Australian Drilling Attachments

New partnership between Dr Jerry Schwartz and GABS to turbocharge Hunter Valley events

Hunter Valley Wine Beer Festival 1

The Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival is set to become even bigger following a new partnership agreement signed between the Schwartz Family Company (SFC) and Spectapular Enterprises, the holding company behind Australia’s most successful craft beer festival series, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS).

Under the agreement, the Hunter Valley event will come into the GABS stable, providing greater national exposure for the region's premier wine and beer festival.

The transaction also sees Jerry Schwartz take up a board appointment and partnership equity in Spectapular Enterprises. Schwartz is the head of the largest privately owned hotel group in Australia with some iconic hotels in his 14-property portfolio, including Novotel Newcastle, Rydges Newcastle and Rydges Resort Hunter Valley, the venue for the annual Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival.

GABS currently operates some of Australia's largest beer events, and with the GABS/Schwartz partnership, GABS will now be able to offer exceptional craft beer consumer experiences in regional areas, with the addition of the Schwartz Family Company's Hunter Valley, Canberra and Gold Coast events.

Spectapular’s portfolio will now include the Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival, the Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival and Gold Coast Beer & Cider Festival.

“I am really delighted about incorporating our Hunter Valley and Canberra events – each with more than a decade of history – into the Spectapular calendar,” said Dr Schwartz.

"The Hunter Valley is such a natural destination for events celebrating supreme craftsmanship in wine and beer production, and with GABS massive audience we will be able to attract far greater numbers from intrastate and interstate to come to the Hunter Valley to experience the best the region offers. 

“It is a fantastic platform that will help take these events to new heights over the next ten years and beyond. We’re also looking to introduce some new premium events and products, the first being Finer Drop, as we continue to grow and provide consumers and exhibitors with more world-class experiences.” said Dr Schwartz.  

The Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival has been staged for over a decade, held annually in the grounds of SFC’s Rydges Resort Hunter Valley. With over 50 of the Hunter Valley’s best wine, beer and food producers, attendees are treated to a stunning Hunter Valley experience that also includes live music, is family-friendly and provides an important platform to raise funds for local community services.

The Finer Drop, a new premium experience for today’s discerning consumer, launches this November at the stunning Winx Stand at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. It is set to be a showcase of elegance, sophistication and unparalleled indulgence as Spectapular curate an extraordinary event filled with exceptional beverages, gourmet cuisines, fashion and live entertainment. 

Mike Bray, Managing Director of GABS, will also increase his equity in Spectapular, commented: “The partnership with Jerry is a natural fit on all levels. He brings a wealth of experience in providing local and international guests exceptional experiences every day. I see huge potential to build on the incredible work the SFC team have done with the Canberra Beer & Cider Festival and Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival over the years.” 

Spectapular’s flagship event, GABS Festival, is internationally recognised as being one of the world's premier beer festivals. The festival brings together some of the most exciting craft breweries from Australia, New Zealand and across the globe to create memorable experiences for consumers, whether they are just starting out on their craft beer journey, or already the most fervent fan. The cornerstone of the event is the 120 unique beers brewed exclusively for the event by 120 different breweries. These are often some of the most exciting releases on a brew team’s annual calendar and the perfect opportunity for brewers to showcase their immense talents. 

This year, over 40,000 patrons attended GABS' events, with the attendance record for the biggest single session in GABS history being broken.

Spectapular Enterprises also produces the immensely popular industry people’s choice awards in the GABS Hottest 100, where Aussie beer lovers, including prime minister Anthony Albanese, get to vote for their five favourite beers of the year and the GABS Can Design Awards which recognises the super talented artists who transform the exteriors of tinnies into some of the most creative 'street art' in the country. 

"We’re very proud to be playing our part to be providing platforms that celebrate the incredible breweries in our industry as we look to enhance consumer’s love of craft beer by providing exceptional event experiences and people’s choice campaigns!” – Mike Bray, GABS Festival.