Tips for Great GABF Displays

This year’s Great American Beer Festival had more than 800 breweries in attendance, pouring for more than 62,000 attendees. With 4,000 beers to choose from, making your booth stand out is important to get festival goers to try your beer. 

Several breweries, with some of the more eye-catching setups, offered their advice for putting on a good show.

For Firestone Walker Brewing Company, the booth represented what a customer would see going into the brewery itself.

“Height helps,” said Amanda Ford, Social Media Strategist at Firestone Walker. “There’s so much going on at GABF, so have something eye catching, whether that’s lights or a banner or something to get people’s attention.”

While other breweries had mostly volunteers at their booths, Firestone Walker had several of its own standing at the booth at all times. 

“I also think it’s helpful if a brewery can have a brewer or some type of representative attending, just so, when somebody comes and asks you a question about the beer, you are able to elaborate on that story and give them details so they walk away and learn something.”

Carnival Cruise Line, with a brewery aboard its ships, offered guests a simple look, but with the beer front and center.

Joyce Oliva, PR Manager for the brewery, and the brains behind the setup, said her goal was to display the product and showcase the brand with integrity. With the brewery logo front and center and bottled beers on display, “People can start associating our brand with the brands of beers that we have.”

The tap handles were printed on the backdrop as well, to help people recognize which beers are located on each cruise ship.

“I tried to keep it simple,” Oliva said. “The simpler it is, the more attention you get on what you really want to focus on. If you put a bunch of stuff on the bar, it takes away from the backdrop, which is what I really wanted to focus on.”

Passengers aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship can bring the beer home with them. Not only is Carnival the first cruise line to have a brewery on board, but it’s also the first to can and keg its beer, and the bottles on display reminded guests beer could be taken home from cruises.

Great Divide Brewing Company had a memorable booth as well, with the logo front and center, and brightly-lit setup helped it stand out as a corner booth.

“It’s kind of heavy, so we might do a revamp for next year,” said Matt Sandy, Marketing Manager. “It’s heavy because it kind of matches the ambiance and theme of our actual Barrel Bar which is a lot of steel, a lot of barrels.”

Barrel Bar is one of Great Divide’s secondary locations, just a mile away from its original location. It features the packaging facility, canning line, and barrel aged and sour beer storage.

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