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BREAKING | Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Announces 2021 Cancellation

BREAKING | Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Announces 2021 Cancellation
Scott Grossman

There will be no joy in Breckenridge this January as Laura and Bill Lodge, organizers of Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines, have announced the cancellation of the 2021 event. The festival was planned for January 7-9, 2021 in Breckenridge, CO. The cancellation follows similar moves by virtually every onsite beer festival in 2020 and represents one of the first 2021 events to be canceled. It would have marked the 21st annual event.

Organizers attributed the cancellation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on gatherings.

“Our Big Beers board has met and discussed the pandemic situation. We are very clear that our first priority as a Big Beers community needs to be supporting our sponsors and brewers throughout this bizarre and difficult time as they work hard to adapt business as necessary – and not by asking you to travel and/or otherwise support us in January of 2021,” said organizer Laura Lodge.

Lodge went on to explain that they’ve decided not to move forward with a virtual version of the event, but that they are still exploring the possibility of some scaled-down homage via newsletter or social media that would take place on the originally proposed January 2021 date.

Laura Lodge Bill Lodge Big Beers 2020
Bill and Laura Lodge, founders of Big Beers & Barleywines, at the 2020 Festival | Photo by Tristan Chan

With thousands of attendees in a normal year, the move reflects the difficulty of keeping all participants safe and socially distant in an indoor space. “We are aware that our staff, volunteers, and attendees will need to feel comfortable and financially able to join us,” said Lodge. “This seems like a very high bar to clear at present, and we will continue to be optimistic that our traditional dates in January of 2022 are viable (January 6 – 8, 2022) for our 21st Anniversary.”

Connecting The Craft Beer Industry

Big Beers connects professional brewers, homebrewers and the general public over the three-day event. The festival normally attracts many of the heavy-hitters in the industry and allows them – and regular folks – to explore world-renowned beers in a world-class ski destination.

Sam Calagione and Adam Avery Goofy Big Beers
Adam Avery and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head at Big Beers 2020 | Photo by Stacey McMahan

Featuring educational seminars, beer-pairing dinners and a commercial tasting event, the festival allows homebrewers and beer aficionados to discuss beer, brewing, and the direction of the industry with leading individuals in the craft beer world. The tastings, which are the highlight for many attendees, feature over 600 beers from 175 breweries. Beers must be 7.0% ABV or higher, Belgian-style, or experimental.

This article was made possible through underwriting from Molly’s Spirits.

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