With over 4,000 beers for the tasting, someone has to write a guide to help Great American Beer Festival attendees find their way through it all. From accommodations to beer-tasting strategies, we have a few inside tips to help you make these three beer-soaked evenings memorable. Here’s how to do the Great American Beer Festival in Denver:
1. Study the Event Lineup
Each evening is packed with seminars taught by brewing experts. These people are the pros, so sign-up and take notes.
2. Know Your Way Around
The festival map will let you know where you are in the sea of cerveza. The brewer stands are organized by region so if you’re partial to any region, the map will come in handy. There are over 800 of the nation’s finest breweries on site, so it’s a big event.
3. Don’t Over Taste
Yes, it’s a beer festival and the samples are free but try to pace yourself. Space it out and drink water at some of the free water drinking stations. You want this to last as long as possible, trust us.
4. Stay in Downtown
We have plenty of accommodation options in the downtown area that put you in close proximity to the venue and to all the restaurants and other attractions that downtown Denver has to offer. See our selection of where to stay in Denver.
5. Arrive the Day Before the Event for Altitude Adjustment
Denver sits over 5,000 feet above sea level and at that altitude, you will likely get drunk a little faster. Arriving the day before will give you some time to adjust before you dive into the beer tasting. Here’s where to eat and drink in Denver if you arrive early.
6. No Lockers, No Coat Check
What you bring is what you will carry so dress and pack wisely.
7. Get the GABF App
The app offers beer tours and you can use the map and pick your favorite beers and breweries. Oh, and it’s free!
8. Keep Track
The app allows you to take notes on different breweries and beers. So remember to swap and compare with your buddies afterward.
9. Leave the Kids at Home
Children under the age of two are allowed on site, as long as they are kept in the arms of parents at all times. The festival hall gets very, very loud, however, so it’s strongly recommended that kids don’t come.
10. Tick it Off Your Bucket List
Did you know the Great American Beer Festival is listed as one of the top 1,000 places in the U.S. to visit before you die? A visit to the festival means you’re one step closer to having done all the best things in life.
11. Gluten-Free? No Problem!
If you need to avoid gluten, there are plenty of gluten-free beers on site. You can find gluten-free options using the GABF app, just select the ‘gluten-free beer tour option’. Cheers!
12. Come in a Costume
Take advantage of the fun, tipsy atmosphere! Many guests to the festival come in a costume for an added sense of excitement. The wackier the better, so leave your inhibitions at home and prepare for beers alongside some interesting characters…