with everyone training over to the Airport. A couple of drinks and some dinner later, were were aboard our 8:30 flight to Melbourne. A quick bag drop/check-in later, we were off to Whiskey and Alement to start our adventure proper with some drinks

Professional flash blocking there

After a few boilermakers and cocktails later, we had to make the first of many brief souvlaki stops at Stalactites

The face of TRUE happiness

Before heading out for a night of Shenanigans that stretched well into the early hours of the next morning...

Day 1 - Friday 22/5

After a late awakening directly attributable to the previous night's shenanigans, we woke up and had a delish brekky at Trunk Diner before walking on up to Carlton Gardens

Still the nicest building I've been to a festival in

The queue this year wasn't too bad, and they even had ticket sellers circulating around outside so you could prebuy tickets... We decided that 2 pages should be sufficient to start off

Just a couple of sneaky pages

Inside, we grabbed a table in a prime spot next to Container A, and began our quest to drink every festival beer from 1-118. We started off with 2 Brothers "Hazella", a hazelnut brown, which is extremely fitting in hindsight considering the sheer number of nut beers/brown and black beers that were on show this year

The first 5 of 118 to come... Spilt all over the table already

Everyone put in a solid effort for the first day, all bright eyed and bushy tailed in spite of our solid drinking effort the night before

World's most staged photo

After completing 1-30 (half of Container A), we decided it was time to have a wander around the festival and check out some of the other beers on offer. 

Garage Project was definitely a highlight, with all 6 of their beers on show nothing short of exquisite. Sea of Green fresh hop pilsener was my pick, narrowly edging out the Two Tap Flat White that had beer crema!

Paddle +1, no shame there

After a good feed courtesy of Meat Mother, we sat back down to continue our journey to the end of Container A

By this point we'd wised up and nicked a chux to protect our guides from the sea of beer on the table

We finished up on the James Squire Brewers 2050 - a fruity Schwarzbier that was nice, but not quite as interesting as I'd hoped. However there were plenty of great beers at the first container;

Personal Highlights from Container A:

5 - 8 Wired Brewing - Hippy Berliner
A delicious, fresh berlinerweiss with plenty of fruit and wine character, the big hit of hops in the middle really pushed it up to my shortlist

12 - Baird Sour Puss
A super fruity and fresh IPA with plenty of lemony flavour from both lemon peel and the hops, like a lemon warhead IPA

18 - Big Shed Brewing - Golden Stout Time
The first of many sweet stouts, but definitely in the top 2, this tasted like a Golden Gaytime in a glass with a whole lot of extra roast for good measure

23 - Blackhorse Brewhouse - Finger Lime Ale
A hoppy pale ale that's been loaded with finger limes, it was my favourite pale ale of the festival due to the sheet deliciousness of the zesty lime, blending with the really well balanced hop profile

30 - Burleigh Brewing Company - Peach Saison
A real easy-drinking fruit saison, the mix of real peach and 'peachy' hops created a super smooth, delicious fruit saison

We'll be coming back to a few of these on the shortlist later!

Following the day session, we decided we'd probably had enough GABS for one day, and needed to do something a bit different... So we went bar/brewery hopping!

First stop was the Little Creatures Dining Hall in Fitzroy, where the only photos I managed to take were of the ATM. It's inside a fridge. 

Surely not...
We were treated to a couple of rounds of free drinks courtesy of our sneaky Lion contacts, had a tasty dinner, then jumped into a squad of waiting Ubers to head to our second stop for the night, Mountain Goat Brewery

Definitely has a cool vibe from outside

Here, we got to try a whole bunch of special and one-off brews, including the Abbey Collabbey 5, and their AIBA Gold-medal winning Barrel Breed Barley Wine... super delicious

That photobomb tho

Next up, we had a nice brisk walk through the cold night over to the Moon Dog Brewery - half the group were convinced I was leading them down an alley to murder them - where we crashed down onto a set of sofas to work through a few weird and wonderful beers, including a peanut porter, a jammy dodger, and a Splice IPA that could almost be mistaken for the actual icecream!

The fact that this is the best photo I have from Moon Dog says a lot...

This culminated in us meeting up with our old mate Sammy B, then heading back into town to hit Rooftop and Toff, once again until the heinous hours of the morning...

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