So you've got the tickets, the hotel and even scouted your way to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival - are you ready?! If you haven't done any of these yet, it may be time to start thinking of your plan.
No ticket? You can try your luck with the classifieds section of the AHA Forum (American Homebrewers Association) or the Great American Beer Festival Facebook Page.
No hotel? Ask a friend or family member! If you don't have those available either, you may need to start looking at hotels farther from the event.
Not sure how to get there? There is available parking at the Colorado Convention Center but our advice would be trying public transportation options. See the travel section of the GABF website for more information.
The Great American Beer Festival was established in 1982 and has continuously grown since. However, it is not all about the unlimited samples of excellent beers, but also a competition for breweries to enter and their beers to be judged. There will be a Professional Judge Panel that will do blind tastings (meaning they do not know the brewery/brand it came from) and select the ones that best illustrate each brew category. In the end, they will award gold, silver or bronze medals to the top three brews of each style. These awards are held as "among the most coveted in the industry". Lucky for those of you at home, you will find beers featured in our Craft Beer of the month Club that hold one or even multiple medals from the Great American Beer Festival!
You can also find a handful of our Featured Breweries who have booths this year. If you're already a member of the Original Craft Beer Club and want to taste more beers from a featured brewery, or are interested in tasting some beers from before you joined, make sure to stop by and say hi. If you're not a member yet, visit some of the featured breweries that are attending the festival to get a feel of our high standards of quality for the beers we choose.*
Featured Breweries attending GABF, listed by section: **
• 40 - Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.
• 166 - Crazy Mountain Brewing Co.
• A2 - Lancaster Brewing Co.
• A13 - Evil Genius Beer Co.
• B13 - Spider Bite Beer Co.
• B15 - Sly Fox Brewing Co.
• B28 - North Country Brewing Co.
• C2 - Blue Blood Brewing Co.
• D1 - Atwater Brewery
• F8 - Sprecher Brewing Co.
• F27 - Upland Brewing Co.
• F29 - Two Brothers Brewing Co.
• I20 - Santa Fe Brewing Co.
• I21 - Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
• I23 - Real Ale Brewing Co.
• J15 - Foothills Brewing / Cottonwood Brewing
• J21 - RJ Rockers Brewing Co.
• L10 - Bootlegger's Brewery
• L19 - Calicraft Brewing Co.
• M2 - Mad River Brewing
• N33 - Sierra Blanca Brewing Co.
• O16 - Blackstone Brewing Co.
• P24 - Jack's Abby Brewing
• Q13 - Diamond Bear Brewing Co.
• S8 - Boulder Beer Co.
• U2 - Wynkoop Brewing Co.
• V8 - Sixpoint Brewery
• V28 - Lakefront Brewery
• X1 - Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub
• X11 - Durango Brewing Co.
• X25 - Grand Teton Brewing Co.
• Y15 - Payette Brewing Co.
• Y23 - Prost Brewing Co.
• Y33 - Snake River Brewing Co.
• Z1 - Uinta Brewing Co.
Enjoy and please drink responsibly!
PS. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for images and live stories from the festival.
*Breweries may not have the same featured brew style available at their booth.
**Breweries are subject to change
***Images sourced from the Great American Beer Festival Facebook page