Great American Beer Festival tickets sell out in record time

Fans suspect scalpers, complain on Facebook

DENVER - A public outcry on Facebook after tickets for Denver's Great American Beer Festival sold out in minutes, prompting many to complain about scalpers almost instantly selling tickets at inflated prices.

The Great American Beer Festival sold out within 20 minutes, which organizers said probably means people who got tickets bought them within the first minute they were on sale Wednesday morning.

The festival's facebook page was filled with fans whO said they couldn't buy a single ticket, but within minutes, sites such as StubHub posted hundreds for sale, some at more than double the original price. Same story on Craigslist.

"I was pretty mad," said Sarah Sevilla-Lovato, who had logged in early and tried to get a ticket for 45 minutes. "I just refuse to go now. I'm not paying double the price. I would rather go to the smaller beer festivals where you can get in, and it's not such a hassle, and it's a decent price."

Barbara  Fusco, a spokeswoman for the Brewers Association, which organizes the festival, said that they work with Tickmaster to combat scalping and secondary market sales -- by limiting ticket numbers and using anti-bots.

"I think it speaks to the tremendous growth and interest in craft brewing in this country that there is this level of interest," said Fusco. "We are taking measures to decrease scalping, but we can't prevent it."

But Facebook fans commenting say that is a cop-out and suggest fixes ranging from non-transferable tickets to credit card scans at the door.

Ticketmaster is in charge of ticket sales in 2014 as well, and Fusco said they will be looking into what measures they can take to prevent problems in the future.

Organizers expect more than 49,000 people to attend the festival October 10-12, but they would not disclose how many tickets are sold.