The Great American Beer Festival (GABF), the country’s largest ticketed beer festival, will skip its public event in 2021 and return in person to celebrate its 40th anniversary October 6-8, 2022 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Despite vaccination efforts and the gradual reopening of the country, the health and safety concerns for large indoor gatherings, like GABF’s 60,000-attendee event, remain.
“We are disappointed to cancel the festival portion of GABF for the second year in a row,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO for the 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.”
As previously announced, the Brewers Association will host the 2021 GABF competition and awards ceremony that typically coincides with the festival. Winners of the world’s most prestigious professional beer competition will be revealed during the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference & Brew Expo America on September 10, 2021 at the Colorado Convention Center. The awards ceremony will be livestreamed from the Bellco Theatre on The Brewing Network. More information about the competition and awards ceremony is available at GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.
Despite the festival cancellation, beer lovers across the country will have the opportunity to participate in a national passport program September 17 through October 17, 2021. 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.
Denver Beer Week, the Mile High City’s annual event coinciding with GABF, will shift its dates to correspond with the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) September 9-12. From September 10-18, the nine-day celebration of craft beer, hosted by VISIT DENVER, is anticipated to feature more than 200 events including tap takeovers, rare beer tastings, meet the brewer events, and more.
“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 of 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.”