Great American Beer Festival won’t happen in-person for the first time in its history

The festival and competition will move online.

Jimmy Hawkins, Jordan Hawkins, Greg Benda, Chelsea Duke and Matt Duke of Atlanta at the Great American Beer Festival on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Paul Karolyi for Denverite)

Jimmy Hawkins, Jordan Hawkins, Greg Benda, Chelsea Duke and Matt Duke of Atlanta at the Great American Beer Festival on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Paul Karolyi for Denverite)

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Pour one out for the Great American Beer Festival. The annual competition held in Denver won’t happen at the Colorado Convention Center September 24 through 26 and will instead go online only on October 16 and 17.

The Convention Center has turned into an overflow hospital, albeit an empty one for now, making it unavailable to host big events.

“While we are disappointed to not be gathering in Denver this fall for the craft beer community’s annual big tent event, the health and safety of our attendees, brewers, volunteers, judges, and employees is and always has been our top priority,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association, in a statement. “As the world is still greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to be affected for the foreseeable future, we must stay true to our priorities and pursue other ways to host GABF.”

GABF organizers say the online event is still being planned but will likely include “beer tastings, conversations with brewers, local brewery activations, and at-home beer and food pairing deliveries.”

The competition aspect of the festival will continue, with more than 100 judges sorting through some 7,000 expected entries to award the famed GABF gold, silver and bronze medals.

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