I remember the urge to run. The long line that snaked along the side of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver dragged me in the building, up a wide flight of stairs and released me into the cavernous Great American Beer Festival—my first. I’m not sure what I was running to. I almost expected a lifeguard to yell, “No running!”
So I did the same straight-legged, hand flat down my sides speed walk that over-stimulated children do around a pool. I hustled to the first brewery I saw. Little did I know that the first beer sampled at Read More
The Great American Beer Festival got its start 36 years ago as just a part of the American Homebrewers Association‘s fourth annual conference. If the name is any indication, however, founder Charlie Papazian had grander ambitions for this remarkable event.
Peruse a copy of the 1982 Program (pdf)—complete with Charlie’s handwritten notes in the margins!
Great American Beer Festival Then and Now
Hours of Tasting
5 over 1 session
17.5 over 4 sessions
Breweries at the Festival
Beers at the Festival
Festival Hall Size
5,000 square feet
380,000 square feet
Familiar beers served in 1982 and still available today
Anchor Steam and Porter
Genesee Cream Ale
Killian’s Irish Red Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Read More
The 2017 Great American Beer Festival maps and breweries will be poured into your My GABF app soon, but first…
Save Your Favs
If you rated brews and breweries during the 2016 event, they’re saved in the current My GABF app. However, in a few weeks* your 2016 tasting notes will be going away so you’re going to need to back it up, back it up, back it waaaaay up!
Two Ways to Save
Under Extra Info (the “…” section) you can either
Connect the My GABF app with your Facebook account to save your data
Export your data into a CSV file and email it to yourself
For the 36th year, beer lovers will gather in Colorado at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the renowned American beer festival and competition, to find their #HoppyPlace and sample some 3,800 beers from more than 800 breweries around the country.
Thursday, October 5: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, October 6: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 7*: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
*Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members-only session
Did you know this year marks the 36th anniversary of the Great American Beer Festival?! Time flies when you’re enjoying delicious beer with friends! Here are some vintage photos from festivals in 1982 (the inaugural), 1983 and 1984. As you can see, hairstyles come and go (and come back!) but the joy of coming together to sample great American beer is constant …
In its 30th year, the 2016 Great American Beer Festival competition awarded 286 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of amateur homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing Read More
In a ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 96 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the country. Read More
The GABF Pro-Am competition, now in its 10th year, brings commercial breweries together with homebrewers to vie for top honors. This year, 91 entries from 26 states will battle for a place on the podium. The best part? You’ll get sample these top contenders!
Seasoned GABF goers know that some of the most unique beers in the entire festival are served at the Pro-Am booth—so be sure to stop by! (The booth is near Meet the Brewer.)
How the Competition Works
Brewers Association member breweries are eligible to submit one entry into the GABF Pro-Am competition. Entries must be based on a homebrew recipe from American Homebrewers Association (AHA) members that Read More