The Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) Melbourne kicks off today, with Sydney (1 June) and Auckland (29 June) just around the corner, so this seemed like as good a time as any to wrap up the weirdest beers that will be pouring at this year’s festivals.

A true highlight of GABS each year is the Festival Beers & Ciders, which are brewed specifically for the festival and regularly feature some downright bizarre ingredients.

In 2019, brewers and cider makers have found inspiration from everywhere including Australia’s iconic flora and fauna, food and even mythology.

Beer & Brewer reached out to the organisers of GABS to ask for this year’s top 10 wackiest beers. Here are their picks:

  1. Lizard’s Picnic (Tyrant Ant Sour) – Shifty Lizard Brewing Co., SA 
    “This year, Shifty Lizard wants you to dance like you’ve got ants in your pants. Harnessing an army of tyrant ants to the pour, with a citrus tone, this kettle sour can be a great way to shake off the nerves and bust a move.”
  2. Kangabrew – Rare Bird Brewing, VIC
    “Out of all the things that could be put in beer, we are sure you weren’t expecting char-grilled kangaroo! Inspired by this huge island we reside on, Rare Bird is bringing you a red wheat beer with native mountain pepperberry and the unusual addition of actual kangaroo. It’s fair to say, there are a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock at GABS this year!”
  3. The Blood of Ra – Red Duck Beer, VIC
    “Inspired by the ancient mystique of Egypt, this brew is sure to make you feel like you’re travelling through the underworld, just like its namesake Ra, the sun god. Infused with Egyptian bread beer, with rye, ancient grains, Basilio sourdough, spices and fruit added.”
  4. Vegemight Gose – Sweet Amber Brewing Co., SA
    “G’Day, it’s the taste of Australia that we know and love. A uniquely-dominant yeast aroma, unparalleled bitterness, tangy and salty, the breakfast of champions has been translated into everyone’s favourite fermented beer.”
  5. The Tim Tam Slam – Big Shed Brewing Concern, SA
    “An inoffensive Aussie classic, and insurmountably more delectable than a shoey,  the Tim Tam Slam has garnered respect and fans around the world. This year, Big Shed is bringing you the much loved combo of coffee and Tim Tam in a stein. For extra authenticity, you can even sip it through a Tim Tam.”
  6. Grilled Pineapple Smoked Bacon NEIPA – Eden Brewery, NSW
    “Here to solve the age old debate of whether bacon belongs on pizza, New South Wales based Eden Brewery has taken it one step further, pouring up a Hawaiian pizza in a NEIPA. Sure to be one of the more polarizing brews on tap, will you be brave enough to give it a crack?”
  7. Dazy – Balter, QLD
    “Inspired by Balter’s wildly popular Hazy IPA, they are pouring up something bigger and better at GABS this year! Expect a brew that takes you back to your last exotic holiday…think tropical fruit, mango and citrus with light piney dank notes. Summer in a sip!”
  8. Coffee and Donuts – Wayward Brewing Co., NSW
    “A cop show icon – the partnership is sure to lock-up a few hearts. Partnering with Grumpy Donuts and Toby’s Estate, Wayward has developed a delicious beer with a complex, warming and deeply comforting combination, made by throwing Grumpy Donuts in the mash and fermenter to deliver a sweet vanilla and cinnamon flavour, balanced out by a gently roasted and cold distilled special blend of beans.”
  9. Bloody Mary IPA – Aether Brewing, QLD
    “Pouring out a bright ruby red, this non-traditional take on a Bloody Mary packs in aromas of celery, cucumber, chilli, hop driven botanicals and of course tomato. Rich and juicy with a subtle tomato character giving way to the celery, cucumber with a mild lingering bitterness laced with chilli spice.”
  10. Unphởgettable Blonde – Morrison Brewing, TAS
    “Blondes have more phỞn. This year, Tassie brewing company Morrison is pouring up a hearty malt, with layers of thai basil, coriander, citrus, anise, spices and possibly even some fish sauce.”

This is just a small taste of the 170 unique Festival Beers & Ciders pouring at GABS this year, and if you haven’t got your ticket yet, be warned: they’re selling fast.

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