Brewers association

Great American Beer Festival Pivots for 2020

America’s Biggest Annual Beer Contest Goes Ahead, Festival Will Happen Online

Boulder, Colorado.May 21, 2020 – The Great American Oktoberfest® (GABF), the nation’s largest beer festival and competition, will transform its 2020 event, originally scheduled for September 24-26 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, into an immersive online experience on October 16-17.

This decision was confirmed by the May 20 announcement, when Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order temporarily suspending certain laws to allow the operation of alternative care sites in Colorado due to the presence of the coronavirus disease 2019, returning GABF to the Colorado Convention. Center unrealizable.

“While we are disappointed not to gather in Denver this fall for the annual Craft Beer Community Big Tent event, the health and safety of our attendees, brewers, volunteers, judges and employees is and have always been our top priority,” said Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Brewers Association. “As the world is still heavily affected by the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to be affected for the foreseeable future, we must stay true to our priorities and seek other ways to house GABF.”

The 39th Great American Beer Festival may look different, but beer lovers across the country will have the opportunity to come together in new ways to celebrate the nation’s craft beer community. The spirit of the festival will live on through live and virtual experiences with beer lovers and breweries across the country on October 16 and 17, 2020. The event is still being planned, but experiences will likely include tastings of beer, brewer conversations, local brewery activations, and home beer and wine pairing deliveries.

The festival’s famous professional beer competition will take place in 2020. A panel of more than 100 professional judges will evaluate the more than 7,000 expected entries to identify the three beers that best represent each style category. GABF Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals are recognized worldwide as symbols of brewing excellence. Registration for the brewery opens June 9. More information about the contest, style guidelines and awards ceremony here.

“We are grateful to be able to move forward with this year’s competition and have the opportunity to recognize brewers’ achievements and educate consumers about beer styles and trends,” added Pease. “We look forward to celebrating annual achievements in brewing excellence and unveiling this year’s winners.”

Over the past several months, the Brewers Association has worked tirelessly on behalf of its members and the broader brewing community to provide essential resources, as well as to lobby Congress, both independently and with d other hotel and food industry groups for assistance. Following the cancellation of the Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America® and World Beer Cup™ in April, the Brewers Association has offered five weeks of free virtual seminars online to interested attendees. Additionally, the Brewers Association’s COVID-19 Resource Center includes information on the system project shutdown, how to forecast cash flow, a checklist for a safe reopening, and more. More information on the logistics, schedule and ticket options for GABF 2020 will be released in the coming months. For the latest news, follow @BrewersAssoc on Twitter.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the nonprofit trade association dedicated to America’s small, independent brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents more than 5,600 American breweries. The BA Independent Craft Brewer Seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the beer world cup®, Great American Oktoberfest®, Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®, FLAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Dining Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The new brewer® magazines, and Brewers publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the United States. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the vibrant world of craft beer at® and on homebrewing via BAs American Homebrew Association® and free Brewing Guru® mobile app. follow us on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, orientation or marital/family status. The BA complies with the provisions of Executive Order 13672 and relevant rules, regulations and orders of the Secretary of Labor.