2017 tickets didn’t sell out as quickly
Is the Great American Beer Festival losing its huge hype?
The tickets to the nation’s largest beer festival are typically hard to get and disappear fast. But this year, it took four hours and 15 minutes to sell out — longer than any time since the event expanded in 2015.
A year ago, the Denver event sold out in record time at 67 minutes. In 2015, it only took 77 minutes to reach capacity.
“As I think about an event of GABF’s longevity — 2017 marks our 36th year — I think it’s natural to see some fluctuations in the patterns of demand and the pacing of selling out,” said Barbara Fusco, the sales and marketing director for the Brewers Association, the Boulderbased organization that organizes the event.
This year’s event Oct. 5-7 at the Colorado Convention Center will feature unlimited 1-ounce samples of more than 3,800 beers from 850 breweries — the most ever. A ticket costs $89.50 with fees.
Early in the day, numerous beer fans encountered problems with Ticketmaster, the vendor the Brewers Association uses each year. A number reported selecting tickets only to see them disappear when it came time to check out. Others hit roadblocks that made it appear tickets were sold out, even though many were still available. But no widespread problems were reported.
More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event, according to the Brewers Association.
Before the sale ended, tickets flooded the secondary market with starting prices at $100 and more — well above the $85 face value. Event organizers suggest finding sellers willing to offer face value on the Brewers Association Facebook page and American Homebrewers Association forums.
Gena Hassett of Golden’s Holidaily Brewing pours beer during opening night of the Great American Beer Festival Oct. 6, 2016.