In a press release, the Brewers Association (BA) announced that this year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and beer competition will be held 100 percent online and will also be taking place Oct. 16-17 instead of the originally scheduled dates of Sept. 24-26. The annual event includes 800 breweries in the Colorado Convention Center serving more than 4,000 beers to approximately 62,000 attendees as well as the popular beer competition.

According to the BA, the decision was made not only to hep protect everyone involved, but also due to Colorado Governor Jared Polis’s executive order on May 20 that temporarily suspended certain statutes allowing “the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado due to the presence of coronavirus disease 2019, rendering GABF at the Colorado Convention Center infeasible.”

“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 press release. “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.”

In addition, the beer competition will still be taking place and will include a panel of more than 100 professional judges assessing more than 7,000 beers in order to “identify the three beers that best represent each style category.” Brewery registration for the competition will be opening June 9.

According to the BA, while the specifics of the new event are still are still being planned, “…experiences will likely include beer tastings, conversations with brewers, local brewery activations, and at-home beer and food pairing deliveries.”