FAQ: Attendees

gabf volunteers

The Great American Beer Festival is America’s premier beer festival, professional competition, and cultural phenomenon.

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. Tasting sessions offer attendees the opportunity to tour America’s brewing landscape, one ounce at a time, with access to more than 1,500 different beers from over 500 of the nation’s finest breweries.

Where is the festival?

The festival takes place at the Colorado Convention Center. 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202

Are there any COVID-19 Vaccination or Mask Requirements for Entry?

As of June 1, 2022, there are no plans to impose restrictions on access to the festival, or to impose conditions such as mask or vaccine requirements. This is subject to change at any time, pending local, state, and federal guidelines. Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and its producer, the Brewers Association, are monitoring local, state, and federal guidelines and will adhere to those guidelines in force at the time of the event. Masks are always welcome. Ultimately it is up to everyone to decide for themselves whether to attend or how much to participate in the festival

How much are tickets?

Pricing information for the 2022 GABF will be posted to the Tickets page.

What are the future dates for the Great American Beer Festival?

Save these dates:
2022: October 6-8
2023: September 21-23
2024: October 10-12
2025: October 9-11
2026: October 8-10
2027: October 7-9

What’s the history of the Great American Beer Festival?

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.

Who puts on the Great American Beer Festival?

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.

When is the GABF Competition Awards Ceremony Livestream?

On Saturday, October 8, 2022 beginning at 10 AM MT. Streaming info to come.

What is the Member-Only Session & Who Can Attend?

Tickets to the session on Saturday, October 8, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm are only available to American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and Brewers Association members. Member-only session tickets must be purchased by an active member, but the ticketholders/attendees do not need to be members.
June 28, 2022, is the deadline to join the AHA for access to the member presale and to purchase tickets for this session.

GABF Official Numbers

2021 2020* 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Attendance n/a n/a 60,000 62,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 49,000 49,000 49,000
Breweries at the Festival n/a 1,100* 800 800 800 780 750 710 624 578
Beers at the Festival n/a n/a 4,000 4,000 3,900 3,800 3,800 3,500 3,142 2,774
Breweries in the Competition 2,192 1,720 2,295 2,404 2,217 1,752 1,552 1,309 732 673
Beers in the Competition 9,680 8,806 9,497 8,496 7,923 7,227 6,647 5,507 4,809 4,338
Categories Judged 97 91 107
+ Pro-Am
+ 70 Collaboration
102
+ Pro-Am
+ Collaboration
98
+ Pro-Am
96
+ Pro-Am
92
+ Pro-Am
90
+ Pro-Am
84
+ Pro-Am
84
+ Pro-Am
Number of Judges 170 115 322 293 276 264 242 222 201 185
Avg. Number of Beers in each Category 99.6 97 88 83 81 75 72 61 51 51
Category with Highest Entries Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale: 427 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
Medals Awarded 290 272 318 306 293 286 275 + 3 in Pro-Am 268 + 3 in Pro-Am 252 + 3 in Pro-Am 251 + 3 in Pro-Am
Volunteers 118 72 4,280 4,393 4,308 3,732 3,400 3,300 3,245 3,023
Volunteer Hours Worked 4,131 3,105 63,623 68,596 66,854 57,681 55,188 47,214 41,919 54,515
*The 2020 Festival was virtual and participating breweries offered beery deals through a nationwide passport program.