Shipping your Competition Entries

For currently registered breweries only.

All regulatory and financial burdens associated with submitting and sending samples to the Great American Beer Festival are the sole responsibility of the entering brewery. In the event the competition is canceled the Brewers Association will only refund breweries their competition entry fees. The Brewers Association is unable to reimburse or pay for competition entry shipping fees. Any shipments sent as “C.O.D” will be refused upon arrival.

illustration of two beer bottles with arrow overlay

Competition Shipping Address


587 S. Taylor Ave.

Louisville, CO 80027

Deliveries allowed Mon-Fri | 8:00am – 4:00pm

*PLEASE USE OFFICIAL BARCODE SHIPPING LABELS (available in your competition portal)

Competition entries must be received between Tuesday, September 3 – Friday, September 6, 2024.

*Festival beers cannot be accepted at the same time as your competition entries. Our cold storage space cannot accommodate receiving of both at the same time.

View a list of self-reported consolidation sites here (Note: This is a list of self-organized, independent consolidated shipments. The shipments/shippers listed on this page have not been verified or endorsed by the Brewers Association and are not financially supported by Brewers Association. They are simply Please only work with entities you recognize or know.)

Organizing your own consolidated shipment in your area? Publish it here (Note: Please note, consolidated shipments submitted via this form are considered “unofficial” – meaning they are not verified or endorsed by the Brewers Association, nor is the Brewers Association able to financially support these consolidation sites. Instead this is an opportunity for breweries, guilds and/or suppliers to work together in an effort to pool resources and save on individual shipping costs for the GABF competition.)

  • It is your brewery’s responsibility to make sure your entries arrive on time. Entries received at GABF warehouse after September 6 will not be sorted or judged for competition. Neither refunds nor credits will be issued for missed deadlines or beers not sent.
  • Track your package(s) and save all documentation pertaining to your shipment in case there are any issues during transit.
  • Bottles/Cans Only – The GABF requires bottled or canned beer samples for judging and will not judge from kegs being sent to the festival. A note on crowlers: in our experience, beer brands entered in crowlers do not fare well during competition judging due to storage well beyond the intended life span of that package format, oxidation, etc. While crowlers are a completely acceptable format in which to send entries, consider submitting your entries in a package format designed to store beer for many weeks.
  • Competition Safety – entries which bulge or fail during shipping, sorting or judging will be disqualified due to safety concerns for all competition staff and judges. Please send only stable, finished beer for judging.
  • Pack it well (make it unbreakable): No matter how well you think you have packed your bottles for shipment, pack them even better to prevent breakage during shipping! If bottles do break, any replacements must meet the same deadline listed above. Late entries will not be accepted.
  • Label your beers and shipping boxes with the official barcode labels: see information below for details
  • Send the appropriate (required) amount: See information at top right for amounts. Breweries sending less than the required amount for judging will not have these entries judged, nor will you be issued a credit/refund for your competition entries.

View your entries: Go back to and login with your BA login credentials to view your entries and make any necessary adjustments.

Need to make a change? Please log in using the button above. Please note, some category changes may not be available, as some categories have closed. The system will notify you if you are trying to make a change to a category that is full. Please note that any beers removed from the competition after July 26 are not eligible for a refund.

If you decide not to ship one or more of your competition entries, please notify us. Entries not shipped are a common cause of handling errors for your other entries. These are set aside while we search for your “missing” entry or entries. If you plan to separate shipments for your competition entries, please email us.

Please see the refund policy if you decide not to ship any entered beers.

The deadline to make any beer changes is July 26. No beer changes will be accepted after this deadline nor any refunds or credits issued.

Number of bottles/cans to be sent for the competition depends on the bottle/can size. Please send no less than the stated amount listed below, based on the bottle size you’re sending.

Breweries sending less than the required amount for judging will not have their entries judged, nor will you be issued a credit/refund for your competition entries.

Category-specific quantities: Please know that certain categories may have such a large number of entries that additional rounds of judging are required to judge all entries, meaning that additional samples will be required to be sent for judging in these categories.

These categories will undergo 4 or 5 rounds of judging, and therefore will require more beer samples to be sent.

Large categories for 2023: (2024 Large categories coming soon)

  • Cat. 36 – Light Lager
  • Cat. 45 – German-Style Pilsener
  • Cat. 65 – Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 66 – West Coast-Style India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 19 – Experimental India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 26 – Fruited American Sour Ale
  • Cat. 30 – Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
  • Cat. 31 – Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout
  • Cat. 43 – India Pale Lager or Cold India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 56 – German-Style Koelsch
  • Cat. 59 – New Zealand India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 63 – Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale
  • Cat. 64 – American-Style India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 67 – Imperial India Pale Ale
  • Cat. 68 – Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale

4-5 Round (Large Categories)

Bottle or Can Size Amount to Ship
Less than 19.9 oz (588 ml) 10
20 oz (589 ml) and larger – Crowlers included 6

All Other Categories

All categories other than those listed above in the Large Category section above.

Standard Categories

Bottle or Can Size Amount to Ship
7 oz (200 ml) to (10.9 oz) 322 ml 8
11 oz (323 ml) – 19.9 oz (588 ml) 6
20 oz (589 ml) and larger – Crowlers included 4

Please use the barcode beer labels emailed to you by the Brewers Association formatted to print on Avery 5160 label sizes.

  • Clarity and accuracy are key: Use the barcode beer labels we emailed to you.
  • Verify information: Make sure the info on the label matches the info we have registered for the competition exactly. If the info differs at all, it will cause problems during sorting and judging. GABF is not responsible for issues caused due to errors in labeling.
  • Printing: Print official barcode labels and affix one label to each bottle with adhesive (adhesive labels, clear packing tape, glue, etc.).
  • Do not use clear labels OR rubber band or tie loose paper to the bottles: This will surely cause issues during sorting.
  • Place labels vertically on the side of the can or bottle. It is easier to scan barcodes when placed vertically.
  • Don’t worry about these things: 
    • You do not need to remove any commercial labels that are already on the bottle/can.
    • Detailed Judging information and pouring instructions on the label, this information is provided to judges separately.
  • Please consider shipping extra bottles for our volunteer sorting crew that works hours in the cooler getting the competition beers sorted and inventoried for the competition.
  • Create a packing list/inventory each box: Place one copy in the box, and keep one copy for yourself. In an instance where there is an issue with your shipment (i.e. one of a brewery’s four boxes are damaged in shipment), it is much easier and quicker to find a solution when the brewery has kept track of which entries were packed and shipped in a specific box.
  • Secure bottles/cans to avoid breakage: Secure your samples so that they are packed to withstand very rough handling during transit. Specialized beer shipping containers are best, as they provide the best protection against damage. Newspaper and packing peanuts are NOT recommended and do not offer much protection.
  • Do not split bottles of the same brand/entry into separate boxes. If more than one box of entries is being shipped, be sure to keep the samples of each brand in the same box and to label each box as “box 1 of 2,” “box 2 of 2,” etc.).
  • Coolers or other special containers will not be returned, however, the beers that arrive in specialized containers will be judged and tend to withstand the rigors of shipping.
  • Did bottles break during shipment? Any replacements must meet the same deadline listed above. Late entries will not be accepted.

Looking for ways to save money on shipping?

Breweries may consolidate shipments when sending competition beers. This saves time and money!

Consider contacting your local guild or other nearby breweries to discuss the option of palletizing your competition entries and shipping them together via a freight company, which tend to encounter less issues (loss of shipment, breakage, etc.) than individual shipments sent via UPS or FedEx.

Do not use the United States Postal Service (USPS). 

FedEx, UPS, and private couriers work well, and freight companies work best.

When sending beer via UPS or FedEx, it may be best to schedule a pickup from your home or place of business. Often shipments brought directly into a UPS or FedEx store may get denied as shipping alcohol is against UPS and FedEx policy (unless you have a business account that allows for these type of shipments).

If you have any shipping issues, please email the GABF team.

Please consider sending extra beer or brewery swag to donate to the sorting volunteers who work many hours in the cooler sorting the beers into the competition’s various categories.