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A close-up photo of a hand holding a souvenir tasting glass that has been filled with golden beer at the Great American Beer Festival.
Although one-ounce pours are standard at the Great American Beer Festival, this souvenir tasting glass was filled to the top
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

A “Juicy” Look Back at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival

Photos and trends from the festival’s 38th year

The 38th annual Great American Beer Festival has come and gone, but not before an untold number of beer samples were enjoyed by the thousands of attendees who crammed the Colorado Convention Center for the Mile High City’s most beloved three-day bender.

The story again this year was the juicy and hazy beers, a variety of ales that are less bitter and more citrus- or fruit-forward then their counterparts and which dominated the competition categories once again. This year, the festival’s Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale category received the most entries of any at the festival at 348, though that number actually represented a decrease from last year’s number of 414 entries.

However, the American Style IPA category, which consists of IPAs that are pale golden or reddish amber in color and more flavorful and aromatic than the more bitter English IPAs, also held strong with 342 entries. The American IPA category had previously received the most entries of any category at the festival for the last decade before the Juicy or Hazy IPA category overtook it last year.

The other trend that was evident at this year’s festival was the rise of breweries specializing in beers that contain little or no alcohol and are meant to cater to those who aim to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. Among those breweries is Connecticut’s Athletic Brewing Co., which was founded by a brewer who found he no longer wanted to drink alcohol but still liked to be able to enjoy an occasional beer and night out.

But while those trends stood out this year, this year’s festival lived up to its reputation by offering a sip for every palette. A roundup of the festival’s big winners will be published on Eater Denver later today. But first, enjoy these photos that offer a sample of some of the sudsy fun that was had last weekend.

A woman dressed in a German dirndl and other attendees walk near the stands for Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Figueroa Mountain Brewery in the Pacific section of this year’s festival, which featured beers from California and Hawaii
A woman dressed in a German dirndl and other attendees walk near the stands for Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Figueroa Mountain Brewery in the Pacific section of this year’s festival, which featured beers from California and Hawaii
Lucy Beaugard/Eater
A photo of several Great American Beer Festival attendees walking in front of the table where tasting glasses were given out at the Friday night session of the festival
Great American Beer Festival attendees walk in front of the table where tasting glasses were given out at the Friday night session of the festival
Lucy Beaugard/Eater
A photo of people arranged in two large queues to enter the Great American Beer Festival
Although tickets were once again still available for some sessions at the start of the festival (after years of sellouts being the norm), lines were long to enter the festival at the convention center on Friday night
Lucy Beaugard/Eater
A wide shot of dozens of people walking through the Great American Beer festival with breweries lining the side of the shot
An estimated 62,000 people attended the three days of the 2019 Great American Beer Festival
Lucy Beaugard/Eater
A photo of bagpipers seen from behind playing to crowds waiting to enter the Great American Beer Festival
Bagpipers play to the queues of attendees waiting to enter the 2019 Great American Beer Festival
Lucy Beaugard/Eater

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700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202 (303) 228-8000
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