5 Rules for Enjoying the Great American Beer Festival

It’s that time of year again where Fall festivals are upon us and celebrations are in the air.

The Great American Beer Festival vender pours beer for guests.
Photo courtesy of The Great American Beer Festival

1Make a plan

The Great American Beer Festival hosts hundreds of breweries, food vendors, and retail pop-up shops under one big roof. This year you can enjoy the festivities from October 6-8 here in the Mile High City. However, we know it can be overwhelming, especially when you first walk in. So scout out the GABF website for info on the brewers and businesses on tap. Also, grab online resources including a festival map, brewery and beer lists, and tips on local hotels and travel. Download the GABF app to get continued help at and around the festival as well. 

2Map it out 

Print out a copy of the festival map and bring it. You’ll be a leg up on everyone else and know exactly how to find the brewer you want to visit first. Make a loop around the perimeter to get your bearings, see how the lines look (because there will most likely be long lines) and get your first tastes. You may also catch a glimpse of something that wasn’t mentioned on the map, like that pop-up taco truck you’ve been dying to try. This walk will take about 15 minutes, give or take, depending on how many beer stops you make. While you’re circling, mark the places on your map you want to revisit. 

3Dress to impress

While there’s no strict dress code for GABF, there is one requirement for all beer lovers: a pretzel necklace. You will stand out like an empty cup without one, and, even worse, you’ll be hungry all night. While there is plenty of food for purchase, these make-at-home necklaces are a cheap way to stay satisfied and cleanse the palate while waiting in line for your next beer. String together pretzels, string cheese, and summer sausage sticks—and wear them around your neck. 

4Enjoy beyond the beer

While beer is the main focus of the event, GABF offers so much more. Try classic beer snacks including burgers and pizza, or try something less conventional like ramen. Shop the festival merch stand and other local boutique pop-ups. Stop and enjoy the festival’s “hangout” spots. Enjoy games in the Backyard or rock out to a DJ at the Silent Disco. 

5Leave your comfort zone

Whether you’re a festival native or newcomer, you probably have a favorite type of beer. Stretch your palate and try some of the many different types and flavors available at GABF. Lager and Pilsner and Stout, oh my! GABF has them all, with flavors ranging from seasonal pumpkin spice to hot chili pepper. See if you can make it around the entire space to try them all. 

For more information, visit greatamericanbeerfestival.com