They descended upon the Colorado Convention Center with such number and force, few knew what to expect. Hotels were completely booked with myriad guests: beer-belly twenty-somethings, groups of women looking to broaden their knowledge and affluent couples traveling from abroad with the event as the only item on their itinerary. The city of Denver was filled with locals and tourists alike, all carrying little 3-ounce tasting glasses with the same ubiquitous logo as the countless banners adorning the street. With 408 breweries pouring over 1,800 beers, this was the largest selection of American beers ever gathered together on the globe. The Great American Beer Festival: need I say more?
With more than 46,000 attendees and over 18,000 gallons of beer, 2007 marked the 26th anniversary of the Great American Beer Festival, held October 11-13. This year’s event was bigger than ever with all four sessions selling out in advance. The 1st GABF held in 1982 hosted 22 breweries, 40 beers and 800 attendees; the festival has undoubtedly grown substantially and now welcomes breweries from almost all 50 states.