Great American Beer Festival: By the Numbers

In short: It biggered. Here's a statistical look at America’s largest beer festival.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Oct 1, 2019 - 2 min read

Great American Beer Festival: By the Numbers Primary Image

These figures, provided by the Brewers Association, help convey the size and scope of GABF. It is the largest ticketed beer festival in the United States (the Oregon Brewers Festival is larger but doesn't require tickets). GABF also is the festival serving the largest selection of American beers in one place.

These include preliminary figures for this week’s event, scheduled for October 3–5.

The Growing Festival
Year: 38th (Founded in 1982)

Attendees the first year: 800
Attendees expected this year: 62,000
Volunteers working at the festival: 4,100


Breweries present the first year: 24
Breweries expected this year: 800+

States represented: 48, plus the District of Columbia
Most breweries present from one state: 138 (Colorado)
New breweries present: 91

Different beers served the first year: 47
Different beers to be served this year: 4,000+

Number of kegs ready to be tapped: 7,596
Cases of beer on hand: 2,117
Total length of draft beer lines in festival hall: more than 4 miles
Ice supply: about 250 tons


Attending the Festival
Number of sessions: 4
Length of a session: 4 to 4½ hours
Cost of a ticket to one session: $85
Ounces per beer sample: 1

The Competition
Brewers who entered beers in the GABF competition this year: about 2,450
Beers entered in competition: about 8,600
Categories to be judged: 107
Average number of beers per category: about 80
Percentage of beers entered that will win medals: about 3 percent
Number of beer judges: 330

Photos: Brewers Association