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.
The Great American Beer Festival takes place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Please visit Hotels for accommodations and Getting Here for public transportation, driving and parking information.
- What are the future dates for the Great American Beer Festival?
- Where is the festival?
- Why visit the Great American Beer 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?
- Is the Great American Beer Festival like a giant bar?
- Great American Beer Festival by the Numbers
- How much are tickets?
- Do you accept credit cards or checks?
- What are the session times?
- Where can I buy my ticket?
- What do I get for the price of my ticket?
- Will there be festival merchandise for sale?
Save these dates:
- 2020: October 16-17
- 2021: October 7-9
- 2022: October 6-8
- 2023: September 21-23
2020 festival details are still being finalized, but we plan to offer a compelling, schedule of virtual experiences and live activations across the country. Complete festival and ticket details will be announced August 1.
The Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in the format of a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. This event showcases the diverse beers that make craft brewing one of the fastest-growing segments of the beer, wine and spirits industry. GABF was founded in 1982, and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since. The Great American Beer Festival is listed as one of the top 1,000 places in the U.S. to visit before you die.
- 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.
The Great American Beer Festival is the American brewing industry’s top public tasting opportunity and competition. Tasting sessions will 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.
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.
The goal of the Great American Beer Festival is to allow attendees to taste a variety of new brands and different styles of beer. To allow guests to taste American craft beer, samples are poured in one-ounce tasting portions.
GABF Official Numbers
|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|
See the tickets page for pricing information.
|2020 Information coming soon||Session Times|
|Friday, October 16||TBD|
|Saturday, October 17||TBD|
2020 Ticket information coming soon. Please check back. You must be 21+ years old with a valid photo ID to attend the festival.
2020 Ticket information coming soon. Please check back.
Yes! If you love the Great American Beer Festival and want to ensure it remains a permanent and vital player on the national and local events scene and supporter of craft beer for years to come, beer lovers will be able to purchase a special collector’s edition GABF 2020 t-shirt and support the not-for-profit association that produces the festival. Details coming soon.