A key point of difference to the GABS experience are the ‘Festival Beers & Ciders’, where leading brewers and cider makers from Australia, New Zealand and around the world, create a unique beer or cider especially for the festival.
Served from distinctive 40ft shipping containers converted into bars, the Festival Beers & Ciders are hugely popular with event goers. The breweries are encouraged to be creative, with many going all out in using local and unexpected ingredients – in 2017, GABS is featuring beers brewed with likes of cognac, tobacco, double smoked bone marrow, raspberries, tea flowers, chillies, salted caramel and kina.
The beers and ciders can either be enjoyed by the glass, or savoured via a ‘Tasting Paddles’ or five samples – the best way to take advantage of the huge variety of beers and ciders on offer.
And then then there’s the food. GABS has the best of Auckland’s street food vendors on offer. From burgers to pasta and sushi, tacos and more, GABS is making sure that your every food and beverage whim is catered to.
The GABS Festival is about the experience, the entertainment and ‘spectacle’ of it all, and every year the team strives to take the ‘spectacular’ to a whole new level.
GABS runs in five-hour blocks or ‘sessions’. During each session, a variety of unique entertainment is scheduled to surprise and delight punters. This year, GABS is taking the entertainment to new heights (literally). Atop the shipping container bars stages will be built for dramatic live performances. Think of costumed acrobatic artists atop sway poles circling 9 metres above customers heads, precision Taiko drummers booming from container to container, or perhaps an operatic duo reaching a soaring crescendo. Brief, incredibly high impact performances that will amaze the entire festival audience.
And then on the event floor, there will be a number of mini stages featuring solo circus performances interspersed between the container top acts. Again, awesome feats of skill that culminate in a ‘wow’ moment are the order of the day.
And finally, roving performers will bring the show right to the punters table. These include the perennial house band ‘The Ale Capones’, a highly engaging four piece who really know how to work the GABS crowd.
This is a significant part of the event, and drives home the ‘good times’ vibe of great beer, good company, and an unforgettable experience.
For discerning drinkers, both new and old, GABS is a true celebration of craft beer and cider creativity and diversity, as well as the stories behind the products and the craft breweries. For some, it’s an introduction, for others a journey, and for all, it’s an incredibly fun festival experience.
It’s more than a beer festival… it’s an experience.