Industry News: NW: Local breweries confirm technical issues stopped them from registering for The Great American Beer Festival.

Following-up on the story written yesterday I have received confirmation that many local breweries were unsuccessful in registering for this year's Great American Beer Festival.

After having multiple discussions,  the overall opinion is that the Brewers Association should have anticipated the 'technical issues'.

To demonstrate how the technical issues impacted local breweries I have included a few of their comments.


  • Crux Fermentation Project - Head Brewer, Larry Sidor (formerly of Deschutes & Olympia).

"Unsuccessful due to technical problems with their website. With several attempts. Others were able to get in but the site didn't work for us."

  • Boneyard Brewing Co. - Head Brewer, Tony Lawrence.

"I was the one trying to get us (Boneyard Beer) registered yesterday.  When I was logging onto their site, it was just the screen saying that registration started July 9th and to check back then.  I tried this probably 7 or 8 times and the last time is said it was sold out!  I was in shock and extremely disappointed!  We have already purchased our airfare and hotel for the event.  I did put our name on the waiting list, so at this point we are hoping we can still enter our beers into competition.  Doesn't sound like there is any chance we will get a booth." -Melodee Storey, Boneyard Beer

  • Widmer Brothers Brewing

We were not, unfortunately. But we are on the waiting list.


  • Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen - Head Brewer, Will Kemper

"Thanks for asking, we were shut out along with our other Bellingham brewery friends! Quite the dilemma for those of us who had gone in the past.” – Mari Kemper, Chuckanut Brewery

  • Kulshan Brewing - Head Brewer, Tom Eastwood

We tried several times but we unsuccessful. It’s unfortunate that all of Whatcom county might not be represented at this year’s festival.

  • Populuxe Brewing Co. - Head Brewer, Peter Charbonnier

"As a nano, the GABF requirements are almost exclusionary from a financial and logistical standpoint.  Getting kegs to the hall, travelling, setting up - all things that are not selling our beer and building our business.  However, as a new brewery, its one of the things we were really looking forward to doing, and so we determined the commitment was worth it.

On the morning of July 9th I got the email regarding open registration.  At around 9:15 I was drinking coffee and clicked on the registration link.  The page read "Registration opens at 9:00am!" or some such.  I figured it was a glitch in the matrix and decided to go down to the brewery and check on how our Saison was doing.  I didn't think about it again until I was eating lunch and saw that there were a bunch of people on Twitter complaining that registration had closed." –Peter Charbonnier, Populuxe Brewing

  • Flyers Restaurant & Brewery - Head Brewer, Tony Savoy

"Nope shut out."

I will continue to update you as each brewer chimes in, so you know whom to look for at this year's festival.

Side note, we contacted Anacortes, Black Raven, Elysian, Two Beers, Yakima Craft, and Odin. What we learned was that Elysian decided against submitting beer this year and Black Raven elected to also not attend this year’s festival (in lieu of supporting their brewery expansion). While Two Beers, Yakima Craft, and Odin were not interested for personal reasons.


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