Big Beers Festival Falls Victim To The Economy

, Big Beers Festival Falls Victim To The Economy

(Courtesy Brewtography Project)

In a world of faceless beer events, the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival is a one-of-a-kind event that unfortunately won’t be returning this year, thanks to the harder economic times we seem to be entering.

A one day gathering when it began two decades ago, it has grown into a weekend of beer tastings, seminars, and beer hangs that draws both beer lovers and brewing professionals from all around the world.

Dedicated to showcasing high-octane beers that are 7% ABV or higher, the Big Beers Educational Foundation was created as a Colorado nonprofit 501(c) (6)  2016 by siblings Laura and Bill Lodge in order to continue the Big Beers Festival in the state of Colorado.

And not only is it iconic in its commitment to uber-strong beers, it takes place in Breckenridge, Colorado, a strikingly beautiful mountain location.

The 2023 festival is not disappearing but it has been pushed back to 2024 falling to a perfect storm of inflation, supply-chain challenges and labor shortages.

This from Laura, Bill, and the Big Beers Board of Directors….

Pushing Big Beers 2023 into 2024

Unfortunately it’s not the best news in the world I’m sharing today, but given the state of our economy perhaps it’s not a complete surprise. The Big Beers Board of Directors has decided that it would be wisest to push our planning for Big Beers out to our 2024 dates in order to (hopefully) see improvement in the economic factors that are so heavy right now.

Our initial decision to hold Big Beers 2023 was made based on the pandemic alone, and as we moved forward to work through the expenses of holding our event in Breckenridge we were simultaneously watching travel, shipping, business and everyday living expenses increase dramatically. And we know that’s icing on the pandemic recovery, supply chain logistics challenges & labor shortage “cake”.

At that point we did a double-take, dug even deeper into the numbers, and tried to make projections based on some common sense version of both the economy and the pandemic. That’s tough to do; there are so many variables that could mess things up, but then again they might not. Ultimately we just came to the conclusion that it’s just not a good time to host a destination event.

That said, we have worked hard and made a ton of progress with our planning for the 2023 schedule already, so will roll everything forward – with a brief hold – to January of 2024.

I do want you to know that Beaver Run has been very generous with their proposed contract for 2023, especially in light of their exponentially increased demand for lodging and labor shortages. They really want us to come back, and are disappointed, too. If there weren’t so much economic upheaval in the real world, their contract would have made it possible for 2023 to happen.

We are enormously disappointed to miss our annual gathering yet again, but know that it will be a ‘better than ever’ reunion when it happens. We wish you a wonderful balance of 2022 and will check in with you periodically with updates.

We raise a toast to every one of you, our Big Beers family, and thank you all so very much for your support!


The hits just keep coming…

About is the nations' leading source for the Best Craft Beer News, Reviews, Events and Media.
Scroll To Top