What’s New in 2019?

Expect more fun and new experiences throughout the festival!

The 38th annual Great American Beer Festival is fresher than ever! Literally. Sip fresh-hopped beer while enjoying live music from WinterWondergrass®, the silent Brewers Studio, and History of Craft Beer Exhibit. Many of your festival favorites are returning with new twists—look for a fun house, and brat, hot dog and bun races in The Backyard!


Member-Only Presale: Tuesday, July 30, 10:00 am MT

Public Sale: Wednesday, July 31, 10:00 am MT

New for 2019

  • Collectible Glassware: Tasting cups for all sessions will be glass to sate the palates of the discerning beer lovers. PAIRED and Saturday afternoon attendees will receive a glass different design from general session attendees!
  • Ikon Pass Stage presented by WinterWonderGrass®: Located in The Backyard, WinterWonderGrass will be presenting three sets of incredible live music per session (line up TBA). Ikon passes and WinterWonderGrass tickets will also be available for sale onsite. The 2020 WinterWonderGrass lineup will be announced at GABF!
  • Brewers Studio Goes Silent: Take a journey with provocative personalities and innovators as they share their stories and beers. The Brewers Studio explores the intersections of great brewing talents and the creativity behind some of today’s most successful craft beer stories. For 2019, we’re dropping the walls and attendees will listen to the presenters via headphones.
  • History of Craft Exhibit: Wander through the three-dimensional timeline of the history of craft beer, featuring photos and items from the Brewers Association archive. The exhibit will be located between Halls A and F.

2019: Year of the fresh hopped beer and hot dog races!

Back and Better than Ever

  • Festival Format Returns to Regions: Back by popular demand! Breweries in the festival hall will be arranged in alphabetical order by state within nine (9) regions (Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain West, New England, Pacific, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, Southwest.)  Pro Tip: Breweries with “the” in the title will be listed under the first name following “the.”
  • Jameson Caskmates Barrel-Aged Beer Garden: Returning for a second year in a slightly larger foot print, the ~14,000 square foot Jameson Caskmates Barrel-Aged Beer Garden will feature 22 small and independent Jameson craft brewery partners and their limited-edition Jameson barrel-aged beer. In addition, the garden will host experiential areas including master cooper Ger Buckley’s stage, a Bow Street education experience, and interactive activities.
  • Fresh Hops: Washington Beer Commission is back with the freshest beers of the 2019 hop harvest. Each session will feature five fresh hop beers from ten breweries not found anywhere else in the festival. Due to the timing of the 2018 festival, fresh hops were not on exhibit, so we’re excited to present this in 2019.
  • PAIRED: Where can you find Michelin Star-, James Beard Award- and Best New Chef Award- winning chefs all under one roof? That would be PAIRED. Featuring more than 10 new chefs for 2019, PAIRED unites independent craft breweries and acclaimed chefs from across the country to celebrate the intricacies and possibilities of pairing beer and food. Approximately 25 chefs will design mouth-watering delicacies with ~ 50 special beers not found anywhere else in the festival hall. PAIRED is sold via separate ticket that also includes access to the festival hall.
  • Meet the Brewer Section: Meet the Brewer is very special opportunity for passionate beer fans to start conversations with their brewing heroes, learn more about their beers and talk shop. Look for these 122 breweries located in the center of the festival hall.
  • Collaboration Competition and Booth:  In recognition of the collaborative spirit of the craft brewing community, the competition has expanded in its second year to evaluate more than 70 collaboration beers in a Best of Show format. Many of the competition entries will be served during GABF at the Collaboration Competition Booth. Don’t miss this chance to sample these very unique and limited-edition beers!
  • Silly Fun continues with attendee favorites including the Silent Disco, karaoke, backyard games, Friday Festival Flair costume contest, and some new additions such as brat, hot dog and bun races, a fun house, and more!
  • Festival Footprint: With 584,000 square feet of festival space (~ 10 football fields)—attendees have space to hang out and mingle with brewers and fellow beer lovers while discovering new breweries, learning more about beer at educational and experiential programs, playing games, and just having fun.

The best of both worlds: culinary delight in an intimate setting and brewphoria on the festival floor.

Biggest Competition Ever!

  • The 2019 GABF Competition is anticipated to be the largest competition to date. More than 9,300 beers from approximately 2,300 brewers will vie for the coveted gold, silver and bronze medals in 107 beer style categories. (Note: final, official competition statistics will be published on Saturday, Oct. 5, after competition results are compiled and medals are announced.)

Who will take home the gold, silver, and bronze? Find out Saturday, October 5!