By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) – Over the past few years tickets for Great American Beer Festival have sold out in under an hour, but this year one session is still on sale a week after it hit the market.
The popular Friday and two Saturday sessions are sold out but the Thursday evening session still has a few tickets available.
As the festival has grown, so have events outside of the Convention Center and that could be one way for beer geeks to save money but still get special brews.
“It is absolutely the unofficial home of great American beer festival,” said Chris Black, the owner of Falling Rock Tap House.
Black opened in 1997 and immediately changed the atmosphere around GABF.
“I just started collecting and putting on really, really amazing beers. The bar got packed,” He said. “Nobody else was really doing anything else like this. Nobody was this beer-centric.”
The idea of brewery specific special releases was born. Last year Falling Rock hosted 34 events in 5 days the week of GABF.
Now other bars and restaurants are following the lead and hundreds of beer events are taking place around Denver.
“I’m trying to cut down a little bit on that and we’ll probably have 30 events this year,” Black said.
As outside events grow, so does the festival itself. This year nearly 1,000 breweries will now take up all six halls of the convention center.
“A limited number of tickets remain available for the Thursday session of GABF. All other sessions are sold out. This year we increased ticket inventory across all sessions to meet demand, and ensure a higher purchase success rate, as well as complement the increased venue capacity. With the addition of 100,000 square feet, attendees will have more space to hang out and mingle with brewers and fellow beer lovers while discovering new breweries and learning more about beer at educational and experiential programs. We look forward to welcoming everyone to GABF,” said Ann Obenchain, Marketing Director at the Brewers Association.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.