Colorado Beer Girl

A blog focusing on Colorado beer, breweries, bars, beer & food pairings, restaurants with craft beer, beer events & more

Archive for the tag “Brewers Association”

Ticket Alert: GABF 2017

Photo courtesy of the Great American Beer Festival Facebook page

Ladies and gentlemen: Mark your calendars. 2017 Great American Beer Festival tickets go on sale next week!

Tuesday, August 1 is the Member Pre-Sale. Wednesday, August 2 is the Public Sale. 

Here are all the details for GABF 2017, from the Brewers Association:

Find Your #HoppyPlace at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival®

 What: For the 36th year, beer lovers will gather in Colorado at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the renowned American beer festival and competition, to find their #HoppyPlace and sample some 3,800 beers from more than 800 breweries around the country.

 When: Thursday, October 5: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

               Friday, October 6: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

               Saturday, October 7*: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

              *Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members-only session

               Saturday, October 7: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

 Where: Colorado Convention Center (700 14th Street, Denver, Colorado)

 Why: GABF brings together the brewers and beers that make the U.S. the world’s most diverse brewing nation. Since its conception in 1982, GABF has been growing and evolving along with the American brewing community and represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in the format of a public tasting event plus a privately judged competition. Showcasing scores of diverse beers, Thrillist dubbed the event, “The One Beer Festival You Must Go to Before You Die.”

This year, GABF will welcome back popular awards and attractions—including the Golden Ticket Giveaway, Heavy Medal Booth and Support Your Local Brewery Pavilion—offering attendees the opportunity to sample unique indie and international award-winning beers.

 Ticket Info: GABF tickets will be available for purchase to the general public online on August 2, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. MDT/12:00 p.m. EDT via

A ticket pre-sale exclusively for members of the American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association will take place on August 1, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. MDT/12:00 p.m. EDT. Members will receive a personal offer code to purchase tickets for this session. You must have purchased a membership to the American Homebrewers Association or Brewers Association by July 23, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, to be eligible for the member pre-sale.

Members-Only Session tickets are $70 each, with a two ticket limit per member number.

General Session tickets are $85 public/$80 members (if purchased during the members only sale on August 1) and include:

  • Commemorative tasting cup
  • Unlimited one-ounce samples of your choice of 3,800 beers
  • Festival guide and free app to help attendees navigate the festival hall
  • Access to dozens of educational and interactive seminars
  • Opportunity to speak with brewery representatives at designated “Meet the Brewer” booths.
  • Complimentary artisan cheese samples, craft soda samples and a variety of other food options.
  • Entertainment, including live music, games, costumes, a silent disco and more.

Note: Due to limited availability, GABF General Session ticket sales are capped at four tickets per session per ticket buyer.

Additional ticket information can be found on the GABF website.

GABF 2016 Is (Almost) Here!


The 35th Annual Great American Beer Festival is upon us! Just ONE WEEK away!

Thursday, October 6-Saturday, October 8th, the Great American Beer Festival returns to Denver. And I couldn’t be more thrilled! GABF is my absolute favorite beer festival of the year. Why? For starters, approximately 800 breweries and thousands of unique beers, many of which are unavailable in Colorado 362 days of the year. If that isn’t something to get excited about, I don’t know what is! If you’ve been to the Great American Beer Festival before, you know what to expect. But there are some great new things in store for 2016:

Golden Ticket. This year, six lucky attendees (and their friends) will get the chance to enter the hall early to go tasting with some big names in beer. The brewers below will randomly select one person from the entrance line and personally escort them through the hall before the event opens to the public. How cool is that?!


  • Matt Brynildson – Firestone Walker Brewing Company
  • Rob Tod – Allagash Brewing Company


  • Vinnie Cilurzo – Russian River Brewing Company
  • Tomme Arthur – The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing Company


  • Sam Calagione – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • Garrett Oliver – The Brooklyn Brewery

The Backyard. What exactly is The Backyard? Think 1982: Throwback arcade games, temporary tattoos, awesome photo ops and music at the Jambulance and Silent Disco. There will also be picnic tables so attendees can have a place to sit and eat or just take a load off.


Whether you are a first-timer or a pro, here are a few of my personal tips to help you get the most out of your experience.

First, have a plan. While the official beer list doesn’t come out until Wednesday, Oct. 5 (by the end of the business day), you can get started with the brewery list. Is there a particular region of the US whose breweries don’t distribute in your area that you’d like to try? Have you heard great things about certain breweries but haven’t had a chance to get your hands on their beers? Now is the time to give it some thought. Once beer list is out, if you love a certain style (or five) of beer, do a search for that style, see what’s being poured, and make note of it. So have a plan, but keep in mind that it’s fine to deviate from it. Make random stops when you see something interesting.’s 2016 GABF Pour List Preview already has over 1500 beers and is being updated on an hourly basis. I highly recommend checking it out for those who want to start their planning early.

Next, eat before the festival. This is very important. Each session is 4.5 hours long (with the Saturday Members Only Session being 4 hours), and there are way too many excellent beers to sample to get too tipsy too early; don’t risk getting overly drunk too quickly and missing your chance to try as many beers on your list as possible. I personally like to eat a fairly light meal so that I’m not completely stuffed, leaving plenty of room for beer. And then of course there are numerous food options inside the venue should you get hungry during the event.

Also, don’t fear the new entrance. In 2015, a second entrance was added at 14th & California. Since I had waited in the usual line at all past GABFs, I decided to try the new one last year. When I got there I thought I’d made a mistake. There were so many people! And people arriving after me were directed to a different line which appeared to be shorter than the one I was in. I wasn’t sure why, and I wondered if I should change lines. Was I ever wrong! Once the doors opened, I was shocked at how quickly the line moved and how fast I got in. Trust those who are working the entrances; they have been through this before and are quite skilled at what they do. UPDATE: Since publishing this post I have received information that the entrance at 14th & California is the only entrance this year. 

Download the app. It contains a ton of helpful information such as a festival map, brewery/beer list, and much more. You’ll be glad you got the app, trust me!

Want to know some of my favorite breweries and beers from years past? Just click the links below to read all about it!

GABF 2015: Recap, Best in Show

GABF 2014: Best in Show

Best in Show: The Standouts of GABF 2013

Best in Show: The Standouts of GABF 2012

Even if you weren’t able to score tickets this year, don’t forget about all the amazing tappings and events going on before, during, and after GABF. Take a look at my special GABF Week Events post for a some truly fantastic options. Take advantage of the entire week and drink some rare and/or otherwise unobtainable beers! And most importantly: have fun! Cheers!

GABF Media Luncheon 2014

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I’ve attended the Great American Beer Festival for several years and, for the past couple, have provided coverage on my blog. But this year was definitely different in that I was granted a media pass for the very first time, thereby giving me the privilege of being part of the GABF Media Briefing and Luncheon.

Vegetarian starter. Not sure what it is, as it wasn't listed on the menu.

Vegetarian starter. Not sure what it is, as it wasn’t listed on the menu. But it sure was good! Paired with Serenity from Wicked Weed and Opal from Firestone Walker.

Throughout the working lunch we were given lots of great information by the Brewers Association‘s Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz. It was great to listen to the panel discussions with knowledgeable brewers and brewery representatives during the meal.

Granny Smith Apple with Ginger and Grapefruit. Paired with Berliner Weisse, Napoleon Complex by the Brewers Association Team Homebrew.

Granny Smith Apple with Ginger and Grapefruit. Paired with Berliner Weisse, Napoleon Complex by the Brewers Association Team Homebrew.

I love beer and food pairings, so I was excited to attend this event. The pairings were so well thought out. I really appreciated that they were able to accommodate the vegetarians in the group, and the food was anything but boring. I truly enjoyed every course!

Vegetarian main course: Grilled Portobello stuffed with green chile quinoa & queso fresco, smoked tomatillo salsa verde and crispy shallot. Paired with Black Eagle Baltic Porter by Black Tooth Brewing and Old Tom Porter by Piney River Brewing.

Vegetarian main course: Grilled Portobello stuffed with green chile quinoa & queso fresco, smoked tomatillo salsa verde and crispy shallot. Paired with Black Eagle Baltic Porter by Black Tooth Brewing and Old Tom Porter by Piney River Brewing.

While all the food looked wonderful, our dessert was beautiful! It was called Dusty Miller Semifreddo with warm toffee sauce, paired with Balt Altbier from Union Craft Brewing and Tsunami Stout from Pelican Pub & Brewery. I tried to select just one photo to upload, but I couldn’t choose. So here are a couple:

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The 2014 GABF Media Briefing and Luncheon was fantastic! Thank you to everyone involved for a job well done!
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National Beer Bloggers Conference 2013: Day One

Last weekend, July 26-28, was the National Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston. Three days of socializing, tweeting, beer tasting and education. There is a lot to cover, so I am going to break it down by day. If any beer bloggers are interested in possibly attending a conference in the future, this can give you an idea of what to expect.

Day One, Friday, July 26:

A Beer Bloggers Conference welcome sign

A Beer Bloggers Conference welcome sign

Friday afternoon, bloggers checked into the conference at the Park Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston. Hydro Flask, a partner of the conference, greeted each attendee with a 64 oz. stainless steel flask (perfect for growler fills!), which was a wonderful surprise. Then it was time to mingle, eat some Cabot cheese, and sample some beers! And there was definitely plenty for everyone, with beer from Smuttynose, Boulevard, Woodchuck, Heavy Seas, Sierra Nevada, an assortment of regional beers provided by the Brewers Association, and more.

Utopias with Jim Koch

Utopias with Jim Koch

Next we loaded onto charter buses and set out for The Boston Beer Company where a can of Samuel Adams Boston Lager awaited all bloggers at their seats. Julia Herz of the Brewers Association gave an introductory speech and was followed by Jim Koch, the keynote speaker. After the speeches it was time to eat and drink. I tried a new Sam Adams beer that I really enjoyed, Independence IPA. I had some delicious cheeses and various other finger foods while I waited for my group’s turn to enter the barrel room. I knew it would be a unique experience, but imagine my surprise when I walked in to find Jim Koch himself, pouring 2012 Utopias for everyone! I was not expecting that. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. And, with that, the evening was complete. But it was still early, so we headed back to the city for a little more drinking.

We arrived at Stoddard’s Food and Ale for a Pyrates, Pints, & Poets party provided by Heavy Seas Beer of Halethorpe, MD. I loved all their beers I tried: Loose Cannon IPA, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, and Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout. Heavy Seas is a quality brewery; I wish they distributed in Colorado. But they don’t, so I had to be sure and get my fill while I could!

By then it was late and time to rest up for a full day of beer education ahead.


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