Shipping your Competition Entries

Download a PDF of the 2017 Brewers Guide to Registering

All information in the PDF is also available on this site.


  • Breakthru Beverage
  • Attn: 2017 GABF
  • 3980 Central Park Blvd.
  • Denver, CO 80238
  • BreweryID# – Box * of *

Competition entries must be received between August 28 – September 1.

  • It is your brewery’s responsibility to make sure your entries arrive on time. Entries received at Breakthru Beverage after September 1 will not be judged. Neither refunds nor credits will be issued for missed deadlines (or beers dropped from competition after the August 11 refund deadline).
  • Track your package(s) and save all documentation pertaining to your shipment in case there are any issues during transit.
  • Bottles/Cans Only – The GABF requires bottled or canned beer samples for judging and will not judge from kegs (including those sent for the festival)
  • Label your beers correctly: see information below for details
  • Send the appropriate (required) amount: See information at top right for amounts. Breweries sending less than the required amount for judging will not have these entries judged, nor will you e issued a credit/refund for your competition entries.

Making Changes to or Withdrawing Competition Entries

Making a change to a registered beer before July 13: Log back onto with your email address and GABF Brewery ID and make the appropriate change

Making a change after July 13: Please contact Event Manager Chris Williams at to request changes to entries. Not all change requests may be possible due to closed categories, etc. Changes are not final until you receive written confirmation that the change has been made.

Decided not to send a beer for the competition?

If you decide not ship one or more of your competition entries, PLEASE notify us. Entries not shipped are a common cause of handling errors for your other entries. The other entries are set aside while we search for your “missing” entry(ies).

Please see the refund policy if you decide not to ship any entered beers.

The deadline to make any beer changes is August 11. No beer changes will be accepted after this deadline will be accepted after this deadline, nor any refunds or credits issued.


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Quantities to send

Number of bottles/cans to be sent for the competition depends on the bottle/can size. Please send no less than the stated amount listed below, based on the bottle size you’re sending.

Breweries sending less than the required amount for judging will not have their entries judged, nor will you be issued a credit/refund for your competition entries.

*Category-specific quantities: Please know that occasionally, certain categories (American IPA, Imperial IPA and some others) may have such a large number of entries that an additional quantity of beers will be required to be sent for judging in this category as the category will require additional rounds of judging.

These categories require additional bottles (at least eight 12oz bottles / six 20oz or larger bottles) for judging (as listed in table below):

  • 29 Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
  • 30 Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Stout
  • 58 American-Style Pale Ale
  • 59 American-Style Strong Pale Ale
  • 60 American-Style India Pale Ale
  • 61 Imperial India Pale Ale
Bottle or Can Size Amount to Ship*
7 oz (200 ml) to (10.9 oz) 322 ml 8 * (10 for cats. listed above)
11 oz (323 ml) – 19.9 oz (588 ml) 6 *(8 for cats. listed above)
20 oz (589 ml) and larger – Crowlers included 4 *(6 for cats. listed above)

Labeling your beers

  • Clarity and accuracy are key: make sure the info on the label matches the info we have registered for the competition exactly. If the info differs at all, it will cause problems during sorting and judging. GABF is not responsible for issues caused due to errors in labeling.
  • Please create your own label and affix one label to each bottle with adhesive (adhesive labels, clear packing tape, glue, etc.). Here is a template you may use to create your own labels.. Do not rubber band or string loose paper to the bottles or use clear labels – this will definitely cause issues during sorting.
  • You do not need to remove any commercial labels that are already on the bottle/can
  • Specialty information and pouring instructions are not necessary on the label (we provide this to judges separately)

Please include the following information is included for judging.

  • Brewery Name
  • Beer Name
  • GABF category number (and subcategory letter, if applicable) and name, if possible.

You may also request a digital version of your competition labels by emailing Chris Williams at

Tips for packaging beers:

  1. Remember to put your 4-digit GABF BreweryID number on your box, as well as the “Package Number of Total” (i.e. 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3, etc.)
  2. Place all bottles standing upright in the shipping container. All bottles should be placed in the same direction (lids up) wrapped in bubble wrap. Use your standard 4 or 6-pack holder to help keep bottles secure.
  3. Fill the shipping container to the top with packaging materials. Packing peanuts are NOT recommended. If used, make sure peanuts are enclosed in a plastic bag.
  4. Wrap the original box in a plastic bag to avoid possible leakage and then place the box in a strong shipping box filled with more packing material.
  5. If more than one box of entries is being shipped, be sure to keep the samples of each brand in the same box. Do not ship bottles of the same brand/entry in separate boxes.
  6. Coolers or other special containers will not be returned, however the beers that arrive in specialized containers will be judged and tend to withstand the rigors of shipping.
  7. Please consider shipping extra bottles for our volunteer sorting crew that works hours in the cooler getting the competition beers sorted and inventoried for the competition.

Looking for ways to save money on shipping? Breweries may consolidate shipments when sending competition beers. This saves time and money! Consider contacting your local guild to discuss the option of palletizing your competition entries and shipping them together via a freight company. A list of participating breweries can be found at on this site in August if you’d like to coordinate with others.

Please do not use the United States Postal Service (USPS). FedEx, UPS, and private couriers work well, and freight companies work best.

Some brewers have found that setting up a shipping courier to pick up the package from their place of business works better than taking it to a local shipping office (for instance: sometimes shipments get denied when taken directly into a store)

If you have any shipping issues, please contact Bradley Latham at 720-473-7672 or

All regulatory and financial burdens associated with submitting samples to the Great American Beer Festival are the sole responsibility of the entering brewery. C.O.D shipments will not be accepted.

Volunteer Swag & Beer

Please consider sending extra beer or brewery swag to donate to the sorting volunteers who work many hours in the cooler sorting the beers into the competition’s various categories.

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