It was supposed to take place out in San Diego in late March, but the lingering pandemic put an end to that.
And even with the event rescheduled to take place much later in the year, the jury’s still out as to whether it will be virtual or live in 2021.
Here’s the deal…
On January 12, the Brewers Association (BA) announced that it was moving the Craft Brewers Conference scheduled to take place in San Diego on March 29-April 1, 2021, to Denver, which is closer to the BA’s Boulder, Colorado headquarters, and probably easier for the trade organization to pull off given the constantly changing situation.
And in hopes that the passage of time will lessen COVID-19’s impact, the BA is also moving the date of the Craft Brewers Conference, (affectionately referred to as the CBC in the biz), to September 9-12, 2021.
But thanks to COVID-19’s refusal to die, we won’t know if America’s largest craft brewing industry gathering will be live or virtual until closer to that September date.
“Shifting to September in Denver provides us with an opportunity to potentially convene in person, making it possible to do what brewers do best—build community through sharing our expertise and passion, and learn from each other,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association.
Final confirmation of the in-person event remains dependent on health and safety protocols at the time of the conference. If an in-person event is not possible due to COVID-19 related concerns, the conference will move online. Registration for attendees and media is anticipated to open in April 2021.
The CBC, a spectacular event live, provides the latest in technical brewing resources, education, and business development opportunities for professionals who work across the spectrum of craft beer. And BrewExpo America, the largest trade show of its kind in North America, is the ultimate “one-stop shop” for brewers looking to invest in their businesses and make important connections with vendors.
The Craft Brewers Conference is also an important source of revenue for the Brewers Association, which was forced to initiate two series of layoffs, after the pandemic put an end to all of its events in 2020, including the Great American Beer Festival and SAVOR in DC.
The 2019 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America generated $37.9 million in direct spending in Denver and attracted nearly 15,000 brewing industry professionals so obviously everyone is hoping that the CBC goes live in the fall.
“The past year has been tumultuous for the craft brewing community, as we’ve faced a number of challenges. But we are resilient,” Pease added. “We know that maintaining craft beer’s health and vitality for the future starts with CBC and the cultivation and education of our professionals. We hope to see everyone in Denver this fall.”
In addition to the rescheduling of CBC, the Great American Beer Festival competition and awards ceremony, historically held in Denver, will also shift, with the awards announced during CBC on September 10.