Great American Beer Festival Moves Its 2020 Event Entirely Online

Photo by Brittany Werges

The Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the country’s largest beer festival, has decided to pivot its 2020 events. The three-day annual celebration, which typically is held in the Colorado Convention Center, brings in people from around the world to sample thousands of beers. 

Originally scheduled for September 24-26, GABF now will continue as an immersive online experience on October 16-17. The decision to move online was further confirmed when an executive order made by Governor Jared Polis on May 20 reinforced the Colorado Convention center will temporarily transition into an alternative care site for potential COVID-19 patients. 

“While we are disappointed to not be gathering in Denver this fall for the craft beer community’s annual big tent event, the health and safety of our attendees, brewers, volunteers, judges, and employees is and always has been our top priority,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. 

Currently, the October virtual experience is still being planned but will likely include beer tastings, conversations with brewers, local brewery activations and at-home beer and food pairing deliveries. 

GABF 2018. Photo by Kyle Cooper.

Despite the downsizing (especially after its recent expansion), the event is staying true to its ethos and will still host its 2020 beer tasting competition. The coveted gold, silver and bronze medals are recognized globally as a sign of brewing excellence. Breweries who want to compete can register beginning June 9. More information on this virtual competition can be found here.  

In the meantime, breweries around the country (and the world) are struggling — with many having to dump thousands of gallons of beers that have gone unused. As a result, GABF is offering other resources available to brewery owners including information on draught system shutdown, how to forecast cash flow and a checklist for safely reopening to the public. This information can be found on the Great American Beer Festival COVID-19 Resource Center

As for the festival, there are no specifics yet on how and what events will take place, but we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

For more information about the logistics of the 2020 event, follow @BrewersAssoc on Twitter to see the newest information released. 

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