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Every year, 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 700 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!





We're dropping sale-or-return.

Last year, we introduced a third Kegtainer Bar to increase our Festival Beer & Cider capacity and allow more of Australia and New Zealand’s craft breweries and cideries to get involved. To facilitate this increased capacity, we introduced a sale-or-return model for any kegs that were untapped post-event.

While this worked well for many brewers, we understand it created challenges for others. We’re all about supporting our industry and want to make your involvement in GABS a success. So this year, we’ve dropped the sale or return model. What kegs we buy, we keep, although we do reserve the right to on-sell any untapped kegs to craft beer venues post-event (as we have done in earlier years).

Registrations are on a first come, first served basis.

This was new in 2017 and we’re continuing with this approach this year. In total, GABS has capacity to serve up to 180 unique Festival Beers & Ciders in Melbourne and Sydney, and 120 in Auckland, and we expect demand to be high. Earlier registrations will also have greater chance of being featured in long-lead media coverage. What we’re saying is… register ASAP. ;-)

We’ve created a ‘Cheat Sheet’ to help plan your registration.

Registrations open at midday (AEST) on Monday 29 January 2018 and must be completed via our online form right here on this page. There’s a lot of info to fill in. Before you start, we suggest you download our PDF ‘Cheat Sheet’ outlining all the registration form questions so you can prepare in advance and have all of the info needed ready when registrations open.




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 AEST on Monday 29 January 2018. Registrations will close at 5pm AEST on Friday 9 February (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 Friday 16 February (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 Auckland, we have a maximum of 120 taps available for Festival Beers & Ciders. The final 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 and volunteers 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.
    • 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 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?
    • We place a strict embargo on Festival Beers and Ciders, where the brews may not be released commercially in any form anywhere in the world until after the GABS event(s) where it is served. Please see the table below for detailed dates on when and where Festival Beers and Ciders can be sold commercially.
    • It’s very important that all brewers and cider makers respect the Festival Beers and 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 6 kegs (as per the table below). You’ll be advised of this quantity in your confirmation email on Friday 9 February.
    • While this choice is made at GABS’ discretion, you can let us know if the registration form if you have a preference on which events we serve your beer 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 6 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. Please see the table below for the full breakdown of quantities and prices.
    • GABS will look after all import/export costs. Breweries and cideries need only deliver to the specified consolidation points in Australia or New Zealand.
    • 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 you don’t use all of the Festival Beer or Cider?
    • As outlined above in the ‘What’s New’ section, GABS is dropping the sale-or-return model on untapped kegs remaining after the event. What we buy from you, we keep. We do however reserve the right to on-sell any remaining kegs of Festival Beer or Cider to select craft venues.


Keg Order & Delivery

  • + How and when do I get my Festival Beer or Cider to you?
    • We’re delighted to work with Kegstar as our keg logistics partner for all GABS events. As well as providing a great solution for craft breweries across Australia and New Zealand for their own keg needs, Kegstar helps GABS ensure a smooth freight and logistics process for all participating breweries and cideries.
    • Here’s how it works…
    • Kegstar will deliver the required quantity of 50L kegs, and GABS-branded keg collars, to each participating brewery and cidery in all metro areas at no charge. In Australia, we use A-Type kegs. In New Zealand, we use D-Type kegs.
    • If you’re a Kegstar customer, you can use any empty Kegstar kegs you have at your brewery and Kegstar will credit the issue fee and up to 30 days rental for each keg to your account. To claim the credit, each keg must be scanned to the GABS warehouse as below. Alternatively, you can order new kegs. We’ll get in touch with you to confirm either way.
    • If you’re not a Kegstar customer, please sign up by completing a rental agreement via the links below and email to to receive the free kegs. Kegstar will be in touch to provide login and keg scanning details, then to deliver the kegs. Please note there is no cost for your GABS Festival Beer & Cider kegs.
      - Australia rental agreement
      - New Zealand rental agreement
    • Once filled, breweries and cideries are responsible for delivering the kegs to the GABS warehouses in Melbourne or Auckland at their own expense. Each keg must be fitted with the GABS keg collar, and scanned using the Kegstar app to “GABS MEL WAREHOUSE” or “GABS AKL WAREHOUSE”. Once scanned and delivered, you have no liability for the keg. For more info on scanning, click here.
    • If you need any assistance at any stage, the team at Kegstar are there to help. Please email with any queries you may have.
    • If you’re an international brewery or cidery, you are responsible for providing your own kegs and delivering them to the GABS warehouse in Melbourne at your own expense. 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 two 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 (55k+ 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 2018. 
  • + 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.