The Great American Beer Festival

Ticket sales for an event can often become overly complex, and down right frustrating. This year, the Great American Beer Festival, and its fans felt this in a very public way. From Ticketmaster’s system being unavailable for longer than normal times, to crashing when you tried to purchase a ticket, the experience was poor at best.  While the Brewers Association is under contract with Great American Beer FestivalTicketmaster, they have announced plans to implement changes to next years festival.

Here is the letter sent to all Member breweries of the Brewers Association:

2014 GABF Brewery Registration Process
The Brewers Association takes very seriously the “race to enter” registration issue that has resulted from a rapidly growing number of breweries along with increasing interest in the competition and festival. Since registration closed this year, we have been working to address this issue by devising a plan for 2014 that aims to eliminate the “race to enter” problem for future GABFs.

Based on this work, the BA plans to introduce a different entry method next year. This “all comers” style brewery registration process will achieve a few important goals:
· Eliminate the race to enter before all slots fill up

· Increase the number of breweries that can enter the competition

· Increase the number of beer entries

The 2014 GABF brewery will remain open for set number of days, and all interested breweries may enter the competition. The number of beer entries allowed per brewery will be based on doing the math of the number of breweries that registered during the sign-up period and the pre-determined capacity of beers that we can successfully judge that year.

Here is an example to illustrate:
· Total number of beers that can be judged = 5,000

· The registration period lasts (is open) for two weeks; no clambering to enter during one short time window

· Total number of eligible breweries that apply = 1,000

· 5,000 beers / 1000 breweries = 5 entries per brewery

· Thus in this scenario, the competition would accept the first 5 entries from every brewery that entered

· Let’s say 2,500 breweries entered instead of 1,000: in that case, every brewery could enter 2 beers in the competition. The math would work like that for whatever number of breweries entered (Max. capacity of beers that can be judged – divided by – number of breweries entering the competition)

· Festival booth space would be handled separately

As you can imagine, many important details remain to be worked out, but we believe this 2014 GABF brewery registration plan represents a solid start toward an increasingly fair and accommodating competition for the future.

Thanks so much for your continued support.

Nancy Johnson
Event Director | Brewers Association

Great American Beer Festival

Categories: News

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