Each year, as the peak of summer starts to wane, a rumbling in the brewing community starts to bubble up nationwide. The source of the rumblings center around who is attending the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place in October each year in Denver, Colorado. Soon the list of participating breweries will be finalized, as the wait for ticket sales is coming to an end. Starting July 31st, public tickets will go on sale online.
This year marks the 31st annual Great American Beer Festival held in Denver Colorado on October 10-12. In the past three decades, it has grown from a small event hosting 22 breweries and 800 attendees into a premiere national beer party. In 2012, 578 US breweries served in the festival hall to nearly 50,000 attendees. It serves as the largest national festival in both variety of beer served as well as quantity, and is also the battleground for a behemoth of a brewing competition, with more than 4,000 brews judged last year.
The festival is broken down into three general public sessions, and one “members only session.” Each sessions rings up at $75, and designated driver tickets are available for $25 to ensure there is a safe ride home for all.
Members of the American Homebrewers Association and the Brewers Association have access to a special pre-sale which will begin Tuesday July 30th at 10:00 AM. Members will be permitted to buy up to four tickets with their 9-digit membership number at that time. Members may purchase tickets to any and all of the festival’s four sessions, while non-members are not permitted to purchase tickets to the Satuday afternoon session. At 10:00 on Wednesday, July 31, all remaining tickets will go on sale to the public until they sell out. Last year, the festival sold out in just 45 minutes during the public sale! In other words, if you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether or not to purchase that $38 annual AHA membership, now is probably the time to do it just to make sure you’ll be able to snag GABF tickets.
For the lucky brew-lovers able to snag tickets, here are some things to look forward to during the 2013 GABF:
- An expanded brewpub pavilion that last year hosted 24 brewpubs, all serving up their signature beers and bites. We can’t wait to see how many more are added in 2013 to feature these smaller brewery-restaurants.
- Two new competition categories:
- Grodzisz—This straw-colored ale packs a punch with bold flavor derived from oak wood-smoked wheat malt. Originally a Polish style, Grodzisz is a crisp, light-bodied beer that rarely exceeds 3.7% ABV.
- Adambier—A dark beer that hails from Dortmund, this ale has more unusual flavors than its lighter-colored kin. Adambier may be aged in barrels to achieve a slight Brettanomyces or lactic character, which, combined with an ABV ranging from 9%-11%, makes for a full-bodied beer.
- A new and improved GABF mobile app to help you plan your Great American Beer-venture each day of the event.
- Many specialized pavilions focusing on local brews, craft beer & food, and even a Brewers Studio that showcases the stories of the brewers bringing the beer.
The ladies of Bitch Beer are way excited to take part in the festivities this year, and for good reason. Take a look at some of the revelry from Bitch Beer’s tour at last year’s festival.