As the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 spreads across the U.S., beer companies are adjusting their businesses for a reality in which being social is discouraged. This has prompted many breweries and organizations to either postpone or outright cancel upcoming events.
Canceled: Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America and World Beer Cup
Perhaps the biggest cancellation was the 2020 Craft Brewers Conference scheduled to take place in just over a month in San Antonio.
The Brewers Association has been closely monitoring the situation around COVID-19 as it relates to the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America and World Beer Cup. We have been following updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, as well as state and local governments.
Given the developments over the past 24 hours, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America and World Beer Cup.
The Brewers Association will provide full refunds of conference registration and booth fees, sponsor payments, and World Beer Cup competition entries. Learn more.
We are grateful to all of you who made plans to attend this year’s events. It is heartbreaking to miss the annual gathering of our craft brewing community, but the safety and health of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, volunteers, and the craft brewing community at large is paramount to the Brewers Association. We look forward to seeing many of you September 24-26 at Great American Beer Festival and again March 29th – April 1st, 2021 for the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego, California. Until then, we will continue to work diligently on your behalf to provide you with relevant and timely resources to help you advance your business goals.
Canceled: Colorado Brewers Guild Suspends 2020 Collaboration Fest
Another major event being suspended included Collaboration Fest put on by the Colorado Brewers Guild. The event is one of the guild’s biggest fundraising events of the year.
“We’ve been monitoring developments on the spread of COVID-19 and discussing the rapidly developing situation, and today Live Nation — the Fillmore Auditorium’s parent company — recommended that all large-scale events in March be postponed,” says Dave Bergen, Chairman of the Colorado Brewers Guild’s Board of Directors. “Collaboration Fest is one of our nonprofit trade association’s most important fundraisers, and the spirit of the event centers around the strong sense of community that the craft brewing industry brings to the world. However, the CBG cannot in good conscience put the wellbeing of CBG members, beer enthusiasts, and event partners in jeopardy by continuing with the planned date.”
Collaboration Fest, which was founded seven years ago and has since become one of the Colorado Brewers Guild’s largest fundraising efforts of the year, was created as a unique opportunity to bring together breweries locally and across the world in the spirit of collaboration. This year’s festival which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 4th at the Fillmore Auditorium, was to showcase 115 collaboration beers from over 175 participating breweries. Earlier today Live Nation, the parent company of the Fillmore Auditorium announced that it would suspend all tours and shows through March.
Collaboration Fest is one of our nonprofit trade association’s most important fundraisers, and the spirit of the event centers around the strong sense of community that the craft brewing industry brings to the world. However, the CBG cannot in good conscience put the wellbeing of CBG members, beer enthusiasts, and event partners in jeopardy by continuing with the planned date.”
Due to the on-going threat of the coronavirus, the CBG has not yet determined a reschedule date. Attendees who had already purchased tickets to the event will be able to receive refunds, and instructions will be posted at collabfest.beer once confirmed.
Meanwhile, the CBG will continue to move forward with efforts to support Colorado Pint Day as part of Colorado Craft Beer Week. The event features a limited edition 16 oz. Libbey Willi Becher pint glass which can be purchased from taprooms across the state with $1 from each glass sold going to support the CBG.
“We still hope to celebrate Colorado Pint Day on Wednesday, April 8th, with the possibility of incorporating the 100+ beers brewed for Collaboration Fest, and we’re working on other ways to showcase the amazing range of unique collaboration beers that nearly 200 breweries put their hearts into for the event,” says Bergen. “Stay tuned for more information.”
Other Cancellations and Appointments
As many states are starting to automatically cancel any events with more than 250 people, Cigar City’s Hunahpu’s Day, scheduled to be held today, was canceled. They offered two different refund options with one offering tickets to next year’s event and four bottles of the 2021 Stout.
Firestone Walker Brewing has postponed its 2020 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival until June 5, 2021. This year’s event had been scheduled for May 30, in Paso Robles, California. Tickets will be honored at next year’s festival, for which no other tickets will be sold. Refunds are available if requested before March 31st.
Wormtown Brewery, based in Worcester, Massachusetts, has postponed its 10th anniversary party from March 14th to May 9th. Its anniversary beer, Decade Dance Imperial Stout, will still be available next week.
Trillium Brewing Company, based in Canton, Massachusetts, has canceled its seventh anniversary party, originally scheduled for March 21st.
In Houston, Texas, 8th Wonder Brewing has postponed its annual Celebr8ion party, originally scheduled for March 21st, until further notice.
Night Shift Brewing has canceled all events at its brewery and taprooms in Everett and Boston, Massachusetts.
The James Beard Foundation has postponed the 2020 James Beard Awards until the Summer, the culinary group announced today. The gala was slated for May 4th in Chicago, Illinois. Several beer industry luminaries had been selected as semifinalists in the Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer category.
Other events being postponed or canceled include Goose Island’s Stout Fest, WeldWerks Brewing Co. and Penrose Brewing canceled anniversary parties, and HopFest in Washington D.C. was postponed.