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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great American Beer Festival Just 44 Days Away

The Great American Beer Festival runs from Sept. 24-26 in Denver, Colo. -- just 44 days from now. Anyone who has been to the GABF will tell you that every beer fan needs to make the trip at least once, and once you have been chances are you will want to return.

This year's GABF is going to set records. The Brewers' Association is making the exhibit space at the Colorado Convention Center even larger and they expect to have in excess of 2,000 beers being poured for festival attendees -- the largest collection of American beer in any one location ever. Tickets for the sessions are going relatively quickly, which is good to see in this economy. The GABF reports that 49 percent of the tickets for the Thursday night session are already sold; 68 percent for the Friday night session; 87 percent from the Saturday afternoon "members-only" session; and 45 percent for Saturday night. Tickets for the evening sessions are $55 and the members-only affair is priced at $83.

Since all of the sessions sold out in advance during the last two years, your best bet is to order tickets now.

Booking airfare this year from Charlotte was slightly more expensive than last year, but hotel deals were plentiful when I reserved my room a couple of months back. I was able to secure a room at a nice hotel just three blocks from the GABF site for about half of what I paid last year for a location that was more than a mile away.

A couple of new events are adding some buzz to this year's GABF. The inaugural Denver Rare Beer Tasting, which raises funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign, is taking place on Sept. 25th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Wynkoop Brewery. All About Beer Magazine is organizing the event in cooperation with BeerAdvocate.com and the list of rare, limited edition and exotic beers is quite impressive. Tickets for the event are $55 in advance and selling very quickly.

Visit Denver has declared Sept. 18-27 to be "Denver Beer Fest." They are still finalizing the list of events for this celebration, but Denver is one of America's great beer cities so you can expect a pretty packed schedule. One benefit of the involvement of the Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau is that the average beer fan will now have a place to go to access a comprehensive list of public events.

Lyke2Drink plans to offer up daily reports and commentary from the GABF.

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