NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GABF Tickets Gone In Minutes

Nathan Heffel

Organizers of the Great American Beer Fest warned the public that tickets would sell out fast for the 2013 festival in Denver. They weren’t lying, the GABF tweeted that they were sold out 19 minutes after they went on sale.

As the festival grows in popularity, demand for the tickets is greatly increasing. Presale tickets for this year’s event sold out in 90 minutes. The Denver Post reports technical errors also caused presale ticket buyers some headaches:

“It was disappointing. That is the short answer,” said Barbara Fusco, sales and marketing director for the GABF. “It was certainly disappointing for all of us at the Brewers Association, the American Homebrewers Association and all of us who love the Great American Beer Festival.” Many would-be ticket-buyers reported they were unable to input their AHA or BA membership numbers on the Ticketmaster web site. Fusco said the problem was limited to the first 10 minutes of the pre-sale that began at 10 this morning, and not everyone was impacted. 

In 2012, public tickets for GABF sold out in 46 minutes. The public isn’t the only one left out, as we reported earlier even some brewers were shocked to find they were unable to register for the event. Many were left on waiting lists and others unsure what to do with all the beer they’d prepared for the event:

Jeff Crabtree of Greeley’s Crabtree Brewing secured his place at the festival. “I was at the brewery at 8 o’clock, I had everything laid out on my desk and I was ready to go,” said Crabtree. “I was brewing beer, the team was packaging beer, business as usual. But I watched the clock just like I would watch the clock adding hops.”

As if anticipating the storm, one blogger from Denver off the Wagon posted his story two days early, sarcastically writing that this year tickets would sell out in seconds:

At 10 AM this morning thousands of beer fans all over the country poised over their keyboard, rhythmically tapping “F5″ for refresh, ready to give their hard earned money over to TicketMaster registration fees in exchange for the golden-ticket of our generation: access to the Great American Beer Festival. By 10:01, every ticket had been claimed. By 10:05 hundreds of tickets were available on StubHub at a 300% (or more!) markup. “It all happened so fast,” said one unfortunate beer fan. “This is almost as bad as when Radiohead came to Denver.”

Denver off the Wagon noted that in 2011 it took the GABF a week to sell out. In the Napa Valley of Craft Beer the love just runs that deep. That love isn’t showing any signs soon of going flat.

Related Content