In 9 days the Great American Beer Festival kicks off in Denver. Are you ready?
On October 5 the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) will once again open their doors in Denver, delivering three days of fun served 1-ounce at a time! We are so excited to be partaking in all the GABF activities again this year. And now that the countdown is in the single-digit territory, it’s time to finalize our plan of attack. We’re feeling pretty ready for the fest, are you?
If you’re heading to GABF this year, now is the time to start your pre-festival preparations. Don’t pull the rookie move of arriving without a plan, especially if there are particular experiences you hope to have inside the fest. This year they expect are around 800 breweries pouring more than 3400 beers, plus countless vendors, exhibits and events. That’s a lot of awesomeness, and it’s spread over a massive 400,000 square feet of the Colorado Convention Center. With an event of this size, you need to have some idea of what your goals are when the doors open. Trust us, we not only speak from experience, but we’re typically the first ones to favor procrastination over preparedness. However, when it comes to a festival the size of GABF even lazy mouse types like us know we need to do some advance planning if we’re going to fit in everything we hope to experience.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry we’ve got your back. Beginning today and through the kickoff of GABF, we’ll be sharing some of our top festival tips and reminders. These are the things we’ve learned, often the hard way, after years of attending this festival. So whether you’re a first-timer or a GABF pro, we hope these simple tips & quick reminders will help you get the most out of this year’s beer fest.
GABF Preparedness Tip: Download (or update) the My GABF app
With a festival the size of GABF, it’s important you have the right tool to help you navigate the hall. If you think you’ll just wander around and visit each brewery during your session, realize that time is not on your side. Assuming you spend 4 hours walking the festival floor, you would need to limit yourself to about 18-seconds per brewery if you want to visit them all. That doesn’t even account for the vendors, exhibitors, busting a move at the silent disco, or bathroom breaks. What we are trying to tell you is that you should go to the festival knowing you won’t get to see everything. Therefore, we suggest you prioritize making your way to the breweries, beers, and events inside GABF that you definitely don’t want to miss.
That’s where the My GABF app can help. With just a minimal amount of preparation, the My GABF app can help you make sure you spend your time in the festival wisely, and you don’t miss sampling beers from your favorite breweries.
The My GABF app is already updated with a full list of participating breweries for 2017. You can browse the brewery list now and flag any breweries you want to sample. The My GABF app will save these breweries in a custom list for you, organized by region. Then with just one tap, you can quickly find their exact location. Flag all your favorites and then look at the map to come up with a plan of attack. If you are anything like us you’ll probably scrap this plan halfway through the fest and just wander around. That’s okay. At least if you hit a few of your top spots first, you’ll get to several of them before you go rogue. In our opinion, a half-assed plan is still better than no plan at all.
If you don’t want to make a plan, but just want to wander and be surprised, the My GABF app will still come in handy in several ways. You can use the app to track your tasting notes and ratings to remember the great beers you discover. If you’re interested in taking in some of the events in GABF, the My GABF app has a schedule of all the happenings. It can help direct you to the festival merchants and exhibitors if you want to find some brewing gear or beer swag. You can even use the My GABF app to take some sweet selfies and share your #hoppyplace adventures with the world via social media. Finally, once Saturday morning’s award ceremony is complete, the app will tell you which beers and breweries earned a GABF medal and are deserving of a high-five.
Right now the My GABF app has updated the breweries and festival hall map for 2017. As the event grows closer, more updates will come. The full beer list should be published to the app on October 4. Once that update happens you can search and flag beers much in the same way you do breweries.
The My GABF app is available as a free download for iPhones and Android devices. If you already have the app from last year, you’ll just need to make sure it’s been updated for 2017. You can find the app for your device here: Apple | Android
That’s it for today’s GABF tip. Stay tuned for more information, suggestions, and reminders right up until the festival kicks off on October 5.