Important GABF Information

The Brewers Association released information today on some changes to the GABF format. From Jeff Mendel of the BA Events Committee;

Greetings from the BA Events Committee,

With the Great American Beer Festival quickly approaching, the members of the Events Committee will be dispensing important event information via this Forum over the next few weeks.

We have made several changes which we hope will improve the Festival experience for brewers and patrons alike. Whether you are a brewery attending the Festival for the first time or a seasoned veteran, please read this and all subsequent posts from the Events Committee. We will be dispensing information of great importance to all who are participating in the Festival.

Today we would like to inform you of changes to the Awards Ceremony format. In the past the Awards Ceremony took place within the confines of the Festival Hall, starting at 1:00 PM and running for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours.

This year the Awards Ceremony will be held in a separate venue within the Convention Center, the Wells Fargo Theater, starting at 10:30 AM and ending at approximately 12:30 PM, on Saturday, October 13. The Wells Fargo Theater has seating for about 5000 people. Unlike the past, the Awards Ceremony will not be open to the public. Access will be controlled and limited to those with Brewers, Judge, sponsor, media or staff credentials (badges). A limited number of wristbands will be made available for spouses and/or family members of credentialed individuals.

In a new twist for medal winners, in addition to their medals, every winner will receive a bottle of Porter’s Pride, a collaborative Porter brewed by some 40 brewery members of the Colorado Brewers Guild to honor our late, great cellarmaster Danny Williams. Porter’s Pride will also be available on draft throughout the Theater for the pleasure of all in attendance. In addition, complimentary donuts and coffee will be available outside the Theater.

Finally, we are adding a new and fun activity at the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony – the Parade of Brewers. Led by intrepid bagpipers, the brewers will march from the Wells Fargo Theater to make a grand entrance into the Festival Hall, sometime between 12:30 and 1:00 PM. We encourage all brewery personnel attending the Awards Ceremony to join in the parade and regale the attendees of the Members Only Session with an enthusiastic entry into the hall and to your booths.

Why are we instituting these changes? By moving the Awards Ceremony into the Wells Fargo Theater, we eliminate a major source of congestion in the hall, allowing for freer movement for all. In addition, we have opened space for 110 more exhibiting brewers in the hall.

Changing the time of the Awards Ceremony will make it possible for more brewers to spend more time at their booths during the Members Only session, while Members’ Only patrons will have greater opportunity to sample award winning beers. Again, we are instituting these changes to enhance everyone’s experience, both brewers and attendees.

We all are involved in one of the most exciting and fastest-evolving industries in the United States. We all have done great work together and individually to engage and excite the American beer consumer. We encourage all of our GABF participants to keep this in mind as we gather to put on our industry’s single biggest public event of the year.

Please share this information with all on your staff who will be in Denver for the Festival. We look forward to seeing you there.

Jeff Mendel
Brewers Association Events Committee