DENVER — Assembly lines form behind a seemingly endless row of refrigerated trucks at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s like the holidays where you’re just about ready to open this really great present that you can share with everybody,” Ann Obenchain said with excitement in her voice. “It’s like the Super Bowl of the beer industry.”
RELATED | What you need to know about GABF 2018
Obenchain getting ready for The Great American Beer Festival that starts on Thursday. She's the marketing director for the Brewers Association.
The Boulder-based not-for-profit educational and trade association has been hosting GABF in Colorado every year since 1982.
A lot of work goes into an event like this. Here’s some numbers Obenchain gave us about this year’s event:
- They expect some 62,000 attendees over the course of the festival. That’s the most they’ve ever had.
- Beer fans will fill a 584,000 square foot space at the Colorado Convention Center.
- Over 4,000 beers from 800 breweries from all 50 states will be poured through four miles of draft line.
- With 160 breweries Colorado has the highest representation of any state at GABF.
- The Brewers Association coordinates 25 consolidation points around the country to help breweries get their sudsy goodness to Colorado.
- There will be more than 7,000 kegs of beer at GABF.
- There will be over 4,000 volunteers doing everything from serving beer to keeping the more than 260 tons of ice fresh.
- Over 800 beers representing 102 different styles of beer will be judged by over 300 judges from all around the world in the competition portion of GABF.
It’s a ton of work to make all this run smoothly, but it's work Obenchain and her coworkers do happily.
Head over to GABF’s website to see how this year’s numbers stack up against previous years.
They also have all the logistical info to get you to and from the festival safely.