Great American Beer Festival
Reports from the front: 2003
What's it like to be a brewer preparing for and then attending the Great American Beer Festival? Seven award winning brewers five of whom went on to win medals in 2003 gave Realbeer.com readers a backstage look, writing diaries leading up to the festival and clear through the aftermath.
What: The 2005 Great American Beer Festival.
When: Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Complete schedule.
Where: Colorado Convention Center (at 14th Street and Stout Street), Denver.
The basics: "No nation in the world produces a greater variety of artisan beers than the United States," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "The GABF showcases those beers and their makers, itís the worldís best beer-tasting event."
"The Great American Beer Festival is the Super Bowl and the All Star Game of beer," says Chris Black, owner of Denverís world-famous Falling Rock Tap House. "It holds the best beer selection on earth."
GABF visitors enjoy one-ounce beer samples from the festís breweries. These breweries are arranged on the festival floor by regions of the country, giving beer lovers a walking tour of the nationís beer-blessed landscape. Many of the booths are staffed by the brewers themselves. Over 28,000 beer enthusiasts from Colorado, the US and around the world attended last yearís GABF.
The festival is the Guinness World Record Holder for most beers tapped in one location.
This year 1,669 beers will be on tap (215 more than 2004 and 400 more than in 2003). It will be the largest array of beers ever at the GABF, and the biggest selection of American beers ever gathered together on the globe.
47 states are represented plus the District of Columbia. In case you wondered, state not represented on the floor are Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia.
More than 380 U.S. breweries will be serving beer.
Last year 2,552 volunteers and 31,134 volunteer hours helped make the beer flow. Only the Rose Parade has more volunteers participating.
Also worth knowing:
Live music every night.
An 44,000 square foot Beer Garden and Food Marketplace
Cooking demonstration area - learn to cook with beer and pair a beer style with a particular food.
Food and beer pairing seminars now take center stage of the festival. A special glass enclosed room will house famous Denver chefs and brewers in the center of the festival hall. An A-list of American brewers will join executive chefs.
Each festival ticket receives a coupon good for a 2 for 1 Lift Ticket at Winter Park or Copper Mountain.
Each festival ticket receives a coupon good for a free pint of beer at Wynkoop Brewery.
Exhibitors include breweries, ski resorts, casinos, and more.