Beer festival

GABS plan of attack


Sometimes, when I get excited about something, I tend to overplan things.

The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular would be one of those times. Ever since I decided to go in January, I’ve been in overplanning mode (as you can see from the notes, maps, guides and printouts listed above). I’ve politely pestered the organizers and publicist for information that I simply needed three months out from the event. Part of the reason for running the popular GABS brewer Q&As on this blog was so that I could get a heads-up on what some of the beers might be.

For the last five months I’ve been planning, not only my GABS day, but the other few days, I’m in Melbourne too. After all it’s Good Beer Week, so it would be remiss of me not to visit a few participating venues. That, of course, meant that I could further indulge my urge to overplan. I downloaded the GBW guide and went through it looking for the free events. Then I went through it several more times to make sure I hadn’t missed any (I hadn’t). Then I checked the pubs’ locations and the tram times to see which ones I could do.

That way, I was able to nail down which pubs I’ll visit the day before GABS and which Pint of Origin venues I’ll drink at the day after.

And then there’s GABS itself. When I first saw the beer list I found at least 40 beers I wanted to try. Then I whittled it down to 30. Then I ranked them in the order I wanted to try them (though the news that Old Salt has pulled out and Temple Brewing’s entry might now be up in the air means I have to find two new beers, because I had both of them in my top 30). And then, knowing the 92 beers at GABS would be split over two bars and each bar would be split into three sections serving about 20 of those beers, I worked out which five beers I would get in my paddle from each bar section.

Then I organised each paddle from lightest to heaviest beer and then the order in which I would visit each bar section so as to ensure that I got to my top 30 beers in roughly the order I ranked them. I’ve even factored in when I take a break for food so as stop the alcohol rushing straight into my bloodstream.

Speaking of alcohol rushing into my bloodstream, I’m planning on getting through a fair whack of beer while I’m in Melbourne. So I’ve also been planning how I can tackle all that beer without ending up the worst for wear. You can read about that here tomorrow if you’re interested.

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