Wednesday, 27 May 2015

GABS 2015 Part 2 - Saturday, Sunday and Shortlist!

Hey all, picking up where we left off in the last post, it's now Saturday morning and we're all slightly worse for wear. If you missed Part 1 of the GABS blog, Click Here

Day 2 - Saturday 23/5

After a second night out on the town, we weren't all quite as spry and eager as we were on Friday morning. After a session of blue powerade, we headed over to Hardware lane for a big old cafe breakfast to perk us up. Some carbs and grease later, we were back on the case, starting Container B!

Tony post-recover breakfast and powerade

Our pace was perhaps a little slower than in the first session, though this was mainly due to the humungous queues to get beers, being a Saturday and all. While we waited for each round of beers, we were entertained by the roaming band busting out some true classics

As you may be able to tell, ripping out some Careless Whisper here

As well as by people playing Giant Jenga while acrobats tried their absolute best to distract them, resulting in some pretty hilarious failures

They actually played Jenga like this later on 

We also needed a couple of breaks to get up and wander around, where I was reunited with my old buddy Milo

Apparently not in super drivable condition any more =(

But eventually we powered through Container B and reached the elusive 118th beer, Young Henrys' "Midnight In the Carpark of Good And Evil", a bizarre blend of a rum barrel-aged cherry Flanders ale, and a velvety chocolate Stout, resulting in a real 'sweet and sour' beer that was at once intriguing and confusing. 

Thanks Gator

Container B also turned up a number of highlights:

Personal Highlights from Container B:

62 - Kevin Hingston (Homebrewer) - Membrillo Hefeweizen
Subtlety is the first word that comes to mind with this beer. A delicious hoppy hefe base with juicy fruit flavours floating over the top make this an exceptional beer

64 - La Sirene Brewing - Bebe Rouge
My pick from the show, Bebe Rouge is somewhere between a tart red ale, and a glass of ribena if it were made from redcurrants. Amazing mix of sweet and sour flavours that have sent me on a sour beer kick for the last week. A Must Try

73 - Mismatch Brewing Co - Banoffee Pie Dessert Ale
Tony's favourite beer of the festival, and definitely my pick for best sweet beer, we have a super sweet brown ale layered with flavours of rich caramel and banana. If you're after a sweet beer, this is the one!

74 - Moa Brewing Company - Feijoa Sour
And over on the other end of the flavour spectrum, we have my favourite sour of the festival, Moa's Feijoa Lambic. It's not overly sour, rather extremely well balanced against the feioja's fruit notes and the barrelly notes that come through.

77 - Moon Dog - Spotted Dick with Custard
Moon Dog have always been one of my favourites, and they definitely didn't disappoint with this year's offering, I'd almost describe it as bread and butter pudding in a glass, with a mix of raisin, bready and custardy notes all swirling together to cover the 9% alcohol backbone

80 - Mountain Goat Brewery - Nightcap
Rounding up my favourites from Container B we have a Russian Imperial Stout from Mountain Goat. Super rich through the body, with robust, roasty black malt flavours complimented well by the rich burst of real coffee through the body. Hides it's strength (12.3%) very well!

Following the session, we were in need of a huge feed, and the All you can eat dumpling place we went to definitely didn't skimp on quantity, though the quality was... suspect at best. And there was a rogue dumpling on the roof. No comment

Spider dumpling, spider dumpling, does whatever a spider dumpling can

As I'm sure you can guess, we went out again, this time starting at Madame Brussels for some jugs/teapots of delicious cocktail, then headed out to Prahran for some Lucky Coq/Vodka Borscht and Tears action. Was home... at a time

Day 3 - Sunday 24/5

Final day of the festival and we were amped up! Having completed the 118 beer gauntlet, we were now free to wander around checking out the stalls, and re-sample any beers that were on the shortlist and in need of a re-taste

Silly hat day! And we forgot hats! Noooooo

Quite a few stalls had fairly unique setups, with my personal favourite being Panhead, they had a set of bike exhausts as their taps and an awesome beer petrol pump (sadly non-operational)

Trying my best to get beer to come out

The final shortlist came down to 5; 4 main contenders and a Wildcard:
5 - 8 Wired Brewing - Hippy Berliner (Wildcard)
18 - Big Shed Brewing - Golden Stout Time
64 - La Sirene Brewing - Bebe Rouge
73 - Mismatch Brewing Co - Banoffee Pie Dessert Ale
74 - Moa Brewing Company - Feijoa Sour

Final round: Sudden death

After extensive tasting, and a process of elimination, we came down to a final 2; 64 - Bebe Rouge and 73 - Banoffee Pie Dessert Ale. Tony backed the Banoffee, I was sold on Bebe Rouge, so we settled on a tie

Evidently one of us liked our beer more than the other...

After casting our votes and having some last beers/ciders/cheese platters, we realised it was time to run if we were ever going to make it to the airport for our flight home, so we headed out of the exhibition hall, and started on our way back home.

This is around the time we organised "the signal"

And like that, it was over. The plane ride home was short and uneventful, with the exit row seats proving to be worth every extra cent paid. We boarded the train, bid our farewells, and went our separate ways. Never to be seen again. until GABS Sydney this weekend.

Anyway, thanks for reading guys, hope you enjoyed, and now you have a nice little shortlist of beers to try this weekend!

1 comment:

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