DENVER — Twenty-four brewers served up beer at the first Great American Beer Festival in 1982. About 800 people came to sip the 47 beers on tap at the event inside of Harvest House Hotel in Boulder.
GABF will look a little different in 2018. Organizers expect 62,000 people to visit the Colorado Convention Center to try samples of some 4,000 different beers.
We're one week out from this year's festival. Here's what we know:
What is it?
- It's kind of like Christmas if you're a beer person. You can taste beers from across the country - meaning your ticket gets you samples each of beer, not steins. The brewers also enter their creations into a competition.
When is it?
- The 2018 festival runs from Thursday, Sept. 20 to Saturday, Sept. 22. Each session runs from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (there's also a member-only event during the day Saturday.) It'll be held at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, and it's not a bad idea to show up early to get a decent spot in the entry line.
Tickets are still available.
- For the first year in eight years, GABF tickets didn't sell out right away. Right now, they aren't sold out at all. Tickets can be purchased here. An individual general admission ticket will cost you 85 bucks. If you want the beer and food tasting ticket, you'll pay $160.
- GABF added 100,000 more square feet to its event space this year.
- Five food trucks will be inside the convention center, if you're capable of fitting food and heavy craft beer in your stomach at the same time.
- The entire layout has been reconfigured. While beers have been divided by region in the past, they're in alphabetical order this time. Breweries with names starting with "the" will be sorted based on the second word in the name.
- Empty, clear, plastic water bottles are allowed. Glass bottles are not.
- No backpacks, weapons, outside food or alcohol ... the usual things you can't have at events.
- No re-entry.
- No smoking.
- Leave the kids at home.
Get home safe
- Don't drive if you aren't able to. Of course there are ride-share options, but keep this in mind: