Shipping your Competition Entries

GABF Brewer Login

All regulatory and financial burdens associated with submitting and sending samples to the Great American Beer Festival are the sole responsibility of the entering brewery. In the event the competition is cancelled the Brewers Association will only refund breweries their competition entry fees. The Brewers Association is unable to reimburse or pay for competition entry shipping fees. Any shipments sent as “C.O.D” will be refused upon arrival.


  • GABF – BA
  • 587 S. Taylor Ave.
  • Louisville, CO 80027
  • *PLEASE USE OFFICIAL BARCODE SHIPPING LABELS (available in your competition portal)
  • Deliveries allowed Mon-Fri | 8:00am – 4:00pm

Competition entries must be received between Monday, August 24 – Friday, August 28.

  • It is your brewery’s responsibility to make sure your entries arrive on time. Entries received at GABF warehouse after August 28 will not be sorted or judged for competition. Neither refunds nor credits will be issued for missed deadlines or beers not sent.
  • 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 being sent to the festival. A note on crowlers: in our experience, beer brands entered in crowlers do not fare well during competition judging due to storage well beyond the intended life span of that package format, oxidation, etc. While crowlers are a completely accept- able format in which to send entries, consider submitting your en- tries in a package format designed to store beer for many weeks.
  • Pack it well (make it unbreakable): No matter how well you think you have packed your bottles for shipment, pack them even better to prevent breakage during shipping! If bottles do break, any replacements must meet the same deadline listed above. Late entries will not be accepted.
  • Label your beers and shipping boxes with the official barcode labels: 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 be issued a credit/refund for your competition entries.

Making Changes to or Withdrawing Competition Entries

GABF Brewer Login

How to view your entries: Log back into your competition portal at the link above  with your email address and GABF Brewery ID to view your entries, make any necessary adjustments and re-send your competition judging and shipping labels.

Need to make a change? Please log in using the button above. Please note, some category changes may not be available, as some categories have closed. The system will notify you if you are trying to make a change to a category that is full. Please note that any beers removed from the competition after August 14 are not eligible for a refund.

Decided not to send a beer for the competition?

If you decide not to 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. These are set aside while we search for your “missing” entry or entries. If you plan to sepa- rate shipments for your competition entries, please email Chris Williams or call 720-473-7671.

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

The deadline to make any beer changes is August 14. No beer changes 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 certain categories may have such a large number of entries that additional rounds of judging are required to judge all entries, meaning that additional samples will be required to be sent for judging in these categories.

LARGE CATEGORIES (see list below)

These categories will undergo 4 or 5 rounds of judging, and therefore will require more beer samples to be sent. These categories are:

  • Cat. 18 – Experimental IPA
  • Cat. 27 – Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
  • Cat. 28 – Wood & Barrel-Aged Strong Stout
  • Cat. 39 – German-Style Pilsener
  • Cat. 57 – American-Style IPA
  • Cat. 58 – Juicy/Hazy IPA
  • Cat. 59 – Imperial IPA
  • Cat. 60 – Juicy/Hazy Imperial IPA
  • Cat. 74 – German-Style Wheat Ale
4-5 Round (LARGE) Categories
Bottle or Can Size Amount to Ship
Less than 19.9 oz (588 ml) 10
20 oz (589 ml) and larger – Crowlers included 6


All categories other than those listed above in the Large Category section above.

Standard Categories
Bottle or Can Size Amount to Ship
7 oz (200 ml) to (10.9 oz) 322 ml 8
11 oz (323 ml) – 19.9 oz (588 ml) 6
20 oz (589 ml) and larger – Crowlers included 4

Labeling your beers with competition barcodes:

    • Clarity and accuracy are key, please use the barcode beer labels emailed to you by the Brewers Association – these print on Avery 5160 label sizes)
    • Verify Information: 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.
    • Print Them: print official barcode labels and affix one label to each bottle with adhesive (adhesive labels, clear packing tape, glue, etc.). Do not rubber band or tie loose paper to the bottles or use clear labels – this will surely cause issues during sorting.
    • Place them vertically on the side of the can or bottle. It is easier to scan barcodes when placed vertically.
    • Don’t worry about these things: 
      • You do not need to remove any commercial labels that are already on the bottle/can.
      • Detailed Judging information and pouring instructions  on the label – this information is provided to judges separately.
    • 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.

Tips for packaging beers:

      • Create a packing list/inventory each box: place one copy in the box, and keep one copy for yourself. In an instance where there is an issue with your shipment (i.e. one of a brewery’s four boxes are damaged in shipment), it is much easier and quicker to find a solution when the brewery has kept track of which entries were packed and shipped in a specific box.
      • Secure bottles/cans to avoid breakage: secure your samples so that they are packed to withstand very rough handling during transit. Specialized beer shipping containers are best, as they provide the best protection against damage. Newspaper and packing peanuts are NOT recommended and do not offer much protection.
      • If more than one box of entries is being shipped, be sure to keep the samples of each brand in the same box and to label each box as “box 1 of 2,” “box 2 of 2,” etc.). Do not split bottles of the same brand/entry into separate boxes.
      • 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.
      • Did bottles break during shipment? Any replacements must meet the same deadline listed above. Late entries will not be accepted.

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 or other nearby breweries to discuss the option of palletizing your competition entries and shipping them together via a freight company, which tend to encounter less issues (loss of shipment, breakage, etc.) than individual shipments sent via UPS or FedEx.

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

When sending beer via UPS or FedEx, it may be best to schedule a pickup from your home or place of business. Often shipments brought directly into a UPS or FedEx store may get denied as shipping alcohol is against UPS and FedEx policy (unless you have a business account that allows for these type of shipments).

If you have any shipping issues, please contact Chris Williams at 720-473-7671.

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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