Considered by many to be the greatest beer festival on the planet, Denver’s annual Great American Beer Festival made a Thursday announcement likely to disappoint many Coloradans – there’s not going to be an in-person beer tasting event come September.

Known for quickly selling out year-after-year, this hugely popular beer festival is now slated to take place online in what the Brewers Association promises will be an “immersive” experience.

The decision to cancel the in-person tent event that was set to take place at the Colorado Convention Center from September 24 to 26 was driven by health concerns related to COVID-19. The fact that the convention center is serving as an alternate care site for COVID-19 patients through mid-June at the earliest also made hosting the festival infeasible, according to the Brewers Association.

The online experience will now take place on October 16 and 17, 2020. Though the online event is still in the planning phase, the company has stated that likely experiences will include beer tastings and conversations with local brewers, among other things.

The beer competition portion of the event will still take place with more than 100 judges assessing an expected 7,000 entries. Brewery registration opens on June 9.

Additional information about logistics, ticket options, and a schedule will be released in upcoming months. Follow @BrewersAssoc on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.

In operation for nearly 40 years, the event draws around 60,000 beer lovers to the Mile High City annually. The cancelation is a big hit for Denver, with the 2019 festival attributing more than $35 million to the local economy, according to Visit Denver.

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