The Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in the format of a public tasting event, plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. This event showcases the diverse beers that make craft brewing one of the fastest-growing segments of the beer, wine and spirits industry. GABF was founded in 1982, and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since.
GABF is not just about sampling quality beer, but serves as a chance for hundreds of breweries to compete in a commercial beer competition. Breweries enter their beers to be judged by the festival’s professional judge panel. Festival attendees can also sip the beer entered in the competition during the tasting sessions.
GABF Judges Panel
GABF invites industry professionals from around the world to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. The ultimate goal of the GABF judge panel is to identify the three beers that best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the GABF Style Guidelines.
The professional judge panel awards gold, silver or bronze medals that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. These awards are among the most coveted in the industry and heralded by the winning brewers in their national advertising.
Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of the festival. Judges are assigned beers to evaluate in their specific area of expertise and never judge their own product or any product in which they have a concern.