This is not the first event to be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, and it certainly won’t be the last. Here is a statement about the cancellation from Oregon Brewers Festival founder, Art Larrance & his team:
Dear Friends of the Oregon Brewers Festival,
We are devastated to share that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Oregon Brewers Festival, originally scheduled for this July 22-25. This will be the first time in 33 years that the iconic July event will not take place.
This decision was not made lightly. At the onset of the COVID-19 virus, we were hopeful that the situation might resolve itself by late July. But the health and safety of our guests, vendors, staff and volunteers is our top priority, and we have decided the risk of holding the festival is too great. The Oregon Brewers Festival is attended by thousands of visitors from all over the world. The last thing we would want to do is hold an event that could contribute to the spread of the virus and potentially introduce a second wave of infections.
It’s important for us to make sure that when the festival returns next year, it does so in a way that’s safe and ensures our guests feel secure. We will spend this downtime carefully planning on how to hold a successful event in a post-pandemic world.
The Oregon Brewers Festival will return July 28-31, 2021. In the meantime, we urge you to support your local craft breweries and cidermakers; place orders for curbside pickup or delivery and follow them on social media for the latest news on how to help. It has been estimated that up to 46% of craft breweries may be forced to close due to the pandemic. The Oregon Brewers Festival is a celebration of craft beer, and we need to make sure our breweries are still standing when this crisis has passed.
Until then, stay safe, be kind, and wash your hands. Cheers!
Founder Art Larrance and the entire Oregon Brewers Festival Team
About the Oregon Brewers Festival
The Oregon Brewers Festival got its start in Portland, Oregon, in July 1988 as the brainchild of Art Larrance, one of the founding fathers of Oregon craft beer. Back then, there were only four microbreweries in operation in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer), and two others across the state (Full Sail and Deschutes). Today, the Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the nation’s longest running and best loved craft beer festivals; it’s also one the largest of its kind. Located on the west bank of the Willamette River, with majestic Mt. Hood as a backdrop, it is the ideal venue for beer lovers to congregate. With a laid-back attitude and scores of beers, the festival embodies the spirit of the city of Portland. Around 50,000 visitors annually travel from all parts of the world to drink up what the festival has to offer while infusing millions of dollars into the local economy.
Try not to get too disheartened by all of these event cancellations. I love craft beer just as much as the rest of you but, right now, keeping everyone safe and healthy is more important that gathering in large groups to appreciate the labors of our favorite breweries. Do what you can to keep supporting as many of your local breweries as you can, and we’ll get through this together.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.