*READ this entire page Before Applying Online*
First & Foremost: See Eligibility Requirements For 2016 Breweries
We have reached capacity for both the GABF competition and festival and at this time are unable to accept any additional applications to participate for the 2016 GABF. The waitlist is also closed.
The section below walks you through the registration process so you will be fully equipped to use the online registration forms
(PDF Revised from mailed printed version July 28, 2016)
All information in the PDF is also available on this site.
Part 1: Brewery Application Period: 10am MST June 21–June 30 (Closes at 3pm MST on June 30, 2016)*
Required info to begin the application:
- Company BA Member Number: located on the mailing label of the guidebook that was mailed to you (note: this is not the same as an individual BA number, assigned to any individual, but the main number for the company itself)
- Valid BA Roster Email address: a valid email address of an employee of your brewery that is currently listed on your BA Company Membership roster. If it’s not in the system, they system won’t recognize you.
- Breweries interested in entering beers in the 2016 GABF competition and/or festival must complete an online application form.
- A non-refundable application fee of $160 is required at the time of application.
- The $160 application fee covers the cost of the first beer entry submitted in the competition. Only credit card payments will be accepted. Check payments are not accepted.
- Indicate the number of beers you would ideally like to enter in the competition. This will not guarantee that you will be able to enter that number of beers in the competition, but will be used for our planning purposes in calculating competition entries accordingly.
- After the brewery application deadline of June 30, an invitation will be sent to registered breweries to enter their beers for the competition.
*The application period may close earlier than June 30/transition to a waitlist if more than 1650 breweries enter prior to the application deadline
- Be sure the address listed is your mailing address (we send keg collars to this address, as well as post-competition judging notes)
- List the contact who is coordinating your participation in GABF (hint: pick someone who’s on top of their game)
- If another brewing company owns more than 25% of your brewery, list that company in this section.
TTB Basic Permit/Brewers Notice
- Have your TTB Basic Permit/Brewers Notice number available when filling out the registration form. It is a required field.
- Enter the name of your brewmaster or brewery team name in the first section.
- Indicate brewery production size. This is important in determining Brewery of the Year awards.
- Indicate if this is your brewery’s first time to enter GABF.
- Don’t forget to check the box!
- Indicate if your brewery is interested in having a booth at the festival (only open to BA Member Breweries)
- Indicate if your brewery is interested in participating in the new “Meet the Brewer” portion of the festival.
- NEW: If you are a brewpub, indicate if your brewery is interested in participating in the “Brewpub Pavilion”
- NEW: indicate if your brewery is interested in participating in “Paired“
Part 2: Competition Beer Registration: July 6 – July 15
- Breweries that complete the application process by June 30 must register their beers during this two-week window. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your spot in the competition, and your application fee will not be refunded.
- The number of beers a brewery may enter will be dependent upon the number of breweries entered into the competition. (For example, if 7,000 beers can be judged and 1,400 breweries apply to participate, each brewery will be eligible to enter up to five beers in the competition.)
- No brewery will be eligible to enter more than the designated number of beers in the competition.
- No group that owns multiple breweries, whether packaging breweries and/or brewpub, may enter more than a total of 20 beers. Each individual location is limited to the same max number of entries allotte to all entering breweries.
IMPORTANT: Each brand may only be entered once. No individual beer may be entered in multiple categories. Brewing companies entering beers in the 2016 GABF should carefully review the category and subcategory designations before registering a beer. It is imperative that beers are entered into the proper category and subcategory since judges evaluate beers on the basis of these category descriptions.
GABF Style Builder Competition Beer Registration Form
- During competition beer registration, you will be able to select the beer you are entering from an available list of your brewery’s current brand offerings, as listed on www.BreweryDB.com. (If the beer is not listed, you will also be able to enter it manually)
- Specific styles will require additional information in order to be accurately judged. For these styles, please use the style builder to select from various base-beer styles, container/aging information (barrel/wood aging, etc.), special ingredients, special brewing processes, etc. to supplement your entry for judging.
- If you prefer, you may manually enter your specialty information for categories that require this, which will be reviewed.
Please note that category and subcategory numbers, descriptions and styles change every year. Review the category list carefully to identify the appropriate categories for your entries. When completing the online registration form, remember the importance of entering your beer into the appropriate category and subcategory. It is of equal importance that you enter your brewery into the correct brewery size category based on the Brewery of the Year award criteria.
GABF Pro-Am Competition Entry
- If participating in the separate GABF Pro-Am competition, enter that beer here.
First come, first served: The GABF Pro-Am competition is limited to the first 96 entries, during the beer registration process. Once 96 entries are received, Pro-Am competition registration will close.
- Breweries must enter at least one commercial entry in the GABF competition in order to participate in the Pro-Am. Breweries may not enter only the Pro-Am competition.
- The Pro-Am is only open to BA brewery members. Please see the Pro-Am section of this site for detailed rules.
- Beers entered into the Pro-Am competition must be served at the festival in the Pro-Am booth (Can not be entered ONLY into the competition). If a brewery only sends this beer in for competition without sending additional to be poured at the festival, the beer will not be judged in the pro-am competition.
Festival Booth Confirmations – July 19
Based on the number of breweries that are interested in a booth at the festival, it may be necessary to assign festival booth spaces via lottery. If a lottery is required, it will be conducted by region. Breweries selected for festival booth space will be notified by July 19. Specific booth locations will be assigned at a later date.
Part 3: Festival Booth & Beer Registration: July 19 – 29
- Selected breweries are notified of festival participation status by July 19, 2016.
- Only BA member breweries are eligible to have a booth at the festival.
- Participating breweries may pour up to five beers at the festival (sponsors excepted).
- For the sake of attendees, the preference is that beers entered in the competition will also be poured at the festival booth (people want to try contending beers!).
- Each festival booth includes four complimentary festival badges.
- Up to four additional brewery representative badges may be purchased at this time.
GABF Festival Beer Collection Point
Indicate the location where you will deliver kegs and case beers that you’ll be pouring at the festival. You will not ship your competition entry bottles here as they should only be shipped directly to CR Goodman in Aurora, CO.
Confirm the beers that your brewery will pour at the festival.
NOTE: If your brewery is participating in the MicroStar keg program and kegs must ship to a different physical address, be sure to provide that address where indicated.
The GABF beer service team will tap all festival beer sent in kegs, if requested. Indicate one of the following serving options for each beer:
- We are not a current MicroStar client. Send us MicroStar kegs, please. (you will receive two 1/6 bbls per brand)
- Yes, We are a current MicroStar client. We are sending kegs out of our existing MicroStar inventory (required of current MicroStar clients).
- We are sending our own refillable stainless steel or single use plastic keg(s). Breweries sending their own kegs must arrange to have kegs picked up on Sunday before noon (12pm) at the festival hall or Saturday night after the festival.
- We are sending bottles or cans.
- If you wish to provide your own draught equipment and tap the kegs yourself, please note this on your confirmation. If this option is selected, the GABF will only place kegs and ice at your booth. The brewery is responsible for bringing draught equipment and tapping kegs. Most breweries do not select this option.
GABF Representative Information
- Breweries with a booth at the festival will receive four brewery representative badges with their festival booth fee, and the option to purchase up to four more.
- Breweries participating in the competition ONLY do not receive any complimentary badges to the festival or Brewers Gathering.
- Each participating festival brewery may request a maximum of four tickets to the GABF Brewers Gathering.
- Additional/purchased badges do not include a ticket to GABF Brewers Gathering.
*TIP! Purchase the number of brewery rep badges that you believe you will need now. These will sell out!
- Badges are for BREWERY REPRESENTATIVES working the festival booth. Brewery badges may not be purchased for guests. Proof of affiliation with your brewery is required.
Non-Exclusive License Agreement
Read the licensing agreement by clicking the link and check the box in this section indicating that you agree to the GABF’s non-exclusive license agreement.
Should your brewery win a medal, be sure to familiarize your team with the rules regarding use of the GABF trademark when promoting your win.
Quick Summary to Entering GABF 2016
- Read the festival information on this site or in the Brewers Guide to Entering the Great American Beer Festival (Site information is always most up to date)
- Complete the Online Registration Form. On the registration form, did you: Include payment? Read and sign license agreement? Fill out specialty information for beers entered into these categories?: 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12a, 12b, 13, 14a, 15, 16, 18a, 19a, 19b, 19c, 20, 21a, 22, 23a, 23b, 24a, 24b, 25, 26, 27a, 27b, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33a, 33b, 34a, 34e, 34f, 72a, 72b, 72c, 79, 80b, 81c, 81e, 85a, 85b, 85c & Pro-Am
- Confirm your entries online after completing your beer registration. Once you complete your beer registration, you’ll see a confirmation page of your entries. Review all of the information carefully. Edit registration as needed to make sure all of your info is completely correct
- MicroStar kegs arrive (If requested) Wash these and fill them with your festival beers. Put your keg collars on the beers and label them well.
- Ship your judging entries. These must arrive between August 22-26, 2016. Send to: C. R. Goodman Companies Attn: 2016 GABF 14402 East 33rd Place Aurora, CO 80011 United States
- Deliver your festival beers to your designated collection point. Festival beers must arrive to the collection point the first week of September. Actual dates will be sent at a later date. No charge invoices should be included with this shipment.
- Attend the Great American Beer Festival. 2016 festival dates are Thursday, October 6 – Saturday, October 8, 2016.
- When registering online, you’ll be able to select from a pre-populated list of your brewery’s current beer offerings, as listed in www.BreweryDB.com. If the beer you’d like to enter is not shown in this list, you may choose “other” to enter a new brand.
- For categories requiring additional specialty information for judging, you’ll be able to select from various base styles, brewing processes, and container information (barrel-aging, etc.) to supplement your entry for judging. If you prefer, you can simply type your specialty information, which will be reviewed.
- 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.” Extraneous words are removed from your description and are not 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.”
- Be sure to indicate pouring instructions for each entry. Your choices are “Normal Pouring”, “Do Not Rouse”, and “rouse.” If you do not specify pouring instructions, the default value of “normal pouring” is used for your entry. Pouring instructions entered during registration are used exclusive to any markings on entry containers or labels
- A minimum of six entries is required in a category for that category to be judged. Categories with fewer than 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.