The Great American Beer Festival is the biggest gathering of American beer in existence. Up to 800 brewers from all over the country come with their best cans, remaking the Colorado Convention Center in Denver into an amber-hued metropolis.
This is not only a festival, but a beer competition, and the most prestigious one in the country at that. The rivalry works wonderfully in attendees favor. Armed with the branded cup handed out at the door, they get to enjoy the cream (the froth?) of America’s beer crop in one-ounce pours for the price of their ticket. Each day becomes a 4.5 hour all-you-can-drink soiree. If that doesn’t sound like enough time spent drinking, the party spills over into Denver, where events around the city cater to the craft beer loving crowd all week.
Those willing to drop extra cash can buy tickets to Paired, an event where renowned chefs design dishes to pair with some of the festival’s rare beers. Those ticket prices range from 129 to 199.
The first Great American Beer Festival was held in 1982 at the Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. The festival moved to Denver in 1984 and to its current home at Colorado Convention Center in 2000.
What to know:
- Around 60,000 people attend.
- Great American Beer Festival general session tickets cost 95 (85 for members) and include the branded tasting glass mentioned above.
- You can preview some of the beers that will be at the festival here.
Official 2022 video: