From Memorial Day to Labor Day, I constantly think about drinking beer. The long days, the warm weather, the likelihood of vacations: It’s beer’s time to shine. (To be honest, I constantly think about beer, period, but it’s even more plentiful in the summer.) But though it’s important to be mindful of the here and now, it’s almost nearly time to start thinking about another beery event: the 38th Annual Great American Beer Festival which will be taking place from Thursday, October 3 to Saturday, October 5.
Tickets for America’s largest and best-known beer festival — aka GABF — go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, July 31 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time/10 a.m. Mountain Time. The good news is that grabbing these tickets probably won’t be as much of a mad dash as in the past; however, if you plan on attending, you’ll definitely want to mark your calendar.
In 2018, GABF expanded its size significantly, and whereas you used to be able to describe the time it took for tickets to sell out in minutes, last year, tickets for the most popular Friday and Saturday sessions took about a day to sell out. (Tickets for the Thursday session were still available right up until event day.) Translation: There will likely be no reason to pound the refresh button in 2019, but you also probably don’t want to tempt fate by trying to buy tickets on August 1.
However, if you want to guarantee you’ll get a ticket — and other benefits as well — the GABF wants to remind people that members of the American Homebrewers Association not only get a presale code to purchase tickets for all sessions a day before the public, but they also receive exclusive access to the Saturday afternoon “Members Session.” A membership — which starts at $38 for one year — gives you $5 off the ticket price, and the member session is $15 cheaper than the public ones (though it’s also 30 minutes shorter). Importantly, you must purchase your membership by July 17 to be eligible to get the member benefits.
In general, ticket prices have held steady this year at $85 per pop. You can find all the details for this year’s event on the GABF website.