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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.
- 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?
- 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:
- 2021: Fall
- 2022: October 6-8
- 2023: September 21-23
In 2020, 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 GABF virtual programming, October 16-17. Online content will include interactive events such as Brewers Studio happy hours, tastings, and interviews with brewers from around the country.
- 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.
In 2020, 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, 2020.
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 2020 GABF Festival Passport includes:
- October 1-18: Access to beery deals at participating festival breweries nationwide. Final list of deals will be published September 15.
- October 16-17: Invitation to exclusive online content during the GABF virtual program. Don’t miss this all-star schedule of brewers and breweries providing inspiration and entertainment one sip at a time.
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, 2020.
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||5:00 p.m. MT – 6:50 p.m. MT||GABF Competition Awards Ceremony|
|Friday, October 16||6:50 p.m. MT – 10:00 p.m. MT||Five unique sessions with sponsored breaks|
|Saturday, October 17||5:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. MT||Five unique sessions with sponsored breaks|
|Saturday, October 17||9:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. MT||GABF Closing Ceremonies|
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||1,100||800||800||800||780||750||710||624||578||466||455|
|Beers at the Festival||n/a||4,000||4,000||3,900||3,800||3,800||3,500||3,142||2,774||2,375||2,248|
|Breweries in the Competition||1,720||2,295||2,404||2,217||1,752||1,552||1,309||732||673||522||516|
|Beers in the Competition||8,806||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||115||322||293||276||264||242||222||201||185||167||151|
|Avg. Number of Beers in each Category||97||88||83||81||75||72||61||51||51||48||42|
|Category with Highest Entries||Juicy or Hazy IPA: 377||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||272||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||3,105||63,623||68,596||66,854||57,681||55,188||47,214||41,919||54,515||52,075||43,679|