Texas Craft Beer Community,
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic came to Austin in March, we’ve been having tough conversations about the plan for this year’s festival, and the safety of our staff, volunteers, brewers, and guests. While we would love nothing more than to be able to gather with thousands of our closest craft beer-loving friends this fall to sample beers from across the state, the truth is, we have no better idea what October will look like today than we did back in March.
Ordinarily, we’d be launching ticket sales around this time, but instead, it’s with great disappointment that we officially announce that the Texas Craft Brewers Festival will not be occurring this year—at least not as the large, in-person gathering that was planned for Fiesta Gardens on October 24th. (More on that below.)
Making this decision was disappointing, but it’s the right thing to do for the safety of all involved. It is also the right thing to do for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild as a non-profit association in what has already been a tough and uncertain year for our industry. That’s because the Texas Craft Brewers Festival is not only TCBG’s biggest fundraising event of the year, but is also our biggest expense, and biggest risk. Those expenses—from the venue, to tents, port-o-potties, signage, permits, and, of course, hundreds of kegs of beer—largely have to be committed to months prior to the event. We can predict those expenses. What we can’t predict is what capacity limits and social distancing guidelines may be in place by the fall or if having a festival would even be the right thing to do. The possibility of running a scaled back event that can’t generate enough revenue to cover expenses, or, worse, an event that has to be cancelled at the last minute with vendors relying on us to honor our word, is a risk we just can’t take this year.
That’s the bad news, but we promise there’s also good news. We will be bringing the Texas Craft Brewers Festival spirit of community and collaboration to craft beer enthusiasts across the state this fall with a mix of special brewery releases, beer-to-go, and, true to the times, a way to gather virtually. The longtime team behind the festival has some really exciting plans in the works which we’ll announce a little later this summer. In the meantime, please stay well, stay tuned, and support independent Texas craft brewers!