Bucket List Ticket: GABF Paired

In just over a week, tickets sales will begin for the 36th Annual Great American Beer Festival. You’ll have to act fast to snag a GABF ticket, or you’ll be stuck trying to get one on the aftermarket. However as popular as GABF is there is one ticket even hotter and harder to come by: a ticket to Paired, the beer and food pairing event within GABF. You’ll need a great timing, luck, and a member presale code to buy tickets for Paired… but let us assure you, it will be worth it.

GABF’s Paired Pavillion: Beer + Food Heaven

GABF is an incredible, bucket list worthy event in its own right. Paired takes the event to another level. Walk through the Paired entrance a the back the convention hall and you’ll find some of the nation’s best chefs working with a select group of incredible independent breweries, together creating the best beer and food pairings you’ve ever seen, let alone tasted.

Still not convinced it’s worth the extra ticket price and the time missed on the GABF festival floor? We hear ya. We felt that way, too. Paired, which was previously known as Farm to Table, was not typically a consideration for us when we purchased GABF tickets. Sure it sounded cool, but was it worth it? There are more than enough beers to sample on the festival floor. Plus, who needs food when you have a pretzel necklace, right?

We were wrong, so very wrong. We attended Paired for the first time last year, and it blew our minds how wrong we were. Everything from the intimate setting, the more easygoing crowd, the fancy glassware – it all makes for an incredible experience. But it’s the fabulous food and beer, and the opportunity to speak with the chefs and brewers who make them, that takes Paired over the top. In short, Paired turns GABF up to 11.

A few of our favorite bites and brews from last year included Mercantile Dining’s Olathe corn budino matched with Bruery Terreux Confession; Park Kitchen boiler maker ice cream sundae matched with Oskar Blues Rum Barrel Aged Death by Coconut; Pizzeria Locale Budino along with Tanaya Creek Brewery Old Jackalope Barleywine; and the simple yet delicious combination of Jax Fish House Emersum oysters on the half shell paired with Grand Teton Brewing Barrel-Aged Brett Saison.

2017 Paired Chefs

If you think the food at last year’s festival look delicious, you’ll want to be there to see what the 2017 chefs bring to the table. Below is the current list of chefs announced to be preparing items for Paired this year. (List is subject to change between now and the event)

Nathan Anda : Red Apron Butcher : Washington D.C.
Sean Clark  El Moro Spirits and Tavern : Durango, CO
Ian Davis : Band of Bohemia : Chicago, IL
Scott Dolich : Park Kitchen : Portland, OR
Gavin Fine : Q Roadhouse : Jackson Hole, WY
Mike Friedman : The Red Hen/All Purpose : Washington D.C.
Shelia Lucero : Jax Fish House : Denver, CO
Kyle Mendenhall : Arcana : Boulder CO
Lamar Moore : Chicago, IL
Kevin Nashan : Sidney Street Café : St. Louis, MO
Tomos Parry : London, England
Cesar Pita : Rancho Pescadero : Baja California Sur, Mexico
Tim Rattray : The Granary : Austin, TX
Paul Reilly : Beast + Bottle : Denver, CO
Chris Schwarz : Palace Kitchen : Seattle, WA
Alex Seidel : Mercantile : Denver, CO
Jeremy Sewall : Row 34 : Boston, MA
Marc Vetri : Alla Spina : Philadelphia, PA
Kelly Whitaker : Basta : Boulder, CO
Ian Wortham : Tavernetta : Denver, CO

Chef Alex Seidel of Denver’s Mercantile Dining & Provision at Paired, 2017

How to Purchase Your Tickets to Paired

God and Ticketmaster willing, we will be going to GABF & Paired again this year. If you’re interested in attending, here’s a few things to know:

Paired takes place during the Thursday and Friday evening sessions of GABF. Tickets are only available to current members of the  American Homebrewers Association (AHA) or Brewers Association (BA). You must purchase a membership by July 23, 11:59 p.m. PDT, to be eligible for the member pre-sale to buy Paired tickets. Visit Paired on the GABF website for more information.

See you at GABF!