The 2014 Great American Beer Festival sold out for the 3rd year in a row in less than an hour. Despite selling out in a similar timeframe in the last two years, it seemed that this year didn’t have the same Ticketmaster technical glitches that became a focal point of rage for would-be festival goers. Measures such as ticket limits for purchases and captcha-codes were implemented into this year’s sale which compared to last year’s feedback seemed to indicate that a majority of ticketbuyers were fans as opposed to the prior years with many tickets being sold to scalpers. Despite the added measures and less-angry feedback this year, many tickets did find their way to scalping sites such as stubhub with marked up prices, however the festival’s facebook page indicated that most scalping sites are speculative and may not actually have as many tickets as indicated.
This is technically the last year that The Great American Beer Festival is under contract with Ticketmaster having signed a 3-year deal in 2011, however there hasn’t been any indication whether or not the festival will renew their agreement yet. With a revolution of sorts for craft beer, many consumers have turned away from giant beer companies such as MillerCoors or InBev (owners of Budweiser) and focused on smaller locally produced brewing companies. In addition, TV shows such as Brewmasters, Beer Geeks and Brew Dogs have helped perk interest in the craft beer revolution. With a growing fanbase, it should not come as a surprise that the country’s biggest beer festival has become quite the hot ticket for beer fans.
This year, the festival will take place October 2-4th and will feature nearly 600 breweries and 2700 beers. In 2015 the festival will see 30% more space which will help accommodate room for more tickets and room for more breweries, which like the fans have also had a hard time to get into the festival in recent years. For those that may have missed out on tickets this year, there will still be plenty of GABF-related activities around the city during the week of the festival such as tap-takeovers, beer dinners, kick-off parties, special tappings, and mini-festivals.