Details for Entering

Click here to download a PDF of the 2016 Brewers Guide to Registering

(PDF Revised from mailed printed version July 28, 2016)

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

Eligibility

Brewery Eligibility & Requirements

Is My Brewery Eligible?

Breweries must meet each of the following conditions as of June 21, 2016:

  • Your brewery is fully licensed for the manufacture and commercial sale of beer in the US
  • Your brewery has a Basic Permit/Brewers Notice on file with the TTB (U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau)
  • Your brewery is currently open and operating with at least one beer that is currently commercially available for sale at retail to the public (i.e. tap room, bar, restaurant, retail store).
  • All beers entered by your brewery meet criteria in the “Is My Beer Eligible” section listed below
  • Breweries in planning, homebrewers and other breweries not meeting these criteria are not eligible to enter.

If a brewery does not meet these eligibility requirements as of June 21, 2016 and registers for the Great American Beer Festival and/or competition, that brewery is subject to disqualification without further notice and no refund of fees will be issued.

Breweries in planning and/or those not operational and open the the public as of June 21, 2016 are not eligible to participate.

Is My Beer Eligible?

*Please note that in order for beer to be eligible for entry, your brewery must first meet all brewery eligibility requirements. If your brewery does not meet all of the requirements, your beer is not eligible for entry in the GABF.

Beer Eligibility Criteria

All beers entered in the 2016 GABF must currently be, or at one time have been, commercially available for sale at retail on or before August 19th , 2016. “Commercially available” means the entered brand has been available for sale at retail under the same exact brand name as entered on the GABF entry registration form. Breweries and beer brands registered for the GABF which do not fit these criteria are subject to disqualification without further notice or refund of registration fees.

All beer entries must possess the characteristics generally attributed to and conforming to consumer understanding of “beer.”

  • Meads, ciders, spirits, hard sodas and flavored malt beverages including kombuchas and most shandies & radlers are not eligible to be entered in the GABF competition.
  • A minimum 51% of the fermentable carbohydrates must be derived from malted grains.
  • Competition beer entries must contain hops. Exceptions to this include gruit or other historical beer styles that traditionally use other herbs or spices (such as heather or yarrow, for example).
  • Beverages made with malt substitutes, honey, fruit or fruit juices or anything other than malted grains as the majority of fermentable sugars are not eligible to participate.
  • All beer entries comply with all TTB regulations, including formula approval requirements (as stated in Title 27, Chapter 1, Part 25, Subpart F, §25.55 of the Federal Code of Regulations).

*Brewers Association retains sole discretion to determine eligibility for competition at the Great American Beer Festival.

How Many Categories May I Enter?

  • Each beer brand may be entered only one time.
  • A beer brand may not be entered in multiple categories.
  • A beer brand may not be renamed and entered in multiple categories.
  • Beer brands may not be entered by more than ONE brewery in a chain of stores, brewing company, by breweries with related names or aligned marketing strategies, or by multiple breweries that have collaborated on a brand

What if My Beers Are Contract Brewed By Another Brewery?

If you own the rights to a brand, but your beer is produced by another brewery, you are still eligible to enter the GABF. Enter the TTB Basic Permit/Brewers Notice number of the brewery producing the beer on your registration entry. Any award won by a contract brand is property of the winning contract brewery which owns the brand, not the brewery producing the beer.

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General Registration Info for Competition & Festival (Brewery Entry Limits)

Registration for the 2016 Great American Beer Festival is available online only at GABFRegistration.com beginning Tuesday, June 21 @ 10:00 am MT. The registration timeline is as follows
June 21 – June 30 Brewery application period (required for all breweries interested in participating in festival and/or competition)
July 6 – July 15 Competition beer registration
July 19 – July 29 Festival booth and beer registration for selected breweries (competition-only breweries may also purchase festival badges at this time, as well)

How many beers can I enter in the competition?

This number will be based on number of brewery applications. Approximately 7,000 total competition entry spots will be divided among registered breweries. No single brewing location is allowed to enter more than the designated maximum number of competition beer entries.

We have a bunch of different locations, how many beers can I enter?

Twenty (20) Beers. No group which owns multiple breweries, whether packaging breweries and/or brewpubs, may enter more than a total of 20 combined beers.

The number of brewery applications by a multi-location group may not exceed the total number of physical brewing locations in that group.

For example, Chad’s Brewing Incorporated owns 10 breweries around the country. A maximum of 20 competition entries total may be entered by Chad’s Brewing Incorporated. The number of entries per brewery location may not exceed the established maximum number of competition entries for single location breweries.

Additionally, if a brewery opts to enter multiple locations, only the location indicated as the brewery entering a specific beer may promote any medal win for that beer. In other words, if Chad’s Brewing Inc. enters 2 breweries, Chad’s Big Bad Brewing Company and Chad’s Brewpub, and Chad’s Brewpub wins a gold medal with their IPA, only Chad’s Brewpub may claim that medal and promote that medal win. Chad’s Big Bad Brewing Company may not promote this medal win, even if they carry or produce that same beer.

Group location/Corporate competition entries

In instances where a brewing group or corporate entity owns multiple stores that brew the same core brands across multiple locations, the overarching company may choose to enter a select group of brands, adhering to the 4 or 5 beer cap in place for all other breweries in the GABF. These brands may be entered under a single unit “corporate” entry and the preferred name of the company; any medals earned for these beers may be attributed to all locations under that group.

In addition to these entries, these groups may also enter individual locations separately in the competition with their own unique competition entries; any wins from those beers will be attributed only to the brewery under which they were entered.

Again, the overall maximum for the overall group may not exceed twenty (20) entries, and the number of entries per individual brewery in the GABF may not exceed the stated “entry per brewery” cap.

In the event the number of competition entries allowed per brewery are four or fewer, each brewery with a festival booth may pour up to five festival beers at their booth. No brewery may exceed five beers at their booth, with the exception of featured brewery sponsors of the event, who may pour up to 10 beers at their endcap festival booth.

Brewery of the Year Categorization Requirement for multi-location entries:

Brewing Companies entering separate packaging and brewpub locations are required to enter both locations under the same BOY category (whichever is the larger of the two). For instance, a company may not enter a packaging facility as a “Small Brewing Co.” and a brewpub location as “Mid-Size Brewpub”, but instead must enter both facilities as “Small Brewing Co.”.

For example, if Moe’s Brewing Company enters both Moe’s Brewing Company Production Facility (producing 100,000 BBL) and Moe’s Brewpub (producing 7,000 BBL) in the competition, both locations must compete in the largest applicable BOY category for the company as a whole. In this case, both compete in Mid-Size Brewing Company.

The BA will re-categorize incorrect entries as needed.

See all “Brewery Of the Year” information here

Festival Beer Caps

In the event the number of competition entries allowed per brewery are 4 or less, each brewery with a festival booth may pour up to 5 festival beers at their booth. No brewery may exceed five beers at their booth

The only exception is for breweries that sponsor the event. Sponsor breweries are allowed to pour up to 10 beers at their festival booth.

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Brewery Classifications

Does my brewery fall into the “brewpub” or “brewing co.” category?

For the purposes of the competition, brewpubs are considered A restaurant-brewery (i.e. has it’s own kitchen for food service) that sells 25% or more of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar. The beer is often dispensed directly from the brewery’s storage tanks. Where allowed by law, brewpubs often sell beer “to go” and/or distribute to off-site accounts.

Small breweries that sell most of their beer out of a taproom but do not serve food from an in-house kitchen would fall into the “Brewing Co.” categories, based on 2015 barrelage production, not brewpub.

How should I categorize my separate locations, with regards to the Brewery of the Year awards?

Brewing companies entering separate packaging and brewpub locations are required to enter both locations under the same BOY size and brewery type category (whichever is the larger of the two). For instance, a company may not enter a packaging facility as a “Small Brewing Co.” and a brewpub location as a “Mid-Size Brewpub,” but instead must enter both facilities as a “Small Brewing Co.”

For example, if Moe’s Brewing Company enters both Moe’s Brewing Company Production Facility (producing 100,000 BBL) and Moe’s Brewpub (producing 7,000 BBL) in the competition, both locations must compete in the largest applicable BOY category for the company as a whole. In this case, both compete in Mid-Size Brewing Company.

The BA will re-categorize incorrect entries as needed.

See all brewery and beer eligibility requirements here

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Pricing

Cost to Participate

GABF Pricing
Application fee (includes first competition beer entry) $160 for BA Members ($385 non-members)
Additional Competition Beer Entries (cost per entry) $160 for BA Members ($385 non-members)
Pro-Am Entry Fee $25 For BA Members (non-members not eligible)
GABF Booth Fee $250 for BA Members (non-members are not eligible for festival booth at GABF)
Additional GABF Brewery Rep Badge – valid for all 4 sessions of festival (Badges Not Included for Competition-Only Breweries) $185 for BA Members w/ Festival Booth (without booth: $300 for BA Members / $325 for Non-members)

Please note that the pricing reflects on-line registration prices.

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Sending Beer (Competition & Festival)

Sending beer for the competition judging

All competition entries must be shipped separately from your festival beer.

Competition entries must be sent for judging in bottles or cans only. If your product is only available in draught form at retail, you must bottle your entries for the purpose of entering for GABF competition. Entries will not be judged from kegs sent to be poured at the festival. Growlers are not recommended.

Breweries that send less than the required amount of beer samples for judging will not have their beer judged, nor will any refunds or credits be issued in these instances.

Be sure to thoroughly read detailed information on packaging and shipping your competition entries on the “Confirmations & Shipping” page.

 

Sending beer for the the festival

Festival beers can be sent in bottles, cans or kegs. You will designate the format for each beer you are sending to pour at the festival during the “Festival Booth Registration” process.

Breweries participating in the festival have teh option to use their own kegs or to have MicroStar Keg Management ship them a specified number of kegs (two 1/6 bbls per brand).

Current MicroStar clients cannot request additional MicroStar kegs, but are urged to use kegs from their own MicroStar fleet to be sent to the festival.

For more information on the MicroStar program and sending beer you plan to pour at the festival, visit our “Confirmations & Shipping

Acceptable kegs: Kegged beer may only be sent in refillable stainless steel kegs and single-use disposable plastic kegs

 

Festival beer collection/drop-off points

The GABF arranges for 26 beer collection points around the country. GABF then arranges cold storage pickup at all collection points to ship festival beers to Denver. During the festival registration process, breweries must select a collection point at which they will drop their festival kegs and cans/bottles.

Please be sure to read through all information on our “Confirmations & Shipping” page for detailed information on sending beer to the festival.

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Refund Policy

A full refund is given only in the event that your brewery cancels by August 5, 2016. Refunds are issued after the festival. A full refund is given only in the event that your brewery cancels (beers or badges) before August 5, 2016. Initial application fee is non-refundable. Any brewery that ships their product and later wishes to have the beer dropped from the festival due to improper fermenting, off-flavors discovered after shipping, etc. is not refunded. Beer is a donation and is not purchased by the festival.

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