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“This is an incredibly exciting development for this year’s Great American Beer Festival.”

The Great American Beer Festival, COVID Edition

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the biggest beer festival in the country, the Great American Beer Festival, has been canceled for 2020.

Well… not canceled, per se. Significantly modified is more like it.

There’s no way that the Brewers Association would be packing 60,000 people into the Colorado Convention Center throughout the weekend, yet… it’s an important event, not only for the attendees, but for all of the participating breweries throughout the country who spend months planning for the event, brewing delicious beers and building staggering, elaborate booths.

So, this year, the Brewers Association has found a way to bring the festival out of Denver and to the masses — and you can attend without having to fly across the country!

“This is an incredibly exciting development for this year’s Great American Beer Festival,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello. “While we love getting a chance to head to Denver and check out all of the great beer that independent breweries throughout the country have to offer, this is a great opportunity for beer lovers to sample a brewery they may not have had the chance to visit. And, as we all look for ways to return to some semblance of normalcy, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the Great American Beer Festival while remaining safe and healthy.”

So, we’re planning to celebrate the wonderful world of craft beer, we’ll simply be doing it locally instead of in-person.

The Brewers Association has devised a nationwide passport program! Here’s the deal:

Between October 1-18, your passport will get you exclusive deals at participating breweries nationwide, including at Cape May Brewing Company. We’ll have more on our deal next week, but breweries are doing everything from deals on beer to deals on merch to free glassware to free beer — free beer — throughout those few weeks.

And, while last year’s festival saw the most participating breweries yet with 800 participating breweries and over 4,000 different beers, this year, over 1,000 breweries will be involved, with the number of beers being limited only by what the participating breweries have on tap.

Thankfully, they’ve been able to retain the competition aspect of the festival, with breweries large and small submitting beers for consideration. Will we have the same success we saw last year, with Honey Porter bringing home a bronze? We’ll find out at the GABF awards ceremony on Friday, October 16th at 7pm!

In addition, on the final weekend of the festival, passport holders will receive exclusive access to online content during the Official Virtual Festival, an entirely new GABF experience.

Featuring some of the best-known and rising stars in brewing, the sessions will cover a number of topics, including tips and tricks to expand your beer knowledge, stories from luminaries in the brewing world, inspiring stories of social change through beer, and beer and food parings to delight the palate.

Virtual attendees will have the opportunity to download tasting tip sheets prior to each session, containing a list of beer styles and food to pair. Then, you’ll be able to chow down and sip to your heart’s content!

Passports are only $20, and you can order yours here. Don’t miss out!