New Opportunities to Brew with the Pros

15th Annual Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am

The Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am (GABF Pro-Am) competition is an opportunity for commercial breweries to team up with homebrewers to vie for top honors. The GABF Pro-Am entries are served during the Great American Beer Festival at the Pro-Am booth.

How It Works

Brewers Association member breweries are eligible to submit one entry into the GABF Pro-Am competition. Entries must be based on a homebrew recipe from American Homebrewers Association (AHA) members that have won an award in an AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Competition*. Pro-Am competition judges come from the same professional panel of world-class judges that evaluate all the beers at the Great American Beer Festival competition. However, the Pro-Am competition is separate from the GABF competition, and therefore the Pro-Am medals do not count towards GABF Brewery and Brewer of the Year awards.

ASH has a handful of opportunities to pair up our members with local breweries for this year’s Pro-Am.

2020 Rules & Regulations

The rules in 2020 will follow the template from 2019. Breweries that have entered at least ONE brand in the GABF competition/festival are eligible to enter a beer in the Pro-Am Competition.

Beers entered in the GABF Pro-Am competition must be commercially available. Commercially available means the entered brand has been available for sale at retail by August TBD, 2020. All GABF eligibility rules apply to Pro-Am entries.

Beer entered in the Pro-Am competition must be served at the festival and cannot be entered solely as a “judge only” entry. Pro-Am beer is served at a designated GABF Pro-Am booth in the festival hall, thus is not counted toward the maximum number of beers that can be served at the brewery’s booth. However, the brewery may choose to offer the Pro-Am beer as one of their five festival beers at their brewery booth as well. Each beer entered in the Pro-Am competition is served during one of the four tasting sessions. Breweries may request an additional 1/6 bbl MicroStar keg for their Pro-Am beer to be served at the Pro-Am booth.

Breweries may determine the homebrew recipes they scale up in one of three ways:

1.Select an award-winning homebrew from an American Homebrewers Association (AHA)/Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) sanctioned homebrew competition held on or after January 1, 2019.

2.Organize your own brewery-run and/or AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition on or after January 1, 2019.

3.Partner with a local homebrew club to organize an AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition on or after January 1, 2019.

The nature of the competition is entirely up to the brewery and must be timed to give the brewery adequate time to brew the beer to be ready for entry to the competition. The brewery may choose to work with an existing competition or create their own. Breweries may restrict the styles eligible for Pro-Am entry selection to styles they can reasonably brew. For example, breweries may choose not to accept recipes for fruit beers, sour beers, or beer requiring extended aging, etc.

Breweries brew the winning beer from the recipe submitted by the winning homebrewer. The winning homebrewer must be an AHA member at the time the brewery enters the GABF competition (June 2020) and must have a valid AHA membership at the time of the GABF (October 2020). All brewery entrants must be members of the Brewers Association. Individual AHA members may be associated with no more than one entry submitted into the GABF Pro-Am Competition judging at the GABF.

Limited modifications of the recipe are allowed to accommodate the scale of commercial brewing and ingredients available to the brewery.

The homebrewer brewing their recipe with the professional brewery CANNOT be, or have ever been, an employee of that brewery or on the brewing staff, which includes employees involved in the brewing process or brewing production (e.g. brewer, lab technician, cellar crew, quality control, etc.) at any brewery. Employees of the Brewers Association are ineligible.

See our Events Calendar for a calendar of upcoming AHA/BJCP sanctioned competitions or go to the BJCP website to register a competition. Breweries may wish to partner with a local homebrew club or homebrew supply shop if they wish to organize their own competition. See for homebrew club and shops directories.

Contact John Moorhead, American Homebrewers Association Competition Coordinator, at 303.546.6574 or email John for more information.

All entrants, both professional and amateur brewers, must sign a Licensing Agreement prior to the submission of entries to the GABF. The Licensing Agreement limits and protects the way the GABF trademark is used.

No more than one entry per brewery is accepted in the GABF Pro-Am Competition.

How it works with the Club

ASH will work with the eligible local breweries to anonymously determine what medal winning recipe they are interested in entering into the Por-Am. ASH will contact the medal winner to affirm availability to work with the brewery. Once affirmed, ASH will provide the Homebrewer’s contact information to the brewery to start planning the Pro-Am endeavor.

What does this mean?

First, you must enter BJCP sanctioned competitions and win a medal.

Second, you must be an AHA Member at the time the brewery enters the GABF competition (June 2020) and must have a valid AHA membership at the time of the GABF (October 2020).

If a brewery is interested in scaling your recipe, you will be contacted. Hoppy Brewing, and good luck everyone!


Click here for AHA membership signup!

Click here for more Pro-AM info!

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