Brewers Association Bob Pease

Bob Pease, CEO/president of the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, on the important role beer festivals play in the craft brewing community


Beer festivals provide an important opportunity for beer lovers to get ‘up close and personal’ with their favourite breweries, and hear from provocative personalities and innovators who have helped shaped the craft brewing landscape. Festivals provide an excellent sampling opportunity and a forum for education and learning about the craft brewing community. They enrich our craft beer experience and help connect us to the culture of new places.

Ticket sales open at the end of this month for Great American Beer Festival (GABF), North America’s premier beer festival and competition, taking place in Denver, Colorado, from October 3 to 5. It represents the largest collection of US beer ever served in a public tasting event, plus a private competition, and brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make
the US the world’s greatest brewing nation. But don’t just take it from me: the Guinness Book of Records claims there is no other place on earth where a beer aficionado can find more beers on tap, and GABF is listed as one of the top 1,000 places to visit in the US before you die.

GABF has been held every year since 1982 and was inspired by the Brewers Association’s founder, Charlie Papazian, and the late beer writer Michael Jackson, after visiting the Great British Beer Festival for the first time more than 40 years ago. They shared a vision of a similar event to GBBF happening in the States, and this year GABF will celebrate its 38th anniversary. It continues to grow and evolve, along with the American craft brewing industry, and this year will feature approximately 4,000 beers from 800 of the nation’s finest breweries.

And as if that’s not enough, we also present Paired, a showcase of beer and food pairings that unites craft breweries and acclaimed chefs from across America to celebrate the intricacies and possibilities of pairing beer with food. Fifty unique beers from 25 small and independent American brewers are paired with more than 25 award-winning chefs, all expertly curated
by the Brewers Association’s executive chef, Adam Dulye.

Barrel-ageing showcase with Jameson Irish Whiskey

Returning again after a successful debut in 2018, is the Jameson Caskmates Barrel-Aged Beer Garden. This year, Jameson will bring its small and independent brewery partners from across the USA together, giving craft beer lovers a chance to sample barrel-aged beers in one location. Each brewery received Jameson Irish Whiskey barrels from Midleton, County Cork, Ireland, that had previously held Jameson Irish Whiskey. These barrels were then used to age each brewery’s beer. The Jameson master cooper, Ger Buckley, will educate festival-goers on the importance of wood and wood selections for the ageing process.

You can also meet the brewer, where passionate beer fans come to start conversations with their brewing heroes, or sample award-winning beers from GABF and the World Beer Cup, all in one spot at the Heavy Medal booth.

And then if you just want to hang out, head over to the Backyard, a fun filled zone of music and games, or shake your groove thing at the Silent Disco.

Tickets go on sale on July 31 at

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.

The BA represents 4,000-plus US breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.

The BA organises events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week.

The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the US.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app.

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