Good Beer Week is fast approaching! 10 days of epic adventuring through Melbourne with beer as your guide, what more could you want?
This years GABS will be 23-25 May at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, Melbourne.
One of the many, many, many events on the GBW calendar is the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS for short (and much easier communication after many beers). It’s a celebration of brewing creativity with the heart of the festival lying in the “GABS beers”, beers brewed especially for and launched during the festival. The result is 115 beers that are totally unique and available for very first time.
Sounds good doesn’t it?!
Alex Lovelock, brewer at Southern Bay Brewing, is one of the many brewers heading along and contributing a beer for GABS this year. Here is a special GABS edition of ‘5 minutes with’ so Alex can tell us all about Southern Bay’s GABS beer, warning: prepare to get thirsty!
What is so exciting about GABS?
Is it the beers on offer, the punters or the amazing venue? I think it’s all three that gets me excited about GABS. Where else in the world can you try 130 new beers that have been made just for this event and may never be produced again. The buzz of the crowd is great as well, chatting to people about what they are going to sample next and the way they go about trying to get the most out of the session. The Royal Exhibition Building, what better place to have some of the world’s best exhibiting their craft in what becomes a great beer hall just a stunning venue.
What beer are you brewing for GABS and what was the inspiration for it?
“Smokin Pope IV” is my take on a Texas Brown with a couple of twists, in that it’s got smoked and acidulated malts. So I am hoping that it will act as a bit of a palate cleanser as people are trying some of the bigger or more extreme beers. I wanted to create a beer that has a really good balance between the hops, smoke and just the right amount of tartness so that these attributes are all playing in harmony.
What will be the trickiest part of the brew?
It was brewing on a six hectoliter single infusion Brewhouse at Federation University in Ballarat where I am studying. At home and work I can do different temperature rests to get the most out of the malts being used so it will be interesting to see how the body of the beer comes out. Not being able to test and taste the beer on a daily basis is hard as I live in Melbourne but work in Geelong. So it is a beer about having faith in others and considering that a Doctor of beer is looking after it, it should be just fine.
Favourite beer from last year’s GABS, and why?
Good Beer Week and GABS was a total disaster for me last year. The day of Steve “Hendo” Hendersons Hop Zone launch I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever and the weekend of GABS I had to go home to New Zealand for family reasons. I do have vague memories of drinking something Belgian that my pal Alex Troncoso had made while he was still at Little Creatures/White Rabbit the year before.
Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?
The Sixpoint 150% Citrus, extra super special hoppy IPA. When I visited New York a couple of years ago this Brooklyn brewery was one of the stand outs of the trip. Be interesting to see how it stands up against the “Resin “which is another of their super hopped beers that I tried recently at The Alehouse Project.
Thank you Alex for taking some time to answer my questions and I’m looking forward to having a beer with you in Melbourne!