Details for Entering

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

2013 Details for Entering

Eligibility & Pricing

Brewery Eligibility & Requirements

Who Is Eligible to Enter the GABF?

Only legally operating commercial breweries in the U.S. are allowed to enter the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), and they must sell beer to consumers in accordance with state and federal laws. In order to participate in the GABF, a brewery must be operational and have a federal TTB Basic Permit/Brewers Notice as of July 8, 2013 or have their beer brewed in a federally permitted facility. Breweries in planning and/or those not operational as of July 8, 2013 are not eligible to participate.

All beers entered must be brewed in a facility with a Brewers Notice on file with the TTB (U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau). Breweries located in U.S. Territories in which a TTB Brewers Notice is not required to produce beer commercially must conform to all local licensing and other regulations that pertain to the commercial production of beer, must establish that they are in compliance with all such licensing and other regulations and requirements pertaining to commercial production of beer, and must comply with any US Federal regulations required to produce beer commercially and/or to import beer into the United States for purposes of the Great American Beer Festival, including registering with the FDA.

Is My Beer Eligible?

All beer brands (as defined in the GABF Style Guidelines) entered in the Great American Beer Festival must be brewed and fermented in the U.S. or at breweries located in the unincorporated, organized U.S. Territories of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, must meet the definition of beer as defined by the TTB, and must possess the characteristics generally attributed to and conforming to the trade understanding of “beer”. Meads, ciders, spirits, flavored malt beverages including most shandies and radlers are not eligible to be entered into the GABF competition or festival.

All beer brands entered in the Great American Beer Festival must be commercially available exactly as entered by brand name. “Commercially available” means the entered brand has been available for sale at retail under the exact brand name as entered on the GABF entry registration form on or before September 9, 2013. 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.

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. Beer brands must be entered according to current year Great American Beer Festival style descriptions as written. A maximum of 10 brands may be entered into the competition.

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.

Festival Beer Pricing

A beer you send in kegs, cans, or bottles to be served at your booth for public tasting. All festival beers will be automatically judged. However, judging samples (including Pro-Am entries) must be sent separately from festival beer. We will not pull judging samples from your festival beer.

Number of Beers Pricing
1 or 2 beers on the festival floor $315 for BA Members ($480 non-members)
Up to 5 beers on the festival floor $675 for BA Members ($890 non-members)

Competition Only Beer Pricing

A beer you enter into the judged competition that will not be served at your booth for public tasting at the festival.

Number of Beers Pricing
Price per beer $175 for BA Members ($390 non-members)

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

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Entering Your Beers into the GABF Judging

  • There is no posted registration deadline for 2013. Registration will close once capacity for the festival and competition have been reached, so register early.
  • Please note that category numbers, descriptions and styles have changed from last year. Be sure to review the category list carefully to identify the appropriate categories for your beer brands.
  • When completing the online Festival Registration Form, remember the importance of entering your beer into the appropriate category and subcategory and be sure to indicate the appropriate category number and subcategory letter. It is of equal importance that you enter your brewery into the correct SIZE category based on the Brewery of the Year criteria.
  • Be sure to indicate pouring instructions for each entry. Your choices are “normal pouring”, “do not rouse”, “quiet pouring”, and “rouse”. If you do not specify pouring instructions, the default value of “normal pouring” will be used for your entry. Pouring instructions entered during registration will be used exclusive to any markings on entry containers.
  • Be sure to electronically agree to the License Agreement form on the online form while registering (this is required for participation in GABF).
  • Check payments for online registration must be postmarked by July 14, to ensure your place in the festival.
  • Supplemental information is required for judging when entering beers in certain categories (and subcategories. Failure to provide this information will place your entry at a significant disadvantage to other entries.
  • The first 5 beers entered must be registered to appear in the Festival tasting. All beers listed on your entry form will be counted toward Brewery of the Year awards (Exception: brewpub groups entering more than 10 beers must select which 10 will count towards BOY);
  • ALL entries to be judged must be shipped separately from your Festival beer.
  • A minimum of 6 (six) entries is required in a category for that category to be judged. Categories with fewer than 6 (six) entries as of the competition registration deadline will be recombined at the discretion of the competition manager as a subcategory of another appropriate category in order for those entries to be judged. Breweries with entries in these categories will be notified, and given the option of accepting this recombination, or withdrawing those entries, at their discretion.
  • Entries submitted for judging must be bottled or canned. If your product is only available in draft form at retail, you must bottle your entries for the purpose of entering the GABF judging. Entries will not be judged from your kegs sent for the public festival. Growlers are not recommended!

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Helpful Suggestions for Completing the Entry Form

  • If registering online, have your registration information filled out and ready to go before entering.
  • Specify the requested information in the block on the registration form titled “Specify Ingredients and/or Classic Style.”
  • When entering beers with ingredients like fruit, vegetables, spices or chocolate (or others), avoid words like extract, puree, fresh, all natural, artificial, concentrate, frozen or canned—just indicate which ingredient is used. For example, both “Fresh Raspberries” and “Raspberry Extract” would be indicated simply as “Raspberry”. These words will be removed from your description, and will not be provided to the judge panel.
  • Do not specify any regional information that could compromise the anonymity of your entry. For example, “Arizona Wildflower Honey” should be listed as “Wildflower Honey.”
  • Please limit the specialty information you submit to 30 character spaces. The information you provide will be reviewed by the competition manager and abstracted down to the essential information needed by the judges to evaluate the beer during judging according to competition guidelines.

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Walk Through of the Registration Forms

1. Contact Information

  1. Fill in the BREWERY information here and list the contact who will deal with your participation in the GABF. Be sure the address listed is your MAILING address.
  2. If another brewery owns more than 25% of your brewery, list that company in this section as well.
  3. NOTE: Be sure to also put the physical address of your brewery for shipping Microstar kegs at the bottom of the section if you have listed a PO Box address above.

2. Membership Information

Please indicate if you are a current member of the Brewers Association and include member number. Your member number is located on the mailing label of this guidebook.

3. Brewery Information

  1. Put in your brewmaster or brewery team name in the first section.
  2. Indicate if you are a brewpub, packaging brewery, both or if you are contract brewed. If you are contract brewed, list the company that brews your brands.
  3. Indicate your production size. This is important in determining brewery of the year awards.
  4. Indicate if this is your first GABF.

4. GABF Festival Beer Drop Off Point

Indicate the location at which you will be dropping off your FESTIVAL floor beer. This is not your judging beer!

5. Festival Beers

  1. Entering 1 or 2 beers on the festival floor is $315 for BA members ($480 for non-members). Entering up to 5 beers (the maximum) is $675 for BA members ($890 for non-members). You do not add up the 2 amounts if entering 5 beers. It’s just $675. (Pricing reflects online registration fees.)
  2. Enter up to 5 beers you will be serving on the GABF festival floor. These will be judged & on the festival floor. Include the beer name, category name and number and any subcategory names and numbers (if applicable).
  3. If your beers are in one the of the category numbers requiring additional information, enter the specialty information for this beer. Specialty information includes classic style of the beer and any unique ingredients.
  4. For your festival beers, indicate for each beer one of the following:

      1. You need Microstar kegs sent to you. (most common)
      2. You are sending your own keg(s) (breweries must arrange to have these picked up on Sunday. GABF will not ship back kegs)