Historical Tidbits: Beer. Great American Beer Festival, 1985

In late May, 1985, a reporter for the Boulder Daily Camera interviewed Daniel Bradford, director of the Great American Beer Festival, a two-day event scheduled to begin later that week in Denver.(*1)

Bradford predicted that three or four thousand people would attend the GABF, whose 1985 theme was "Oktoberfest of the West." Festival-goers would sample beers from thirty-four "microbreweries" (up from 20 who submitted beer in 1984).

The GABF coincided that year with the National Homebrew Competition, where judges would taste more than six hundred entries. The first 2,000 people through the door would receive "commemorative mugs," as well as a "60-page almanac" containing essays on beer history and beer styles as well as information about homebrewing.

Tickets were $10 in advance, $12.50 at the door.(*2)


Source: "Great American Beer Festival Offers 100 Brews for Tasting," Boulder Daily Camera, May 29, 1985, p. 2e.

*1: In the early 1990s, Bradford became publisher of All About Beer magazine and also served as director of the Brewers Association of America, the trade group for small American brewers. In 2005, the BAA merged with the Association of Brewers, the sponsor of the GABF, to become the Brewers Association. Bradford is still publisher of All About Beer, which also sponsors the World Beer Festival.

*2: $10.00 in 1985 is equal to about $19.00 in 2006 dollars. Tickets for the 2008 GABF? $50.00 ($20.00 for designated drivers.)