Great American Beer Festival

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The Great American Beer Festival, or GABF, is a convention put on by the Brewers Association each year to celebrate American craft beer. It features both a show floor for attendees to learn about and sample craft beer, and a tasting competition for commercial breweries.

The Festival

The festival floor features booths run by hundreds of American breweries, which pour one-ounce samples of their beers (free with admission). There are also demonstrations, seminars, and other events taking place around the hall.

The Competition

The GABF is the source of one of the two most influential competition beer style listings. While the BJCP style guidelines are designed for home brewing competitions, the GABF guidelines are designed for the GABF's competition for commercial beers. This is reflected in the greater number of categories, reflecting specialty beer styles and commercial categories less interesting to home brewers, such as low-carbohydrate beer, dry lager, and non-alcoholic beer. Because of the inclusion of some of these categories, the GABF has been criticized as catering too much to large breweries at the expense of its core constituency of craft breweries.