GABS announces 2024's Up & Coming Brewers

GABS Up & Coming Brewers Bar 2023

GABS has announced  the 12 breweries that it will showcase as part of its Up & Coming Brewers Bar initiative at its 2024 Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane beer festivals. 

Aiming to support independent Australian craft beer start-ups, the Up & Coming Brewers Bar initiative showcases four breweries in each state. 

Now in its third year, the campaign attracted 63 applications for 2024 from breweries across every Australian state and territory, aside from the Northern Territory. 

Twenty six breweries applied to feature at GABS Melbourne, with the selected start-ups including Tasmania’s Communion Brewing Co and Du Cane Brewing Co, Victoria’s Rambles Ale Works and South Australia’s Six Twelve Brewing. 

Of the 21 applicants, ACT-based brewery Ale Mary Brewing Co and NSW-based breweries Kicks Brewing,  Slow Lane Brewing and  Village Days Brewing Co were selected as the GABS Sydney winners. 

The 2024 Brisbane GABS festival will feature NSW’s Common People Brewing Co. and Queensland’s Hip Hops Brewers, Madocke Beer Brewing Co and Scarborough Harbour Brewing Co, which were chosen over the other 12 applicants.

The winning breweries will enjoy exposure to craft beer enthusiasts, promotion through GABS’ social network and the opportunity to be part of the GABS Academy stage. They will also receive kegs from Konvoy Kegs, an entire bar built by Bar Barons and up to 20 kilograms of hop products from HPA, Australia’s leading hop grower.

GABS Up & Coming Brewers Bar 2023

HPA, which sponsors the bar,  said that GABS’ Up & Coming Brewers Bar drives the innovation that Australia’s craft beer industry needs.

“Beer drinkers are willing to try more beer styles and brands than ever before. Breweries are responding through product innovation to differentiate themselves from the competition,” HPA’s Head of Sales and Marketing said.

“This pioneering mentality is what drives our industry forward, and why the Up & Coming Brewers Bar is a great addition to the GABS lineup.”

Johnston said the relationships HPA forms with new and emerging breweries through the campaign are invaluable. 

“As a supplier, it’s immensely rewarding to support those who are passionate about creating awesome beer, with the ambition and capacity to grow. And even more exciting to celebrate the wins those breweries achieve in subsequent years.

“From the get go, they’re more likely to communicate effectively, and work alongside us to solve problems or identify new opportunities. This can lead to better collaboration that benefits all of us.”

Winners from previous years have gone on to achieve success. Three 2022 Up & Coming brewers went on to exhibit in 2023 and three 2023 winners will attend GABS in 2024. 

Curley Lewis and Freshwater Brewing, two of 2022’s Up & Coming brewers, have since opened taprooms, while the initiative’s previous winners featured heavily in the 2023 Indies Awards. 

2023’s post-campaign survey showed that participating breweries would recommend taking part in the initiative. Eighty percent of participating breweries said the campaign was beneficial to their early growth stages and 80% said they experienced an immediate increase in demand after GABS.

The GABS Up & Coming Brewers Bar campaign is open to breweries that launched in the preceding three years, have never exhibited at a GABS festival and are retailing or are planning to retail within the next twelve months.

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