2023 Public Tasting Schedule
The four public tasting sessions will take place at the Colorado Convention Center 14th and Champa Streets in downtown Denver, Colorado.
All Brewery/Booth Staff should be at their booth at least 45 minutes before start time (4:45 pm for the evening sessions, and 11:45 am for Saturday Afternoon)
Brewers Schedule / Hall Access Times
(when you can get in to set up your booth)
|Event||Day||Brewers’ Setup Time||Event Hours|
|Brewers Gathering||Wednesday, Sept. 20||N/A||6:00 pm – 8:00 pm|
|GABF Session||Thursday, Sept. 21||9:00 am – 4:30 pm||5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Last call- 9:45 pm
|GABF Session||Friday, Sept. 22||3:00 pm – 4:30 pm||5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Last call- 9:45 pm
|Awards Ceremony||Saturday, Sept. 23||N/A||10:00am – 12:00pm (doors @ 9:30am)
*Limited capacity. Admittance limited to participating breweries.
|GABF Members Only Session||Saturday, Sept. 23||10:00 am – 11:00 pm||12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Last call- 3:45 pm
|GABF Session||Saturday, Sept. 23||10:00am – 11:00 pm||5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Last call- 9:45 pm
The Great American Beer Festival ices, taps and pressurizes all draught beers sent in Sankey kegs. The majority of breweries take advantage of our tapping service. If you choose to tap the beers yourself, please provide all equipment necessary (faucets, taps, lines, CO2, etc.). The GABF provides keg containers and ice.
All beer entered in the festival must be delivered to the GABF host distributor for legal and inventory purposes. Festival beer received by the host distributor becomes the property of the host distributor for GABF and may not be used for any other purpose such as selling at retail.
The GABF only accepts kegs in stainless steel or single use plastic kegs. Kegged beer sent in any other format will not be served at the festival. The festival is not able to accommodate any Hoff-Stevens, Golden Gate, Cornelius kegs.
Each brewery or brewing company is provided a 6 ft. table (6 ft. wide x 24 in. deep x 30 in. high) with an 8 ft. high drape located directly behind the table for brewery displays. While booths are 10 ft. deep, the back 2 to 3 ft. of the booth are used for keg and draught system storage and should be unencumbered so that our beer service crew has easy access for delivering, changing and servicing kegs & draught systems. Electricity is not provided or available in standard festival booths, only in sponsored endcap booths.
Code of Conduct: The Brewers Association strives to provide harassment-free festival experience for everyone. We ask that all participants review our Code of Conduct prior to participating. Costumes, booth décor and beer names should be respectful of people of diverse backgrounds and cultures and should not contain sexually explicit, lewd, derogatory, or demeaning names, language, text, graphics, photos, video, or other images that reasonable adults would find inappropriate. Harassment in any form, sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not condoned. If you’re unsure regarding any element of your display, we’re happy to review ahead of time and avoid any awkward moments on site. Participants violating these rules may be asked to leave the festival.
Brewery Booth Signage: All brewery festival booths are provided with a 47 in. wide x 23 in. high brewery sign that contains their brewery name, location, booth number, beers being served, and ownership info (if 25% or more owned by another brewery). This banner must be visible at all times during the festival, but feel free to dress it up with your own signage as well!
Electricity is not provided or available in standard, in-line festival booths. Sponsored endcap booths may purchase electricty here.
Good Neighbor Rule: anything that impedes traffic flow in the nearby area or encroaches on your neighbor’s booth is not allowed. Please be conscious and respectful of your neighbors’ space.
- All banners or back wall displays should be less than 6 ft. wide. Displays wider this will need to be adjusted to fit the booth space.
- Brewery displays may not restrict the flow of traffic behind the booth. This includes cords, bars, or other tripping hazards. GABF beer service team and volunteers use this area to access all booths.
- All displays must be behind the front of the booth and may not extend into the aisles.
- The height limit for all booths is 15 ft. No overhead hanging signs unless approved by GABF organizers 30 days prior to the event.
- The GABF is intended to educate consumers about the quality and diversity of beer in the U.S. The GABF may, at its sole discretion, request and/or require the removal of any inappropriate displays.
- Tents larger than 6 ft. wide or 8 ft. deep that encroach on your neighbors’ space are not allowed. Tents that stay in your designated area (6 ft. wide) are allowed.
- The GABF is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Take important and valuable items with you when you leave each night.
- GABF Provides each brewery with a banner listing the brewery name and beers being poured. This banner must be visible during the festival.
- Complimentary promotional items (with the exception of coasters, which are prohibited) may be distributed to attendees but should not be thrown from the booth.
- No smoke machines (the convention center does not allow them).
- Stickers: the cost of removing brewery labels and stickers found on Colorado Convention Center windows, mirrors, or other surfaces will be charged directly to the brewery.
The GABF invites all breweries to decorate their booth and win a prize for the brewery booth with the most festival air. We ask breweries to turn on their festive spirit and craft the most creative booth in the festival hall. The booth with the most festival flair is awarded a plaque at the awards ceremony and a certificate for complimentary competition (up to 4 or 5, whatever the maximum is for that year) entries for the next year’s GABF. There is an award for best end-cap booth and best in-line booth. Breweries must bring all of their items to decorate; these cannot be shipped to the Convention Center or with festival beers. We suggest shipping your decorations to your hotel room or bringing them by car.
Each year, designated drivers have the ability to enjoy some non-alcoholic craft brewed products. If your brewery makes non-alcoholic root beers or sodas, we would appreciate your donation to the designated driver lounge. Email Joe Damgaard to donate non-alcoholic beverages.
Did you know that the GABF is home to over 2,000 volunteers who devote countless hours to helping make this festival run? We like to reward these hard working volunteers with a sampling of beers from across the country. If you would like to donate some extra bottled beer for the volunteers, please email Joe Damgaard and send this extra beer with your festival beers at your drop off point. Clearly label this as “Volunteer Beer.”
Attendees receive an official GABF program containing information about the festival as well as your brewery information. Your information includes: brewery name, city, state, website, booth number, and your beers at the festival. If your brewery is 25% or more owned by another brewery, that information is also be listed in the program.
It will also identify Brewers Association members as either a:
- Voting member of the Brewers Association
- Associate member – all other brewery members
Your brewery has a booth space 6 ft. long x 10 ft. deep. If you submit draught beer to the tasting, kegs are tapped at the back of your booth space. Bottles and cans are iced in tubs and placed on a table at the front of your booth. Promotional items and pitchers of water for rinsing tasting glasses are placed on the table. A GABF sign, including the name and location of your brewery and the names of beers you are serving hangs from the 8′ high drape on the back wall of your booth.
Festival attendees receive a tasting glass when they enter. Each evening more than 8,000 attendees circulate among the booths tasting various beers. You, your brewery representative, or one of our knowledgeable volunteers will pour one-ounce servings and answer questions.
Participating breweries are expected to staff their booth at all times, as many of the festival attendees want to learn more about your beer. Remember – festival attendees want to learn more about YOUR beer, and meet you!
*PLEASE ASSIGN A BREWERY REP TO POUR YOUR BEERS AT ALL SESSIONS.
- All brewery representatives must be 21 years or older and present valid photo ID upon check-in at the festival. Please plan accordingly and allow time to get wristbanded and ID’d onsite before entering the hall. Ages 21+ only. No exceptions.
- Promotion of your product may only occur within the confines of your booth.
- Brewery representatives must maintain sobriety while attending the festival. Any brewery representative deemed intoxicated during the festival shall be subject to ejection.
- Brewery representatives must be appropriately clothed during the festival. Appropriate dress is at the sole discretion of the GABF.
- Brewery representatives should conduct themselves with appropriate decorum at all times. Activities by a brewery representative that endanger festival attendees, festival staff or festival vendors, or any activity which is contrary to Colorado law may subject the brewery representative or the attending brewery to ejection from the festival at the sole discretion of GABF staff.
- Throwing items (i.e., shirts, cups, coasters, etc.) from the booth into the crowd is strictly prohibited.
- Do Not leave items of importance in your booth overnight between sessions.
- The Brewers Association is dedicated to presenting GABF beers in a favorable light. Part of this plan is to provide a safe and secure environment. Make sure that your brewery representatives are aware of and adhere to the ONE-OUNCE POUR RULE.
- Pour only one ounce of beer into attendees’ glasses. There is a pour line on the glass for your convenience.
- Please do not serve attendees who appear intoxicated. Alert GABF staff or security personnel if needed.
- Beer shall be served only from behind the tables in the booth space.
Please make sure all of your brewery representatives adhere to these guidelines. Failure to do so will result in warnings and/or expulsion of your brewery or representatives.
Consider the “Meet the Brewer” hall, where festival booths will be staffed ONLY with brewers and brewery owners. Several of our educational pavilions also move to this hall and an additional public entrance to the festival will be located here.
How Meet the Brewer Works
- During the application process (June 15 – June 28) breweries must first “opt-in” to the lottery for a festival booth space (only open to BA Member Breweries).
- Brewers may also “opt-in” to participate in a “Meet the Brewer” booth in the GABF Festival hall. Participation is limited.
- DIY Staffing! – Brewery booths in the “Meet the Brewer” hall must be entirely staffed by brewers, brewery owners, and other brewery staff. NO VOLUNTEER POURERS WILL BE PROVIDED. Volunteer captains will be assigned to assist with beer service operations, but volunteer pourers will not be assigned to these booths.
- Spread out! – Each brewery in this section will receive an 8 ft x 10 ft space (vs. the 6 ft x 10 ft spaces in other areas). Breweries will be arranged alphabetically rather than by geographic region.
- More Badges – each brewery participating in this portion of the festival will receive an additional 3 complimentary Brewery Representative badges for their staff, for a total of seven complimentary badges (and four more available for purchase, if needed)
Load in: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on Thursday for all in-line (non-endcap/sponsor) breweries.
Load Out: Saturday 10:00 pm – 11:30 pm | Sunday 8:00 am – 10:30 am see below for details.
Bringing smaller items? If you are bringing smaller items like banners, small boxes, promotional materials, etc. with you to the festival (anything you can hand carry in one trip) can be carried in through the Brewers Registration entrance and avoid the car/truck lines.
Dock Access Map and Instructions – For Breweries Bringing Lots of Stuff, structures, etc. – Coming Soon
Your Load In Region is shaded area on the attached map, and the loading dock is marked with a red arrow. Load in through the correct loading dock (Map Here)
For those of you familiar with the convention center, the right side of this map is the Champa Street side, the left side is Welton Street, top is Speer Blvd, and bottom is 14th Street.
- Islands 1 – 7 (Red Section) – Use the Welton Street Docks (Hall A Door Load-In)
- Islands 8 – 15 (Green Section) – Use the Champa Street Docks (Hall F Door Load-In)
- Islands 16 – 21 / 26 – 28 (Purple – All Meet the Brewer & some Standard Festival Booths) – Use the Champa Street Docks (Hall D Door Load-In)
- Islands 22 – 25 (Yellow section) – Use the Welton Street Docks (Hall C Door Load-In)
Each loading dock will have a dock shack/guard at the entrance. Check in with them and let them know you are dropping of for the GABF and they’ll put you in the queue to load in. Plan ahead and don’t show up at the last minute as load in on Thursday can get backed up and you may have to experience a wait to access the convention center.
Load Out – READ – Saturday night is your BEST option (No Joke – the longer you wait – Sunday morning at 10 am, for instance – the more sluggish, chaotic and painful load out will be – you’ve been warned)
Dock Access: Trucks/Cars must check in at the Dock Shack no later than 11:15 pm (same dock you used to load in – as above)
All cars/trucks must be off the docks by 11:45 pm on Saturday night / 11:45 am on Sunday Morning.
Prep before you get to the dock: Collect all of your booth materials at your booth space before bringing your car to the dock. Cars/Trucks will not be allowed to sit at the dock while you pack up your booth materials at your booth – have this done before you bring your vehicle.
- Load out Hours: 10:00 pm – 11:45 pm Saturday Night | 8:00 am – 11:45 am Sunday (at 11:45 am on Sunday – any materials left in the hall will be disposed of)
- Load out starts immediately after the festival ends on Saturday night – DO NOT LEAVE IMPORTANT ITEMS IN YOUR BOOTH SPACE ON SATURDAY NIGHT – volunteers tear the festival down quickly after it ends, and items left in booths have a tendency to disappear or get lost.
- The earlier you load out, the less mayhem you are bound to run into – Saturday night is best and it gets exponentially more nightmarish after 8 am on Sunday)