FAQ: Attendees

gabf volunteers

The Great American Beer Festival is America’s premier beer festival, professional competition, and cultural phenomenon.

Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. Tasting sessions offer attendees the opportunity to tour America’s brewing landscape, one ounce at a time, with access to thousands of different beers from hundreds of the nation’s finest breweries.


How much are tickets?

Pricing information is available on the Tickets page.

How many tickets can I purchase?

– Tickets are sold per session, with a maximum of 16 tickets per transaction.
– Each session is a separate event and tickets must be purchased in separate transactions.

Where is my member presale code?

By July 7, a unique AXS presale code will be provided to members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and Brewers Association (BA). Members enter their presale code on AXS.com or in the AXS Mobile App to access tickets on July 11 at 10:00 a.m. to July 12 at 8:00 a.m.
AHA “Account Overview”
BA “Manage My Account”
Members will also receive an email with their presale code on Monday, July 10.

Where can I purchase tickets?

Tickets are only sold via AXS.com or the AXS mobile app.

Where can I get assistance from AXS?

Sounds like this might be best addressed directly by AXS. Their customer service number is 888-929-7849

Is ticket insurance available?

Ticket insurance is a service offered by AXS. Please contact them directly with any questions.

When will I get my tickets?

Tickets will be delivered within 24 hours of purchase. There is a transfer hold in place for up to two weeks while over-the-limit purchases are reviewed by AXS.

Where can I sell my tickets?

The AXS Official Resale is a safe place to buy, sell and transfer tickets. Only purchase tickets from authorized sellers via AXS. Learn more: https://support.axs.com/hc/en-us

What are the ticket terms of use?

Holder voluntarily assumes all risk and danger incidental to the event for which this ticket is issued, whether occurring prior to, during or after the event. Ticket Holder knowingly and freely assumes all such risks related to illness and infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Holder voluntarily agrees the Brewers Association sponsors of the event, and the venue are expressly released by holder from any claims for injuries or death arising from holder’s participation in and the travel to and from this event. The ticket may not be resold or offered for resale in a manner or at a price in violation of any federal, state or local laws or regulations. Holder grants permission to Brewers Association and sponsors of the event to utilize any photographs, motion pictures, videotapes, recordings and any other references or records of the Great American Beer Festival(R) that may depict, record or refer to holder for any purpose, including commercial, by the Great American Beer Festival, its sponsors, the venue and their licensees. Holder acknowledges that the event may be broadcast or otherwise publicized, and hereby grants permission to utilize holder’s image or likeness in connection with any live or recorded transmission or reproduction of such event in printed photographs or online transmissions.
By purchasing this ticket Holder acknowledges that they will receive pertinent and marketing communications from one or more organizations or web properties under the Brewers Association. If you do not want to receive these communications, you can unsubscribe or customize your level of interest through the Brewers Association’s email service at the bottom of any communication based on the email on file. The complete privacy policy can be viewed at GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.
By using this ticket, Holder (i) consents to allowing event security staff to inspect their person and any bags, clothing, or other articles for security purposes, whether by walk-through metal detection, handheld metal detection, bag checks or otherwise and (ii) acknowledges and agrees that Holder may be denied entry to or ejected from the event if Holder is in possession of any item or object that is considered potentially dangerous, hazardous, inappropriate and/or potentially injurious to other patrons, and any prohibited items may be confiscated.
This ticket cannot be replaced if lost, stolen or destroyed and is valid only for the date and event for which it is issued. This ticket is not redeemable for cash. It is unlawful to reproduce this ticket in any form. Unlawful resale is grounds for seizure and cancellation without compensation. There is no re-entry into the facility.
Holder agrees admission to the event is restricted to individuals age 21 years or older. Proof of age is required for admission. No outside beverages allowed. Purchase tickets only from authorized outlets.

At the Festival

What is the Saturday afternoon Member Session & who can attend?

American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and Brewers Association members have first access to purchase tickets to the Member Session (Saturday, September 23, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm) during the presale.
– During the presale, tickets must be purchased by an active member, but the ticketholders/attendees do not need to be members.

Will there be a line to get in?

Many beer enthusiasts line up well in advance for the festival, and there will most likely be a line at the entrance to the Great American Beer Festival. An ID check and security screening are required of all who enter the festival. The line will move quickly if you have your ID out to make the age verification process run smoothly.
You must be 21+ with a valid photo ID to enter the festival.

Where is the General Admission ticket holder & accessible entrance?

General admission ticket holders enter at Welton Street. You must be 21+ with a valid photo ID to enter the festival.
See map for accessibility at the Colorado Convention Center.

Do VIP Experience ticket holders have a unique entrance?

Yes, VIP Experience (PAIRED) ticket holders can enter at 14th Street by the Blue Bear and proceed forward, down the ramp towards the Bellco Theatre down the main concourse. Once inside, PAIRED + GABF ticket holders can freely go between PAIRED and the Great American Beer Festival.
VIP Experience ticket holders can also enter at the Great American Beer Festival general entrance.

Where is the IKON Pass Holder Entrance?

Ready to shred? Head to the First Tracks lane located at the Welton Street entrance alongside the general admission entry. Flash your Ikon Pass for access. (Note: Must be an actual pass or your pass image on the Ikon Pass app. A photo of your pass or a screenshot will not be accepted. Pass grants entry for pass holder only.

Will there be festival merchandise for sale?

Official Great American Beer Festival merchandise will be available in Hall D, find all sorts of souvenirs. There is something for everyone! Major credit cards are accepted, but no cash or personal checks. Brewery merchandise will not be sold. If any merchandise is available after the festival, it will be sold online.

Can breweries run out of beer?

Occasionally, a brewery will run out of a certain beer. The beer may be overly popular with the festival crowd. Luckily, there are thousands of other beers to sample!

Will there be any gluten-free beers available?

Yep! The festival’s gluten-free and gluten-reduced options grow in number each year. Be sure to check the beer listings on the GABF website ahead of time and plan your adventure.

Will beverages beyond beer be served?

Brewers are constantly experimenting with new ingredients and flavors and bringing their favorites to GABF. In addition to beers that are recognized in the 2023 GABF Style Categories will be served, some breweries may elect to pour other beverages they make and also serve hard seltzer, cider, kombucha, or mead. Wine and distilled spirits will not be served. Be sure to check the beer listings and beverage list on the GABF website and plan your tasting adventure!

Will there be any non-alcoholic beers available?

Yes! Some breweries will be pouring them on the festival floor. Check the beer listings to locate them and sample! 
Complimentary water stations are provided.
There will be a variety of food, water, and sodas available for purchase onsite.

Can I bring a water bottle and where are the water stations?

Keeping hydrated is a major part of attending any festival! Great American Beer Festival has made the commitment to provide FREE water stations during each session.
You will be able to bring an empty, CLEAR, reusable, plastic water bottle up to 32 oz. into the Colorado Convention Center, which may be filled for free at the water stations. Glass bottles are prohibited.
All water stations will be easily identifiable on festival maps and with onsite signage.

Will there be food available?

There will be a variety of food, water, and sodas available for purchase onsite. This includes food trucks, as well as a selection of other concessions.

Will there be a coat/backpack check? 

There will not be a coat check and lockers are not available for rent. Backpacks are not permitted in the festival, so please plan accordingly.

Do I need to bring my ticket?

Guests must possess a valid ticket (on a mobile device or printed) at all times. Guests unable to produce a ticket may be ejected from the event without a refund.
Guests who attempt to “sneak” into the facility may be arrested and cited for evasion of admission.
These policies and procedures are subject to change and update at any time.

Can I bring my child?

All attendees must be 21 or older with a valid form of identification and a ticket issued by AXS.
Parents: Enjoy a night out!

Which items are prohibited? 

View poster of Approved & Prohibited Items
GABF Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:
– Animals (excluding certified service animals)
– Airhorns
– Backpacks of any kind (i.e. a multi-compartment/multi-strap bag) suitcases, large beach bags, etc. This includes clear backpacks.
– Balloons and drones
– Inflatable/blow-up costumes, full facemasks, and any prop that resembles a weapon
– Flags or signs larger than 4’x5′
– Glass, cans, coolers, steins of any kind
– Hazardous materials, chemicals, fireworks, smoke bombs, etc.
– Illegal drugs
– Metal water bottles (clear, plastic water bottles permitted)
– Outside alcohol
– Outside food/beverages (excluding items for health reasons and pretzel necklaces, of course)
– Scooters, skateboards, skates, roller shoes, hoverboards, etc.
– Smoking (including the use of e-cigarettes or vape pens) inside the Convention Center
– Strollers, wagons, and chairs
– Weapons (i.e. knives, pepper spray, stun guns, any concealed weapons, firearms, etc.)
– Unapproved pamphlets, handouts, advertisements, etc.
– Other items as determined by facility management
Event management reserves the right to handle each occurrence on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the item, the guest may either be asked to remove the item from the facility or dispose of the item, or may be ejected from the facility. All bags, jackets, and guests are subject to search upon entering the event. Items that have varying policies include cameras, video/audio recording equipment, and signs/flags/banners/posters. Lockers and other onsite storage are not available.

What can I wear with my costume?

Inflatable/blow-up costumes, full facemasks, and any prop that resembles a weapon or is suspect is prohibited. Event management reserves the right to handle each occurrence on a case-by-case basis.

Will there be still photography? 

Guests are welcome to bring personal cameras to the event. 
Professional photography access is determined on a case-by-case basis by event management. See Media Access

Are there metal detectors?

All attendees (ticketholders, brewers, media, etc.) will be asked to go through a walk-through metal detector, similar to the units used at all major U.S. airports and professional stadiums and arenas. Backpacks are prohibited for this event, and all items are subject to screening. The added security precaution represents GABF’s ongoing approach to balancing safety and fun.

What are the transportation and hotel options?

Public transportation is always recommended when drinking alcohol. We would like to offer a few alternate options. Be sure to check out the Getting Here page! 
– Stay at a downtown hotel and take a taxi or walk. Taxis will be available after all sessions. 
– There is a Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus stop a few blocks from the Convention Center, and the buses run until 1:00 am. 
– Denver’s Light Rail is also a convenient option. There is ample parking at the Cinderella City Station (located at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Hampden Avenue). The Light Rail stops directly in front of the Convention Center. 
Designated Driver tickets are available. 
– Looking to see the city by bike? Denver B-Cycle offers short-term bike share rentals at dozens of stations around the city, including one right by the Colorado Convention Center. Please do not drink and ride!

Can I get driving directions?

Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street (14th and Stout Streets), Denver, Colorado 80202. 
Also see Getting Here

What are parking options?

Parking is available at the Colorado Convention Center parking garage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is re-entry available?

No. The Great American Beer Festival has a no re-entry policy. Please plan accordingly.

What is the smoking policy?

The Colorado Convention Center is a non-smoking facility. A designated smoking area is located on the loading docks just off the festival hall. Vape pens must be used in the designated smoking area.

How are intoxicated guests managed?

All guests of the Great American Beer Festival are expected to drink responsibly and ensure they have a safe, responsible means of transportation before leaving the facility. Any guest who is intoxicated before entering the event may be denied entry to the facility. Any guest found intoxicated within the event and causing a disturbance, as determined by management, will be asked to leave the facility without a refund and may be subject to further consequences.

What are the marketing guidelines?

No unapproved marketing will be allowed at the Great American Beer Festival. This includes, but is not limited to:
– Unauthorized distribution of literature, business cards, flyers, handouts, pamphlets, other written forms, etc.
– Chanting or shouting words associated with commercial advertising.
– Possessing signs/flags/banners/posters displaying words or pictures associated with commercial advertising.
All cases are subject to review and decision by event management. Guests found to be marketing as determined by management may be subject to ejection. Guests found passing out literature or any written forms of unauthorized marketing will be asked to collect all pieces of marketing handed out and dispose of them in the trash or recycling. Any additional pieces of marketing found make the guest/marketing company subject to being billed for cleanup costs. Guests/companies repeatedly found marketing on the property may be cited with trespassing.

Are there any COVID-19 vaccination or mask requirements for entry?

As of June 1, 2023, there are no plans to impose restrictions on access to the festival, or to impose conditions such as mask or vaccine requirements. This is subject to change at any time, pending local, state, and federal guidelines. Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and its producer, the Brewers Association, are monitoring local, state, and federal guidelines and will adhere to those guidelines in force at the time of the event. Masks are always welcome. Ultimately it is up to everyone to decide for themselves whether to attend or how much to participate in the festival.

Can my band perform at GABF?

Each session features live music, and if you’re in a band, we’d love to hear from you! Email us with your contact information and we’ll be in touch.

Can my business have a booth at GABF?

Please contact our sponsorship team for information about vendor booths.


Where is the festival?

The festival takes place at the Colorado Convention Center. 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202

When is the next Great American Beer Festival?

Save these dates:
2024: October 10-12
2025: October 9-11
2026: October 8-10
2027: October 7-9

What’s the history of the Great American Beer Festival?

The first festival was held in 1982 at the Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. There were 24 breweries, 47 beers, and 800 attendees.
The festival moved to Denver in 1984.
The 10th festival was held at the Denver Merchandise Mart with 150 breweries, 500 beers, and 7,000 attendees.
Due to continued growth and popularity and the fact that the iconic Currigan Hall was being dismantled, the festival moved from Currigan Hall in Denver to the Colorado Convention Center in 2000.

What can I expect at the Great American Beer Festival?

The Great American Beer Festival (GABF™) is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. GABF brings together the brewers and beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. GABF was founded in 1982, and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since. The Great American Beer Festival is listed as one of the top 1,000 places in the U.S. to visit before you die and is ranked among the best beer festivals in the United States.
The festival allows visitors to taste the widest variety of hand-crafted products in the American beer industry in one-ounce samples.

Who puts on the Great American Beer Festival?

The Great American Beer Festival has been held every year since 1982 and is presented by the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit educational and trade organization that is devoted to making quality brewing and beer information available to anyone. The Brewers Association also promotes and protects American craft beer, American craft brewers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association serves craft brewers and homebrewers and produces books, educational resources and bi-monthly magazines and books about brewing and about the brewing industry.

When is the GABF Competition Awards Ceremony Livestream?

On Saturday, September 23, 2023, beginning at 10 AM MT. Streaming info to come.

If I don’t homebrew, what can I do with an AHA membership?

One of the best benefits of being an American Homebrewers Association member is using your membership card to get discounts at breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars across the country through AHA Member Deals. Depending on the laws of your state, discounts may be on beer, food, homebrewing supplies, and more. We know you love beer and have likely already visited the great establishments involved in the program. More than 2,500 businesses offer AHA Member Deals. Browse the list of participating locations

GABF Official Numbers

2022 2021 2020* 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Attendance 40,000 n/a n/a 60,000 62,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 49,000 49,000 49,000
Breweries at the Festival 500 n/a 1,100* 800 800 800 780 750 710 624 578
Beers at the Festival 2,000 n/a n/a 4,000 4,000 3,900 3,800 3,800 3,500 3,142 2,774
Breweries in the Competition 2,154 2,192 1,720 2,295 2,404 2,217 1,752 1,552 1,309 732 673
Beers in the Competition 9,904 9,680 8,806 9,497 8,496 7,923 7,227 6,647 5,507 4,809 4,338
Categories Judged 98
+ Pro-Am
+ Collaboration
97 91 107
+ Pro-Am
+ Collaboration
+ Pro-Am
+ Collaboration
+ Pro-Am
+ Pro-Am
+ Pro-Am
+ Pro-Am
+ Pro-Am
+ Pro-Am
Number of Judges 235 170 115 322 293 276 264 242 222 201 185
Avg. Number of Beers in each Category 99 99.6 97 88 83 81 75 72 61 51 51
Category with Highest Entries American Style India Pale Ale: 423 entries Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale: 427 Juicy or Hazy IPA: 377 Juicy or Hazy IPA: 348 Juicy or Hazy IPA: 391 American-Style India Pale Ale: 408 American-Style India Pale Ale: 312 American-Style India Pale Ale: 336 American-Style India Pale Ale: 279 American-Style India Pale Ale: 252 American-Style India Pale Ale: 203
Medals Awarded 300 290 272 318 306 293 286 275 + 3 in Pro-Am 268 + 3 in Pro-Am 252 + 3 in Pro-Am 251 + 3 in Pro-Am
Volunteers 2,500 118 72 4,280 4,393 4,308 3,732 3,400 3,300 3,245 3,023
Volunteer Hours Worked 42,500 4,131 3,105 63,623 68,596 66,854 57,681 55,188 47,214 41,919 54,515
*The 2020 Festival was virtual and participating breweries offered beery deals through a nationwide passport program.