North America’s biggest beer fest is added to the long list of canceled food and beverage events due to public health concerns from the coronavirus. It normally draws about 13,000 attendees and nearly 900 exhibitors, and was scheduled for April 19-22 in San Antonio.
On March 13, the Brewers Association officially announced it is canceling the tradeshow and all related events for 2020. They will not attempt to postpone it for later in the year, but instead look forward to the scheduled 2021 events.
In a series of FAQs on its website, organizers said “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.”
“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.”
They noted that the size of the conference requires years of advance planning and coordination with its host cities, which is why they concluded that ‘rescheduling is regrettably not an option.’
Registered attendees will receive an email confirming their refund in the coming days. The refunds will be issued automatically and attendees do not need to contact the organizers to request them. Exhibitors will also receive a full refund for their booth space.
The team is currently exploring virtual options to provide some of the education that BA members expect from the annual conference. There may be member-only presentations, including Bart Watson’s annual state of the industry presentation.
The next Craft Brewers Conference is set to take place March 29-April 1, 2021 in San Diego.