Great American Beer Fest won’t return for in-person festival until 2022

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The Great American Beer Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row.

The Colorado Brewers Association said the festival portion will return Oct. 6-8 of 2022 at the Colorado Convention Center.

The brewers association said that even though the country is starting to open back up and vaccination rates are rising, there are still health and safety concerns for large indoor gatherings, like the GABF’s 60,000-attendee event.

“We are disappointed to cancel the festival portion of GABF for the second year in a row,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “While we will miss celebrating with beer lovers and our craft brewing community, we are excited to continue with the GABF competition and national passport program this year. We look forward to convening in person for the festival’s 40th anniversary in 2022.”

Even though the 2021 GABF won’t be held, there will still be a competition and an awards ceremony. The winners will be revealed during the Brewers Association’s annual  Craft Brewers Conference® & Brew Expo America® on Sept. 10, 2021 at the Colorado Convention Center. The awards ceremony will be livestreamed from the Bellco Theatre on The Brewing Network.

The national beer passport event will also take place from Sept. 17 through Oct. 17. Passport holders will have exclusive access to deals at participating breweries nationwide. More than 1,100 breweries from all 50 states participated in the inaugural program last year. Passports are priced at $20 and will be available for purchase in July. Brewery registration for the 2021 passport program opens June 29 at GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.

“Beer is synonymous with the Denver brand and our city has maintained a longstanding relationship with the Brewers Association and GABF that spans nearly four decades,” said Richard W. Scharf, president and CEO, VISIT DENVER. “We are optimistic that Denver will welcome the country’s largest beer celebration back in its truest form next year and, in the meantime, we are excited about the return of the Craft Brewers Conference this year, which will fill thousands of hotel rooms with beer enthusiasts from across the industry.”

In 2020, 272 medals were awarded to 240 breweries across the country for the online GABF.

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