Special episode of On Tap at GABS Festival Sydney

The 2019 Great Australiasian Beer Spectapular (GABS) Festival Sydney was held on Saturday, June 1 at Sydney Olympic Park, with Australia's top breweries coming together to put on one of the largest and most creative beer festivals.

This year GABS featured 174 unique, limited release festival beers including Mountain Goat's Sodomy and the Lash: Rum Raisin Red Ale or BentSpoke Brewing Co's Muthur Funker.

GABS Festival: Tasting paddle from Balter. Including their core range, new and limited releases. Picture: Finn Coleman

GABS Festival: Tasting paddle from Balter. Including their core range, new and limited releases. Picture: Finn Coleman

I mainly stuck to the brewers stalls finding that most of them had darker beers like stouts available.

But NEIPA's and fruit ales dominated the day for me, when it came to my favourites.

There were a lot of breweries that had safe and solid drinks, not too experimental or special, but good entry level craft beers.

Balter and BentSpoke had all good drinks as you'd expect from two of Australia's top breweries. None stood out cause they were all so nice.

A surprising entry into my favourites was Coopers XPA. I have always enjoyed Coopers but I don't see them as a top craft brewery.

The XPA had a nice clean finish with extra hop flavour. Despite this it is still very well balanced due to the citrus undertones.

After Coopers I visited Yak Ales and found one of my standout beers of the festival.

They had their core range there along with a Soda Yak Cola Ale and a Juicy Yak Mango Ale, both with a creamed head and served with ice cream.

The soda ale was nice and had great cola flavour but eventually lost that with the creamed head and ice cream.

The mango ale however was solid and held its natural flavours all the way through, complemented by the ice cream.

Panhead brought an amazing and strange beer called Mojo Hand, which is a 9 per cent Arachnid Stout.

The brewers took scorpions and tarantulas, and smoked them with the malt.

The end product is an Imperial Stout with coffee and dark fruit characters, but the arachnids provide some strong smokey and flavoursome undertones.

Hope Brewery had a good assortment of beers but the most amazing ones to me was their Super Juicy NEIPA which is just a great drop.

And then their FA-18% Rhino IIIIIPA, an Imperial IPA that has bold, herbel and citrus hop flavours.

It is intense but not as intense as you'd think for being an 18 per cent drink.

Probably the most interesting flavour combination came from Eden Brewery's Grilled Pineapple Smoked Bacon NEIPA, which was an amazing drink with so many flavours that I just love.

Instead of over riding each other the flavours complement one another making it so flavourful and nice, especially as the bacon and pineapple add to the juiciness that comes with NEIPAs.

Easy Lane will be hosting a Beers with Brewers with Akasha Brewing Company on Thursday, June 8 at 6:30pm.

Later this month we return to Easy Lane at Windsor RSL to try out some more brews.

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