Great American Beer Festival Facts & Figures
October 10-12, 2013 • Colorado Convention Center • Denver, Colorado
Note: The Great American Beer Festival includes both a public tasting and a private judging event.
- 2012 Highlights
- Festival Facts
- 2013 Date, Time, Location & Tickets
- 2012 Great American Beer Festival Competition
- Festival History
- Festival Highlights
- 2012 Festival Sponsors
- 2007-2012 Statistics
- GABF featured a Brewpub Pavilion, located in the central area of the festival hall.
- The Brewpub Pavilion included 24 breweries representing all regions of the country.
- Brewpubs are worthy of celebration as they make up about half of U.S. breweries, numbering well more than 1,000 across the country.
- The Brewpub Pavilion will be back in 2013–stay tuned for details.
- With some changes to the festival floor plan, GABF had 110 more breweries pouring their beers in the hall in 2012, a 23 percent increase over 2011.
New 2012 competition category
- Fresh Hop Ale—Brewers are increasingly looking for ways to brew beers in sync with the harvest season, and this new category showcases ales which are hopped exclusively with fresh, undried, “wet” hops. This brewing technique adds nuances of green, almost chlorophyll-like character.
- The festival sold out in 45 minutes during the public ticket sale in 2012.
- 2,800+ beers in the festival hall—the biggest selection of American beers ever served.
- More than 36,500 gallons of beer.
- 49,000 attendees (includes ticketed attendees, brewers, judges, volunteers and journalists).
- 578 U.S. breweries served in the festival hall in 2012.
- GABF has a $7 million economic impact on the city of Denver, according to Visit Denver, the city’s convention and visitors bureau.
- October 10-12, 2013, Colorado Convention Center, Hall D, E & F, Downtown Denver.
- Three evening sessions and one afternoon session.
- Evening Sessions: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 5:30-10:00 pm
- Attendees receive a commemorative tasting cup, samples in one-ounce portions, the opportunity to sit in on presentations, and a festival program.
- Afternoon Session: Saturday 12:00-4:00 p.m. American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and Brewers Association Members-Only session.
- Attendees receive a commemorative tasting glass, samples in one-ounce portions, a festival program and a chance to rub elbows with brewers and be the first to sample award-winning beers as the winners of the prestigious Great American Beer Festival competition are announced.
- 84 categories of beer were judged in 2012, covering 134 beer styles, as well as the GABF Pro-Am.
- The competition was judged by 188 judges from 11 countries.
- Judging took place October 10-12 before the public sessions opened.
- 676 breweries entered the competition representing 48 states, Guam and Washington, D.C.
- 154 first-time entrants into the competition.
- 4,338 beers were entered in the 2012 competition (a nine percent increase from 3,930 in 2011).
- The Hall is divided into eight U.S. regions: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, New England, Pacific, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest.
- Taste beers from a particular state or region.
- Focus on one particular style of beer (e.g., Stout, Pilsner or Pale Ale).
- Notice how breweries in different regions approach a certain style.
- Taste the medal-winning beers during the Saturday afternoon Members-Only or evening session. Winners announced during the Members-Only Saturday afternoon session.
- The first festival was held in 1982 at the Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. There were 22 breweries, 40 beers and 800 attendees.
- The festival moved to Denver in 1984.
- The 10th festival was held at the Denver Merchandise Mart with 150 breweries, 500 beers and 7,000 attendees.
- Due to continued growth and popularity, the festival was moved from Currigan Hall in Denver to the Colorado Convention Center in 2000.
- Demand for tickets is at an all-time high. The 2007 festival sold out the week of the event, while the 2012 event sold out in a matter of minutes.
- Great American Beer School—The beer education areas inside the festival hall include:
- Craft Beer & Food Pavilion – Enjoy multiple demonstrations throughout the festival, in which chefs and brewers alike discuss the art of cooking with craft beer as well as how to pair with beer to make the perfect meal.
- Farm To Table Pavilion – Join chefs and small and independent brewers as they discuss and pair craft beer with dishes created with locally grown ingredients. Additional ticket required.
- Brewers Studio Pavilion – With beer that tastes so good, there must be an even better story behind it! The Brewers Studio gives festivalgoers the opportunity to listen to the brewers themselves as they wax philosophical on a variety of subjects as well as share their stories and beers.
- The annual GABF Pro-Am Competition – Entries are brewed by professional craft brewers based on award-winning homebrew recipes from American Homebrewers Association (AHA) members. Homebrew recipes are scaled up and brewed at a craft brewery for submission into the GABF Pro-Am competition.
- Support Your Local Brewery Pavilion – Learn about individual states’ beer culture and try the rare beers showcased by the guilds–beers that are unavailable anywhere else at the festival. Several states will be represented. Enjoy displays of malt, hops, brewing equipment and more!
- Brewers Publications Bookstore – This area features books on every aspect of brewing, from style, technique and history to cooking, pairing and serving beer with food. Sample copies will be available and special book signings will be offered.
- You Be The Judge Booth – Evaluate a beer with a BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) or GABF competition beer judge.
- The Silent Disco - Always a crowd favorite, the Silent Disco gives dancers the chance to dance to music only they and the other disco dancers can hear through wireless headphones. Fun for dancers and spectators alike!
Learn about the sponsors that support GABF.
|Volunteer Hours Worked||41,919||54,515||52,075||43,679||41,679||33,025|
|Breweries at the Festival||578||466||455||457||432||408|
|Beers at the Festival||2,774||2,375||2,248||2,101||2,052||1,884|
|Beers in the Competition||4,338||3,930||3,523||3,308||2,702||2,822|
|Categories Judged||84 + Pro-Am||83 + Pro-Am||79 + Pro-Am||78 + Pro-Am||75 + GABF Pro-Am||75+ GABF Pro-Am|
|Number of Judges||185||167||151||132||110||107|
|Avg. number of beers in each Category||51||48||42||42||39||37|
|Category with Highest Entries||American Style India Pale Ale: 203||American Style India Pale Ale: 176||American Style India Pale Ale: 150||American Style India Pale Ale: 134||American Style India Pale Ale: 108||American Style India Pale Ale: 120|
|Medals Awarded||251 + 3 in Pro-Am||248 + 3 in Pro-Am||236 + 3 in Pro-Am||234 + 3 in Pro-Am||222 + 3 in Pro-Am||222 + 3 in Pro-Am|