By Andy Young

The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) has announced that it will be hosting its first ever trade event prior to this year's first public event in Melbourne.

Taking place at the Royal Exhibition Building from 10.45 to 11.45am on Friday, 22 May, the trade event has been designed to help retail and hospitality venues that are keen to expand their craft beer offering.

Event organiser Steve Jeffares told TheShout: "This is a great opportunity for people who want to tap into the craft beer interest of consumers and this is a great way to give them a step up into understanding what is out there and importantly who are the people they can buy the products off.

"There are a lot of venue operators who find the whole craft beer thing a bit overwhelming and confusing and as a result they tend to not have craft or they focus on the more easily available and mainstream craft beers.

"We thought we would trail this trade event for venues that have an interest in craft and having more craft on than they currently do. This is a good way to facilitate that introduction."

As well as offering attendees the chance to meet around 50 brewers and sample around 150 beers the trade event will also have a contact sheet. This will have all the brewery contacts and seller on one side and all the venue and purchaser contacts on the other. Jeffares added: "We thought this would be a really helpful tool and speed up the process a little bit."

Jeffares did say that it is really important for anyone interested in attending the trade to register first, "it's not something you can just turn up to," Jeffares told TheShout.

Anyone interested in attending the trade event should register via the GABS website.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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