Beer Man

Great American Beer Festival 2014 tickets go on sale today; 700 breweries, 130 from Colorado

Tickets to the Great American Beer Festival, slated for October 2, 3 and 4 at the Colorado Convention Center, go on sale to the general public today at 10 a.m. and will likely sell out within seconds.

The festival itself, run by the Boulder-based Brewers Association, continues to grow while the breweries and attendees continue to experience both growing pains and opportunities to experiment and try new beers.

See also: Nearly 1,400 breweries register for GABF, 81 percent higher than last year

More than 700 breweries will be pouring at the Convention Center, including at least 130 from Colorado. But because so many breweries want to participate -- there are now more than 3,000 nationwide -- each will only be allowed to pour four of five beers.

There will also be a whopping 1,360 breweries in the judging portion of the fest, 81 percent higher than last year. Since the BA changed its rules this year to allow every brewery to enter -- in response to a registration crunch in 2013 -- each will only be able to submit four beers. This is down from ten just a few years ago.

Tickets meanwhile have gone up in price, from $75 in 2013 to $80 this time around (and 45 percent higher than the price four years ago), and continue to be handled through Tickemaster, which has had trouble dealing with the sale in previous years.

Tickets to the 33rd annual festival go on sale just two days after the BA released mid-year numbers that showed continued growth in the craft beer industry. Craft beer makers sold 10.6 million barrels in the first six months of 2014, up 18 percent over the same six months last year. In addition, the number of craft breweries in the country grew to 3,040 as of June 30; there are another 1,929 in planning.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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