Great American Beer Festival Sells Out in Under 20 Minutes, Internet Rejoices


If you’re thinking of going to the Great American Beer Festival, you should stop now.

All the tickets to the October beer sampling extravaganza sold in in less than 20 minutes, with many people unable to click their way into a pass for the festival.  As you can imagine, these people are thrilled.

“That was bullshit,” said one happy fellow on GABF’s Facebook page, where they proudly announced the news that all the tickets had sold out in a whirlwind of activity.

One woman was very thankful to Ticketmaster, who handled the sale of tickets on behalf of the Brewers Association. “Thanks for letting scalpers buy enormous blocks of tickets, Ticketmaster!,” she beamed, “Guess we all get to go buy them for double the price on Craigslist now.”

How fun – Internet shopping!

If you did manage to secure a golden ticket, you’ll most likely be enjoying your beer samples next to a robot. What is this, ComicCon?! 😉

“The only people getting tickets were the scalper bots,” said one cyborg fan. “I knew you’d then promote how it sold out quickly. You clowns need to fix this mess you’ve created with ticketmaster. I was online at exactly 10:00am and did not get any tickets. What a crock.”

This beer lover was so stoked about getting to pay even more for a ticket on StubHub, all the excitement gave him a belly ache!  “Welp $155 later on Stubhub. I’m furious right now. I was on ticketmaster at 10:00am on the dot and couldn’t get a ticket. This is a horrible way to treat beer lovers and I’m sick to my stomach about it.”

Someone needs a tummy rub!

One woman had kind words for those who did manage to secure a ticket: “Congrats to all the scalpers!”

This gentleman wasn’t sure if his Internet microphone was working, saying, “For the cost of the tickets on Ebay, I could buy one of every beer at the show and have a private tasting. Hello? Is anyone listening? Don’t you want real beer fans at your show?”

Another happy go lucky beer fan summed up thusly: “Fuck this shit. GABF is a joke now! I’ll just go to all the small beer events around town instead.”

These are but a few smatterings of the good tidings and joyful pronouncements made by craft beer aficionados.

How about you – did YOU score a ticket to GABF?



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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle, News


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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26 Comments on “Great American Beer Festival Sells Out in Under 20 Minutes, Internet Rejoices”

  1. Dan
    July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I did not get a ticket, but I wasn’t planning on going anyway. I enjoy what I brew up myself, so I don’t really get the hype. Plus, I imagine Don will get anything worth having and commercially available in my area anyway.

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      That’s true – the bear will hook you up!

  2. July 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I was lucky enough to get my tickets yesterday during the presale, but it was close since Ticketmaster didn’t like my member number for the first ten minutes.

    Tickets were already showing up on StubHub yesterday just minutes after the presale began, by supposed BA/AHA members.

    I do look forward to all of the other events going on that week as well, they’re all warm up acts for the big event.

    How about you Jim, do you score?

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Naw, I didn’t even try. If I can finagle time away and plane ticket, I’ll likely get a press pass for the weekend and write about it for Today. I wish they’d cough up for travel, because it’d be a lot of fun to cover the show!

  3. July 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Its the great American way doncha know? But it is not reflective of the craft beer culture we’ve come to know & love.

    Using Ticketmaster was both a really bad decision by the organizers & a sign that the craft beer scene is ripe for a takeover by America’s shallow uberculture, w/ all the things we craftees hate about it.

    May I suggest that the craft brewers take the matter into their own hands and either force the GABF organizers to discontinue such practices in future or organize one or more competing events that do celebrate our unique craft beer counter-culture.

    C’mon craft brewers, I know you read this Blog. How ’bout it? What do you have to say?

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Well, the BA does host Savor every year, usually in Washington D.C. It’s far and away a better experience than GABF and much easier to score a ticket to as well.

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      There’s already talk about regional GABF events in addition to SAVOR. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

  4. July 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I’ve mostly been hearing about why people don’t want to go to GABF anymore. The outside events that surround GABF week are more intimate, entertaining, and you will probably actually remember what the beer you are trying tastes like. Unattending GABF is the way to go. I think the BA needs to work more on restructuring the event than the ticket issue.

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      I’ve only been once, and the best part of the weekend was far and away the Pints for Prostates Rare Beer Tasting – it blew the show floor away. Anyway, I agree – the worst part of GABF is GABF!

  5. Matt
    July 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I’ve hated Ticketmaster for decades. So much so that I won’t buy tickets if they are the only vendors. But, I have to wonder a bit at the vitriol over not going to GABF. When did my fellow craft beer fans become so entitled? It is an indulgence, brothers.

    Also, it’s a supply and demand market. If spending too much on something is causing buyer’s remorse or other clinical symptoms…why buy?

    Or if you’re really, truly pissed, organize a boycott. It might teach GABF and the bots a lesson.

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      I think it’s the fact that Ticketmaster’s policies make it easy for scalpers to buy up loads of tickets and resell them on StubHub, Craigslist, etc. If it was honest demand taking up all the tickets, my guess is people would be bummed, but not this upset.

  6. Tim
    July 31, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    And this is why I love beer festivals in England way more than any of them in the states (and as an American, I have never been to one in the states). Over here, getting into a beerfest may take a few minutes but it doesn’t take the bullshit process of ticketmaster to do so. You get a pint glass with three different measures on it; not some stupid plastic cup that is good for maybe four ounces. You make your way to Cambridge, Norwich, Peterborough or the GBBF and you will find a shitload of beers without all the BS that seems to come with American beerfests. I say, let Pearl Jam run the ticket sales to the GABF!!!

    In the end, maybe it is time to take on the GABF and make it accessible to beer drinkers who love beer but should never ever have to pay $150 to drink four ounces at a time. This is another reason our country is going into the fucking shitter. Yes, a small reason but one all the same…

    • July 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Hype ruins everything.

      Except pop music – that already sucked.

  7. July 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I have but one word to say: SAVOR

    (these words don’t count against the one word I said because they’re all parenthetical. So, is this the time when we start to see a smattering of craft beer blog articles decrying once more the bursting of the craft beer bubble resulting from a mass influx of non craft beer-centric quick buck entepreneurs?)


    • July 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      I agree – SAVOR is so much better than GABF – it’s like GABF, a rare beer tasting, beer college and all you can eat tapas rolled into one!

  8. July 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Didn’t this happen last year as well? I guess GABF organizers don’t care about the community, just their ticket sales. While they gloat, true craft supporters/lovers have two options: pay a scalper, or not go. I wasn’t planning on going for other reasons, but this has closed the door on me ever going unless they change how they handle ticket sales.

    • July 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Save your beer money for SAVOR, Bill. It’s a pricier ticket, but it’s a wonderful event.

  9. August 1, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    This here post is what you call a lesson in sarcasm. Sweet, tasty, bitter, hilarious sarcasm! Way to ring some laughs out of an obnoxious situation. As always, Jim, you’re a great read!

    • August 1, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      *Seriously on the last sentence, no sarcasm!

      • August 1, 2013 at 9:51 am #

        Thanks – they Internet did most of the work on this one!

  10. johnking82
    August 1, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    I had to run to the cooperage to get some barrels and gave my credit card to a co-worker to buy my tickets…I’ll be there on Thursday. Although tickets are pricy know on other websites, I’m sure they will come down.

    • August 1, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      I wonder what else they bought on the Internet with your credit card. Do they still sell VHS tapes of bear porn?

  11. Diss Content
    August 1, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    This has the earmarks of Sturgis and Mardi Gras in regard to relevance and experience. My last trip to Sturgis was in ’84, and it had an imponderable 30,000 bikers in a town with a population of around five or six thousand. Experiencing such constant facility saturation made the thought of it getting any larger simply frightening. Last year’s event was thought to have surpassed the half million person mark.

    I still have flashbacks about Mardi Gras, beginning with a three hour journey just to cross the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. What sort of Marque de Sade road engineer would design a 24 mile long bridge, entering a major metropolitan city, without any rest stops, and a spectacular view of nothing but water? Miles and miles and miles of water. Not exactly the sort of ‘free association’ one would expect for a good time on the horizon.

    Is the craft beer collective entering the same trajectory? Tickets being sold out that rapidly should signal some change in distribution, event length, or additional venues in order to maintain some balance before this becomes like a combination of the above mentioned events.

    • August 1, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Well, if they haven’t fixed Mardi Gras or Sturgis, they’re probably not gonna fix GABF. Being huge and crazy is good for business. Letting scalpers buy up lots of tickets might not be.

  12. August 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    I’ve never been a fan of TicketMaster (or Ticketron until it was purchased by Ticketmaster in 1991).

    One wonders what the organizers were thinking (this, of course, assumes they thought about it at all). Obviously the demand is much higher than the supply and the tickets are grossly underpriced since there is a secondary market for scalping. Why not raise the prices? If the organizers want to keep the prices lower than the market, then a raffle might be in order.

    If the organizers really want to have American Homebrewers Association members there, then requiring AHA membership cards at the door is a must. Perhaps AHA members could show their tickets and membership cards at the door to get in early.

  13. Kman
    August 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Many people here are slamming the organizers, but that may not be appropriate. Many venues have signed exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster. Therefore if you want to have the event in their building you have to use their ticket vendor (I.e. Ticketmaster in this case). I don’t know if that is the case here, but probably a good bet it is. I still think its bull though that the average person can’t get a ticket.

    One way to get tickets is to volunteer to pour at the event. I have a few friends that get in this way.

    While I haven’t been, my friends tell me that it is turning into a drunk fest for the stereotypical 20 something frat boy looking to get drunk and say they went to a cool event. Luckily here in Denver we are having many smaller events throughout the year. Maybe not the massive selection of GABF, but fun nonetheless. Besides my taste buds can only handle so much.

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