As Great American Beer Festival turns 36, do we still need it?

For Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, a Denver brewery whose sour and funky creations are some of the most sought-after in the state of Colorado if not nationwide, there is an economic benefit first and foremost to pouring at the festival.

Co-owner Sarah Howat said that even in recent months, first-time customers have walked into the brewery and said they first tried Black Project at the 2016 GABF — a refrain that is repeated by other breweries who have reported big boosts from the festival.

But beyond that, there is a chance to participate in an event that continues to drive excitement among the most influential beer drinkers in America because of the innovation on display in the hall — innovation that Black Project can be seen as being at the forefront of with its offerings.

“There’s definitely an energy around GABF as a brewer that’s not felt at any other festival,” Howat said.

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