Breweries scramble to register for GABF, which plans to increase in size in 2013

Categories: Beer Man

Trinity Brewing Facebook page
Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs posted its list of GABF entries online.
Update 2: Brewers Association spokeswoman Barbara Fusco says the organization had alerted its members that registration would sell out fast, but they weren't sure exactly how fast.

"Everything is going gangbusters in craft brewing right now, and registering for the festival is no exception. Last year, it was just under two days. This year, it was just under two hours," she says. "We always encourage breweries to sign up for the waiting list, though, because there is always some level of attrition every year."

She said that registration problems that some breweries may have had online were likely the result of one of the association's servers experiencing difficulties.

Although registration is closed, the association doesn't yet know exactly how many breweries will end up pouring in the hall this year, she adds. There will probably be more than 600 in attendance, however, up from a revised total of 578 last year.

Update 1: Brewery registration for the Great American Beer Festival has now sold out, meaning that breweries that didn't get it done this morning will have to sign up for the waiting list.

Registration opened today for breweries who want to be part of the Great American Beer Festival, which returns to Denver on October 10-12, but because registration sold out in just two days last year, beer makers are scurrying to submit their information.

As a result, the website for the Boulder-based Brewers Association, the national trade group that hosts GABF every year in Denver, was overloaded this morning. A few breweries around the country are expressing frustration via social media about the web site problems, but the BA is encouraging them to be patient and try again.

See also:
- Fort Collins and Funkwerks step up in a down year for Colorado GABF medals
- "Stand your ground and pour": How Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver saved GABF
- The 2012 #GABF will have a stunning 114 more breweries than last year

The Brewers Association is advisting breweries to stay calm.
Several breweries were shut out last year despite that fact that GABF organizers upped the number of breweries to 580 in 2012, a whopping 23 percent increase over the previous year and the highest number of breweries ever included at the festival.

The number is expected to rise even higher in 2013.

Brewers Association spokesman Barbara Fusco couldn't immediately be reached about the web site problems or the GABF brewery cap, but she said in an earlier email to Westword that, "Yes, to reflect the growth in the number of breweries around the country, we are once again looking to make some floor plan changes that will allow us to accommodate additional participating breweries."

So far, several Colorado brewers have told followers on Twitter and Facebook that they have picked their beers or registered successfully. They include Trinity, Hogshead, Caution, Vertboten, Front Range Brewing, Echo, Arvada Beer, Lone Tree Brewing, Pateros Creek, Brewery Rickoli and Strange Brewing.

Tickets to attend GABF will go on sale to the general public on July 31.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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My Voice Nation Help

After attending the past 7 years, last year was my last. It started out a really cool funky festival now it's becoming ridiculously hipster with emphasis on getting as wasted as possible in 4 hour time span. Colorado is offering more and more beer festivals and I've discovered some really great beers that otherwise would've never made it in to GABF with a more intimate crowd.

Ryan Terpstra
Ryan Terpstra

GABF perhaps needs to stop focusing solely on becoming bigger...and perhaps focus a little more on the issues being presented to them by the attending breweries and patrons.


@Skinney85 Welp, don't let the Convention Center door hit you in the ass on the way out.

I agree that there's plenty of festivals around but GABF is a blast and if you're willing to shell out $75 to get as drunk as possible then you're an idiot. I can assure you I was not trying to get as drunk as possible last year, it just came naturally from wanting to try so many beers.

Oh and nice use of the overused "hipster" insult. So if young people are within a 5 block radius it's too "hipster", eh?

Mantonat topcommenter

@Ryan Terpstra I thought this part was pretty funny: "Tickets to attend GABF will go on sale to the general public on July 31." 

"General public" might be a stretch considering that the online tickets sell out in a couple of minutes.


@Ryan Terpstra exactly. all the festival organizers see is dollar signs. just keep jacking the prices and the attendance. never mind what that translates to for the experience of both the attendees and breweries. people are paying more every year to stand in line for the first 30, 45 or 60 minutes of their ticket time.

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