Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation.
GABF was founded in 1982, and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since.
Due to the global health pandemic, the 2020 festival will look different as it moves online. Learn more here.
- What are the future dates for the Great American Beer Festival?
- Where is the festival?
- What’s the history of the Great American Beer Festival?
- What is the Great American Beer Festival?
- Who puts on the Great American Beer Festival?
- How much are tickets?
- Where can I buy my GABF Festival Passport?
- What do I get for the price of my GABF Festival Passport?
- Does the GABF Festival Passport include a shipment of beer?
- When will I get my GABF Festival Passport?
- Will there be festival merchandise for sale?
- What does the GABF Commemorative t-shirt look like?
- How does the GABF Commemorative t-shirt fit?
- When will t-shirts ship?
- What is your return policy on t-shirts?
- Will there be a collectible tasting glass?
- Are there any promotions available to members?
- What and when are the sessions?
- Why is the 2020 Great American Beer Festival virtual?
- Great American Beer Festival Official Numbers
Save these dates:
- 2020: October 16-17
- 2021: October 7-9
- 2022: October 6-8
- 2023: September 21-23
This year, the Festival comes to you both virtually and locally through a nationwide “passport” program.
Between October 1-18, Great American Beer Festival passport holders will have exclusive access to beery deals at participating festival breweries nationwide and access to exclusive online content during the virtual festival, October 16-17. Online content will include interactive events such as Brewers Studio happy hours, tastings, and interviews with brewers from around the country.
Participating breweries will be published on a rolling basis beginning July 15. Complete festival details will be published mid-August.
- The first festival was held in 1982 at the Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. There were 24 breweries, 47 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 and the fact that the iconic Currigan Hall was being dismantled, the festival 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 2014 event sold out in just over four hours.
In a typical, non-pandemic year, the Great American Beer Festival is the American brewing industry’s top public tasting opportunity and competition. Tasting sessions offer attendees the opportunity to tour America’s brewing landscape, one ounce at a time, with access to more than 4,000 different beers from over 800 of the nation’s finest breweries. The GABF gathers practically every type of beer from all of the regions of the country, and are arranged alphabetically in the festival hall. The festival allows visitors to taste the largest number and the widest variety of hand-crafted products in the American beer industry. Due to the global health pandemic, the 2020 festival will look different as it moves online. Learn more here.
The Great American Beer Festival has been held every year since 1982 and is presented by the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit educational and trade organization that is devoted to making quality brewing and beer information available to anyone. The Brewers Association also promotes and protects American craft beer, American craft brewers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association serves craft brewers and homebrewers and produces bi-monthly magazines and books about the brewing industry.
This year, your “ticket” is a digital GABF Festival Passport. See the tickets page for pricing information.
Festival Passports are exclusively for sale on our website and will be emailed to attendees September 24.
With the purchase of the GABF Festival Passport, the holder acknowledges that participants must be of legal age to consume alcoholic beverages in the United States and agrees to the Festival Passport Terms of Service listed on our site.
The $20 digital GABF Festival Passport includes:
- October 1-18: Enjoy beery deals at participating festival breweries nationwide
- October 16-17: Get access to exclusive online content during the virtual festival. We’re still finalizing the schedule but content will include, fun, interactive events such as Brewers Studio happy hours, tastings and interviews with brewers from around the country. The complete virtual festival schedule will be announced mid-August.
July 15: Participating breweries will be published on a rolling basis
September 15: Complete list of brewery deals published
Unlike other virtual beer festivals, the GABF Festival Passport is a digital savings book. It will feature savings from participating breweries and does not involve shipping any product.
Virtual Festival Passport will be emailed to attendees September 24.
Yes! We’re offering a 2020 GABF commemorative tee for $35. Available in unisex and ladies fit. Price includes standard shipping within U.S.
- Available by pre-order only
- August 13, 2020: T-shirt order deadline
- September 24: Shirts start shipping
Your purchase supports the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit organization that produces the festival and champions the craft breweries you love.
Purchase the Festival Experience (Passport + T-Shirt) for $49 and save.
T-shirts are available in two styles and colors: unisex (vintage royal blue) and ladies fit (smoke grey). The front of the shirt features the GABF logo and text along with “Brewnited”—this year’s theme. The back of shirt, near the nape, includes the GABF logo along with Special Edition Oct. 16-17, 2020.
T-shirts will start shipping via USPS standard mail on September 24, 2020.
Check out the measurements below (in inches) for the unisex shirt and ladies shirt.
|LADIES FIT, INCHES||XS||S||M||L||XL||2XL|
T-shirts are made to order and all sales are final. No exchanges, refunds, or returns.
Stay tuned—we are working an option to keep your collection complete!
From June 26-July 10, American Homebrewers Associaton (AHA) members get $5 off the purchase of a GABF Festival Passport+T-Shirt with an exclusive promo code. The code was emailed to members on June 26 and can be found in the AHA Member Profile.
Join the American Homebrewers Association by July 10 and find your promotional code in your account profile after you join.
During the virtual festival, October 16-17, GABF Festival Passport holders will have access to exclusive online content including Brewers Studio happy hours, tastings and interviews with brewers from around the country. Details will be published mid-August.
|Friday, October 16||TBD||Details announced mid-August|
|Friday, October 16||5:00 p.m. MT||GABF Competition Awards Ceremony|
|Saturday, October 17||TBD||Details announced mid-August|
The health and safety of our attendees, brewers, volunteers, judges, and employees is and always has been our top priority. As the world is still greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to be affected for the foreseeable future, we must stay true to our priorities and pursue other ways to host GABF. Read the announcement here.
|Breweries at the Festival||800||800||800||780||750||710||624||578||466||455|
|Beers at the Festival||4,000||4,000||3,900||3,800||3,800||3,500||3,142||2,774||2,375||2,248|
|Breweries in the Competition||2,295||2,404||2,217||1,752||1,552||1,309||732||673||522||516|
|Beers in the Competition||9,497||8,496||7,923||7,227||6,647||5,507||4,809||4,338||3,930||3,523|
+ 70 Collaboration
|Number of Judges||322||293||276||264||242||222||201||185||167||151|
|Avg. Number of Beers in each Category||88||83||81||75||72||61||51||51||48||42|
|Category with Highest Entries||Juicy or Hazy IPA: 348||Juicy or Hazy IPA: 391||American-Style India Pale Ale: 408||American-Style India Pale Ale: 312||American-Style India Pale Ale: 336||American-Style India Pale Ale: 279||American-Style India Pale Ale: 252||American-Style India Pale Ale: 203||American-Style India Pale Ale: 176||American-Style India Pale Ale: 150|
|Medals Awarded||318||306||293||286||275 + 3 in Pro-Am||268 + 3 in Pro-Am||252 + 3 in Pro-Am||251 + 3 in Pro-Am||248 + 3 in Pro-Am||236 + 3 in Pro-Am|
|Volunteer Hours Worked||63,623||68,596||66,854||57,681||55,188||47,214||41,919||54,515||52,075||43,679|