More than 3,800 beers, 800+ breweries
Every year, the Great American Beer Festival takes over the Colorado Convention Center. And when I say "takes over," I mean there are breweries pouring beer as far as the eye can see. If you're farsighted, that probably doesn't seem too far. But I have 20/20 vision, and it is extremely far.
Behind long, long tables are volunteers and brewery employees pouring every single beer style you can imagine (96 of them, not including subcategories) from craft breweries all across the country. Once you've bought a ticket, all the beer inside is free -- they slosh a 1oz sample into your officially sanctioned plastic cup. And while some rare beers do run out early on, you still have your choice of more than 3,800 beers from 800+ breweries. Try to wrap your head around that. When I go to a beer bar, I'm psyched if it has more than 15 taps.
Beloved breweries from all across America show up and pour
Because even some of the better craft breweries in America are unable to ship their stuff to every state, GABF is the best chance you'll have to try beer from breweries that don't make it out your way. For example, Wisconsin's New Glarus, Michigan's Short's, and other beloved breweries typically have people lining up for samples all three days of the fest, and it's for good reason. The beer is delicious, and unless you live in WI or MI, you likely don't see their beers. But if you don't live in WI or MI, you probably also aren't snowed inside your house 11 months out of the year, so it's not all bad news for you.