Confirmations and Shipping

Complete 2013 brewery information coming soon!

See Dates & Deadlines for the most up-to-date information on 2013 deadlines.

Confirmation of Entries

After your registration form is received, a formalized email confirmation is sent to you by July 31, 2013. Please review the confirmation letter very closely and confirm that all of the information is correct. Spelling and capitalization counts! Once you sign off, all of your information for the competition and festival program are taken from this. This confirmation includes:

  •  Your brewery information.
  • All beers entered, any specialty information for these beers and corresponding categories entered.
  • Your specific collection point for festival beer. This will includes a date for delivery of your festival beer and the name and phone number or email for your contact. Your beer is kept cold at the collection point until a refrigerated truck coordinated by the BA transports it to Denver. Once in Denver, the beer is placed in cool storage at the GABF-licensed host distributor location. If you elect to ship your own beer, you must prepay the freight. Any C.O.D. shipments are refused.
  • The number of badges your brewery receives – including complimentary and/or those purchased during the registration process.
  • Pro-Am beer entry (if applicable).
  • If any information is incorrect, make the changes directly on the confirmation letter and return it by August 14.
  • You may change beer entries at this time, but only into categories that have not closed. Please contact Chris Williams at 720-473-7671 or to confirm there is space in your desired category before making changes  stating that all of your information is correct.
  • You must sign off to confirm the information is correct. Sign the confirmation and fax to 303-565-5710 or email, stating that all information is correct, or make any necessary changes. Requested changes made to the returned confirmation should not be considered final until you receive a response directly from Chris Williams.

Additional Confirmation Items

  • You are emailed a no-charge invoice indicating that your GABF beer is donated. Attach this to your festival beers when you ship them.
  • You will also be mailed some other competition items. This will mail in mid-August and include the following:
    • Additional competition items mail mid-August and include the following: Keg labels that must be attached to each keg sent to the festival. Write BOTH your brewery name and beer name. This is important; simply writing “stout” on the label does not help us place beer in the festival during set up.
    • Pre-printed category labels for your entries for judging.


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Shipping Your Judging Beers

Your brewery must provide at least six 12-ounce containers, four 22-ounce containers, OR the equivalent of 72 ounces for each brand entered (growlers are not recommended). Regardless of size, send a minimum of four containers of each brand being judged. Entries submitted with less than the requested quantity of beer may not be judged.

  • Be sure to use the pre-printed category labels for your competition entries for judging.
  • Do not change categories on your labels!
  • Containers are chosen at random during the competition; labels requesting a certain pouring order are not honored, and are removed prior to judging.
  • Containers sent for the judging panel cannot be returned.
  • If a beer is sent in a blank bottle for judging, it should be clearly labeled using the pre-printed labels provided with the name of the beer, the category number and name, and the subcategory name and letter. This information should match your registration form. Label your bottles correctly. GABF is not responsible for bottles that are mislabeled.
  • All beers to be judged must be shipped separately from your festival beers to:


Attn: GABF Judging

1455 E. 62nd Ave.

Denver, CO 80216

Attn: Warehouse Dock

  • These beers must be received between September 9 and 13. Late entries are not accepted. Last minute brand changes or late entries cause handling problems and database inaccuracies, and these requests are unfair to your fellow competitors. The GABF will not accept entries that arrive after September 13.

The GABF is not responsible for any aspect of judging or beer handling for entries that arrive with unapproved brand changes. 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. Pre-printed labels are mailed around mid-August . If the pre-printed labels are not correct, notify Chris Williams ( of the inconsistency, and once the update is confirmed, handwrite a correct label or make corrections to the pre-printed label. The festival will not resend labels. CATEGORY CHANGES ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THIS TIME. If something is incorrect, please contact Chris Williams at or 720-473-7671.

Looking for ways to save money on shipping ? Brewers in geographical areas consolidate shipments into pallets when sending their judge beers. More and more brewers are getting together with local breweries and shipping pallets of their judging beers together. This saves you time and money! So for 2012, consider calling other breweries in the area, or contacting your local guild to discuss the option of palletizing your judge beers, and shipping them together via freight. Please know that it is illegal to ship beer (judging samples) via the United States Postal Service (USPS), therefore, we recommend that you ship via UPS, FedEx or another private carrier. Do not attempt to ship judging samples via USPS, as they will not accept and may destroy any beer shipments thought to contain beer.

Guidelines For Shipping Your Competition Entries

Make sure your judging beers are packaged extremely well to avoid breakage during shipping. Each year we receive entries destroyed due to poor packaging. If poorly packaged samples break and replacement samples do not arrive prior to the deadline, these beers may not be judged. No entry fees are refunded due to poor packaging. Additional shipping costs due to breakage are the sole responsibility of the brewery, not the GABF.

  • If Possible, Wrap each bottle individually in bubble wrap.
  • Place all bottles standing upright in the shipping container (either styrofoam or cardboard). All bottles placed in the same direction (tops up) and should be separated with cardboard.
  • Fill the shipping container to the top with packaging material (bubble wrap preferred). If you use packing peanuts, place them in plastic bags first.
  • Wrap the original box in a plastic bag (to avoid possible leakage that will result in your beers not being delivered) and then place the box, with bottle tops pointing up, in a strong cardboard shipping box.
  • Make sure EVERY bottle from the same entry is shipped in the same container. DO NOT SHIP ONE ENTRY IN MULTIPLE CONTAINERS.
  • Shipping containers (such as coolers, etc.) will not be returned to the brewery.
  • Feel free to send along extra beer or brewery swag to donate to the volunteers who work many hours in the cooler sorting the beers into the 84 different categories.

If You Decide NOT to Send a Beer for Judging

If you do not ship one or more of your beer entries, PLEASE notify us. Entries that were not shipped are a common cause of handling errors for your other entries that were shipped. These are set aside while we search for your “missing” entry(ies). If you do plan to separate shipments for your judging entries, please email or call 720-473-7672. Please see the refund policy if you decide not to ship any entered beers.

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Festival Beer Shipment and Transportation (Microstar Keg Program)

Please read this section very carefully and direct questions to Bradley Latham at 720-473-7672. Beer may only be received in the following three ways:

  1. Microstar Keg Management – the official keg management company and keg supplier of the GABF team up again to conveniently send participating breweries kegs to fill for their festival entries. If you are an existing Microstar client, please use your inventory.
  2. Sending Bottles or Cans – A minimum of 10 cases of each brand in bottles or cans (8 cases of 22 oz. or 750 ml) delivered to your drop-off point for shipment to Denver. Your local distributor may also deliver your beer to the Anheuser-Busch warehouse in Denver during the delivery window.
  3. Your Own Kegs – Though seldomly used, you have the option of sending your own kegs for the festival. However, if you plan on using your own kegs, they must be picked up at the Colorado Convention Center on Sunday, October 14 before 12 p.m. The GABF is not responsible for kegs not picked up by this time. If sending your own kegs, the GABF only accepts beer sent in stainless steel or one-way plastic kegs. No exceptions.

*When sending your beers for the festival floor, be sure to include the no charge invoice sent to you with your confirmation. Use the link below to view and print out a 2013 NO CHARGE INVOICE*

GABF 2013 No Charge Invoice

The Microstar Keg System

The Microstar keg system continues in 2013. This year breweries will again receive 1/2 barrel keg in addition to the 1/6 barrel kegs. The breakdown is as follows:

  • One 1/2 barrel keg for 1 of your brands entered
  • Two 1/6 barrel kegs for each additional brand (up to your maximum 5 brands)

You know which of your brands will most likely run out first with attendees. Please use the ½ barrel keg for that brand.

We have a finite number of Microstar kegs available to participating GABF breweries. We will do our best to accommodate all Microstar keg requests. Please note that they will all be on a first-come, first-serve basis. If we have run out of our allotment of kegs, you will be asked to send your own kegs and we will return them to you following the festival.

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