40,000 Celebrate 40th Anniversary Great American Beer Festival®

beer being poured into taster glass

High fives and cheers were plentiful as brewers and beer lovers celebrated the return of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and its 40th anniversary. After a two-year hiatus, the excitement was palpable at the nation’s largest ticketed beer festival.

Highlights included:

  • GABF Then & Now: The first GABF in 1982 featured 24 breweries and 47 beers. 40 years later, the 2022 edition showcased 500 breweries from 46 states plus Washington, D.C. with more than 2,000 different beers poured on the festival floor.
  • Participatory Entertainment: Attendees donned their best costumes, boogied on the dance floor, sang their favorite karaoke songs, enjoyed live music on the IKON Pass stage, and listened to brewers’ beery tales.
  • PAIRED®: Innovative craft beer and food combinations took center stage at PAIRED as 25 chef + brewer teams created a tasting menu that blew attendees’ palates. Unexpected dishes included Thai chicken meatballs, octopus tostada, and elephant heart plum cobbler with sweet corn ice cream.
  • Best in Class: The 36th edition of the GABF competition awarded 300 medals to the best beers in the nation, spanning 98 beer categories covering 177 different beer styles. In addition to 9,904 commercial brewery entries, the judging panel also evaluated 94 Collaboration and 35 Pro-Am entries.
  • Economic Impact: During the three-day festival, 40,000 beer lovers contributed an estimated $15.2 million to the Denver economy.

Save the Date for Great American Beer Festival 2023: September 21-23

*Source: Visit Denver

2022 Official numbers