The biggest beer fest in the US is gearing up for another epic weekend in Denver. The 2013 Great American Beer Festival takes place Thursday to Saturday, October 10 to12 and tickets go on sale next week. Last year’s 49,000-plus spots sold out within just a few minutes, so it’s worth making advance plans if you want to get in on this year’s fun.
Tickets are $75 each, and can be purchased for a 5:30–10 PM session on any of the three event nights. During those four and a half hours, you’ll have the opportunity to sample more than 2800 beers from around the country, from well-known craft pioneers like Victory and 21st Amendment to more obscure microbreweries that don’t distribute out of state. There’s also a Farm to Table Pavilion on both Thursday and Friday nights that you can attend for an additional $75.
The general public gets a chance to buy online (limit: four tickets per person) through Ticketmaster on Wednesday, July 2013 starting at 10 a.m. Mountain Time (that’s noon EDT, 9 a.m. PDT). Last year, there were a bunch of issues with the website and users not getting through — basically none of the organizers expected demand to be so huge. The Brewers Association assures us that Ticketmaster has assured them those problems will not happen this time around.
If you want an extra leg up, you have until midnight on Friday, July 26, to become a member of either the American Homebrewers Association ($38 per year) or the Brewers Association ($155+ per year). Members will get access to a special day early pre-sale that kicks off online at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on Tuesday, July 30. Members also have the opportunity to attend a special members-only festival session from noon-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 12.
We went to GABF last year and had a great time — for being so huge, the event is very well organized and curated, and lines for beer move quickly. There’s also plenty of entertainment, both on the show floor and throughout Denver, which turns into even more of a beer mecca for the fest. We wish everyone luck on getting your tickets!
Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation
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