Brewers Head to Denver for 23rd Annual GABF

This week, brewers and industry allied trade members will make the yearly migration to Denver for the 23rd annual Association of Brewer’s Great American Beer Festival. According to Cindy Jones, marketing director for the AOB, ticket sales at the AOB office have exceeded those of last year, when paid ticket sales were up 10 percent over the previous year.

Some important changes made for last year’s festival will be in place again this year including an enlarged food and eating area, greater diversity of foods available to attendees, food pairing presentations and a quicker pace in announcing the medal winners on Saturday. This year includes a few small new additions, one of which is an expanded and upgraded designated driver booth which will include a full lounge area complete with bean bags, couches and a large variety of sodas. Below is a listing of the events surrounding the festival along with some important times and events inside the festival hall.


WEATHER FORECAST: Partly cloudy Wednesday through Friday with a slight chance of thunderstorms each day after noon. Highs in upper 60’s to lower 70’s. Clear at night with lows in the 40’s. Clear and a bit cooler on Saturday with high’s in low 60’s. For the latest Denver area forecast:


Annual Brewers Celebration Party at Wynkoop Brewing Co. Gathering of industry members. Ticketed event. 6:30-9:00

Rolling Boil Blues Band at Falling Rock pub. Open to public. Celebrator News band and industry gathering. 9:30-10:30

Great Divide Brewing Company Hospitality, 2201 Arapahoe St. Industry members only. Noon-2:00.

Festival Floor open 5:30-10:00

Cargill Malt, Hopunion & White Labs is once again sponsoring ROCKTOBEFEST at Rock Bottom Brewery on the 16th Street Mall at 10:00 pm. This is your one chance to see your favorite company representatives dressed in traditional German costume. Co-sponsored by Boelter and Rock Bottom.

Ball Corp in association with Cask Brewing Systems, will be offering two free tours of their aluminum can and end plant in Golden. Transportation to and from the Embassy Suites Hotel will be provided free of charge, leaving at 9:00 and returning around noon, the other leaving at 1:30 returning by 4:30. Space is limited. Book early by registering on line at or by phoning Sabina Kobbs of Cask Brewing Systems at 1-800-661-8443.

Alpha King Challenge at Falling Rock pub. Tasting and informal awards for India Pale Ales, 1:00-3:00.

“Get Back To Your Roots” – Redstone Meadery Hospitality Tasting and Gathering for industry press, judges, stewards, and brewers. Embassy Hotel, Cottonwood Room, 3:00-5:00.

Festival Floor open 5:30-10:00

Ralph Steadman (“gonzo” illustrator for Hunter S. Thompson and all Flying Dog Brewery beer labels) will sign autographs on the Michelob Amber Bock Stage at the GABF festival. Starts at 7:15

Cargill Malt, Hopunion & White Labs GABF BOWLING PARTY at Elitch Lanes, 3825 Tennyson St. at 2:00 pm. You can join as an individual or a full team of five. Transportation available from the Embassy Suites hotel leaving at 1:00 pm. Must RSVP to

Flying Dog Brewery 6th annual GABF golf tournament. The tournament will be at the Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora, CO. The cost is $100.00 per player. There will be food, beer, and prizes. Bus transportation will be provided, leaving Flying Dog and returning in the evening. Please contact or if interested in playing.

The Association of Brewers will again be hosting the Gathering of the Guilds. This meeting is an opportunity to share what is working for state guild leaders and what challenges and success strategies have arisen in the last half-year. 2 to 3 p.m. Embassy Suites Hotel and Denver Athletic Club Executive Boardroom.

Craft beer industry pioneer, brewpub guru, longtime supporter and advocate of specialty, and oh yeah, Mayor of Denver John Hickenlooper will give a welcoming toast to open the awards ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on the Amber Bock stage.

Festival Floor open: Connoisseur Tasting 12:30-5:00. General admission 5:30-10:00

Beer Journalism Awards. Michelob Amber Bock stage at the festival at 1:15.

Awards Ceremony. Michelob Amber Bock stage at the festival at 1:30.