Cart 0



Every year, many craft brewers and cider makers from Australia, New Zealand and around the world come together to release a new beer or cider all at GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest.

These ‘Festival Beers & Ciders’, served from our distinctive shipping container bars, are a true showcase of craft beer creativity and diversity. Many attract significant media coverage in the lead-up to the events, and all are eligible to win the highly coveted GABS People’s Choice Award at each festival.

Over the years, some 900 Festival Beers & Ciders have started their journey at GABS, and many of these have gone on to win prestigious awards and enjoy commercial success. Here’s your chance to be part of the fun!



2019 FBC KEY DATES.png



Festival Beers & Ciders at GABS Brisbane

We’re thrilled to be bringing the GABS extravaganza to Brisbane on 27 April 2019.

As the event is three weeks before GABS Melbourne (17-19 May), and will only feature two Container Bars (up to 120 taps) in its first year, we’ve decided to limit the Festival Beers & Ciders served at GABS Brisbane this year to Australian producers only. With the timelines involved in shipping New Zealand beers, we feel it would be best to keep the Kiwi beers and ciders to Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland only (as we’ve done in the past) to ensure they are served at their best.

In the Festival Beer & Cider registration form, we’ll ask you which events you would prefer your beer and cider to be served at. We’ll take this into consideration when planning our tap lists.

New keg arrangements and increased rates

As we built the Festival Beer & Cider program for GABS events in Australia and New Zealand in recent years, Kegstar played a key role in providing kegs to participating breweries and cideries. As the festival and participating breweries and cideries continue to evolve, Kegstar are keen to provide a more interactive benefit at each GABS event. So for GABS 2019 they will instead be providing brewers and cidermakers with a stellar experience in the Kegstar Brewers Lounge activation.

Therefore in 2019, we’ll be asking all Festival Beer & Cider producers to arrange and deliver their own kegs, and we have increased the rates we pay for each keg accordingly. Please see FAQs below for quantities and rates.

New Festival Beer & Cider embargo periods

One of the most exciting elements of GABS is that for beer lovers, it’s the first opportunity they can sample from the many Festival Beers & Ciders produced for the event. That said, we’re very conscious that with a longer timeframe across the season of events, brewers don’t want to be sitting on stock.

So with the introduction of GABS Brisbane, we’ve reviewed and updated the Festival Beer & Cider embargo periods as per the table in the FAQs below.

Introducing GABS Collabs!

Collaboration between like-minded brands is a hallmark of the craft brewing industry, and it’s something we’re keen to bring to life through a select number of Festival Beers & Ciders in 2019. So we’re throwing you a challenge!

What we’re looking for are highly creative collaborations with food and drink brands outside of the beer world (or cider world if you’re brewing a Festival Cider). Think about your fave brands in coffee, chocolate, candy, spirits, cookies, wine, fruit and more, and get those creative juices flowing! It can’t be a ‘token’ collaboration either. We want to see both partners actively involved, and would ideally love you to capture the creative and production process to share on social media.

These ‘GABS COLLABS’ will be included as part of the overall list of Festival Beers & Ciders and promoted as a new feature of the event.

If you have an idea, and a partner in mind, don’t fill in the full form to register your Festival Beer or Cider just yet! First, let us know your GABS COLLABS idea before FRIDAY 11 JANUARY 2019 by completing this brief form (button below). All we need is the name of your partner brand and the basic concept of the beer or cider. We’ll let you know if your concept has been selected and then ask you to fill in the registration for your Festival Beer or Cider, whether successful or not.

And of course, if you prefer to do your own thing, and register a standalone Festival Beer or Cider, that’s totally fine!




General Info

  • + What makes a beer or cider eligible?

    • There’s only one golden rule. A GABS Festival Beer or Cider must be a new brew never before released by the brewery or cidery. It can be made in any style, whether it’s something traditional, perhaps with a twist, or a highly creative brew with exotic ingredients and/or brewing processes.

  • + Do I need to have an exhibitor stand as well?

    • Not at all. You're welcome to submit a Festival Beer or Cider without having a stand at the events.

  • + How do I register a Festival Beer or Cider?

    • Download our registration form ‘Cheat Sheet’ here. This outlines all of the info you’ll need to provide when registrations open.

    • Meet with the appropriate people in your team (eg. brewing / marketing), review the Cheat Sheet and brainstorm your Festival Beer or Cider idea.

    • Once you have all the info you need, head to to complete the online registration form. This form will be live from 12pm AEDT on Monday 14 January 2019. Registrations will close at 5pm AEDT on Monday 28 January (or until capacity is reached).

  • + Does registering mean my beer or cider is accepted?

    • Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis, so if you get in early, your registration will very likely be accepted. Once the registration period closes on Monday 28 January (or until capacity is reached), we will be in touch with further information and to advise the status of your registration.

    • Please understand that there are a limited number of taps available to serve Festival Beers & Ciders. While we will make every effort to accommodate all registrations, GABS reserves the right to select participating breweries and cideries at our absolute discretion.

  • + How many Festival Beers & Ciders do you accept?

    • At GABS Melbourne and GABS Sydney, there are a maximum of 180 taps available for Festival Beers & Ciders. While we welcome all registrations, some preference will be given to Australian brewers and cider makers for the Australian events.

    • At GABS Brisbane and GABS Auckland, we have a maximum of 120 taps available for Festival Beers & Ciders. In Brisbane, due to the earlier event date in 2019, we’ll be serving only Australian beers and ciders. In Auckland, the number of Festival Beers & Ciders will be determined by the number of New Zealand breweries and cideries that register, to ensure they’re in the the majority.

  • + How will my Festival Beer or Cider be served?

    • All Festival Beers and Ciders will be served at GABS events by our staff from the GABS ‘Kegtainer’ bars. They will be served in 85mL samples (often in a tasting paddle of five samples) or in our 285mL official GABS glass.

    • Please note that higher ABV beers (above 10%) may be restricted to being served in Half Glasses or 85mL tasters only due to licensing restrictions.

    • Brisbane / Melbourne / Sydney
      Any beers or ciders at 10% - 14.9% ABV can only be served in Half Glass pours or 85mL Tasters. Any beers at 15% ABV or higher can only be served in 85mL Tasters.

    • Auckland
      Any beers or ciders at 9% ABV or higher can only be served in 85mL Tasters.

    • If a patron is asking for a paddle of five tasters from your exhibitor stand, only two of those beers or ciders can be 9% ABV and above. The others can be lower ABV drinks.

  • + Can I release my Festival Beer or Cider after the event?

    • To ensure that GABS attendees can be amongst the first in the world to try your Festival Beers & Ciders, we place a strict embargo on when those beers may be sold outside of the events. Please see the table below for detailed dates on when and where Festival Beers & Ciders can be sold commercially.

    • It’s very important that all brewers and cider makers respect the Festival Beers & Ciders embargo. Should the embargo be breached, that Festival Beer or Cider will be scratched from the relevant GABS event.




  • + How much beer or cider do I need to provide?

    • Depending on which events GABS chooses to serve your Festival Beer or Cider at, we will order between 1 and 8 kegs (as per the table below). You’ll be advised of this quantity in your confirmation email on Monday 4 February.

    • While this choice is made at GABS’ discretion, you can let us know in the registration form if you have a preference on which events we serve your beer or cider at so we can take this into consideration.

  • + How much does it cost to register?

    • It’s absolutely free to register a Festival Beer or Cider. In fact, we pay you for it!

  • + How much do you pay for my beer or cider?

    • GABS will buy between 1 and 8 x 50L kegs of a Festival Beer or Cider, depending on where the beer or cider will be served. The price GABS pays for each keg is based on its ABV percentage, and includes all excise. Please see the table below for the full breakdown of quantities and prices.

    • GABS will also look after all import/export costs. Breweries and cideries need only deliver to the specified consolidation points in Melbourne or Auckland. For a limited number of breweries and cideries outside of Australia and New Zealand, GABS will pay an additional $60 AUD per keg for freight costs.

    • GABS will self generate tax invoices if breweries provide correct banking and company details. Any account enquiries can be addressed to

  • + What if GABS doesn’t use all of the Festival Beer or Cider?

    • If we have any full or partial kegs of your Festival Beer or Cider remaining after the events, we will:

    • Offer to sell any full kegs back to you at the same rate we paid (you might be keen to sell it elsewhere); OR

    • If you don’t want the keg back, we’ll endeavour to on-sell the keg onto a craft beer venue. If the keg is sold, we’ll let you know where it’s gone.

2019 FBC Quantities.png


Keg Delivery

  • + How and when do I get my Festival Beer or Cider to you?

    • New in 2019, we’re moving to a model where all breweries and cideries supply and deliver their own kegs to us. We would highly recommend using a keg leasing service such as Kegstar to avoid any issues in returning your own branded kegs to you following the festival. Please contact to discuss.

    • For Australian breweries and cideries, we ask you to provide 50L A-Type kegs. For New Zealand producers, we ask you to provide 50L D-Type kegs. Should you need to provide an alternate keg type, please let us know as soon as possible via

    • Once your kegs are filled, clearly mark them with GABS / BREWERY NAME / PRODUCT NAME and deliver them to our Melbourne or Auckland warehouse during the delivery window below.

    • Please note that for a limited number of breweries and cideries outside of Australia and New Zealand, GABS will pay an additional $60 AUD per keg for freight costs.



Further Info

  • + How can I get involved in the GABS Festival Beer Mixed Six Pack?

    • For the last three years, in partnership with Cryer Malt, GABS has worked with select Festival Beer brewers to produce a Mixed Six Pack of packaged GABS Festival Beers for exclusive retail at Dan Murphy’s in Australia and Liquorland in New Zealand. It’s a fantastic way to extend the GABS experience as well as the reach and distribution of your Festival Beer.

    • If accepted, the brewers involved are asked to package (can or bottle) 205 cases of their Festival Beer, labelled in accordance with retail guidelines, and deliver these to our warehouses along with your kegs for the festival. GABS will advise rates (which are dependent on ABV) once your beer is accepted. We then consolidate the Six Packs into a case which will feature your can or bottle design for retail.

    • We will promote the Six Pack extensively via the GABS email database (70k+ subscribers), social media and partner channels.

    • To enquire about taking part in the GABS Festival Beer Mixed Six Pack, please indicate this in your Festival Beer registration. Selected breweries will be notified in February 2019.

  • + Any other perks?

    • All brewers and cider makers who are confirmed to brew a Festival Beer or Cider will receive four general admission tickets (by email) to a GABS event and session of their choice.