The High Country Hops Festival is the latest event to be cancelled in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Craft Brewers Conference in the US was one of the major international events that have already been cancelled due to the ramping up of travel restrictions, while the 2020 IBD Convention in Perth announced new dates last week, after being forced to postpone this week’s event.
Over the weekend the Australian Government banned gatherings of 500 people or more which is expected to affect even more events throughout the year.
Brewers and event organisers are making the decision to postpone or cancel events, but the overwhelming feeling is business as usual at taprooms and venues across the country.
We have collated updates, all correct as of 12pm, 16th March.
High Country Hops Festival
The organisers said it was “with a great deal of disappointment” that the event, which was to be held 28th-29th March, has been cancelled, but they would be working on a replacement festival later in the year.
“We thank all vendors, artists, customers and guests for their support and understanding,” said Bridge Road in a Facebook post.
“We ask that everyone continues to be safe, empathetic and mindful in their actions and wish you, your families and communities all the best in these chaotic times.
“We’re working towards a replacement festival event later in the year and our venue and brewery remain open for business.”
Carwyn Collaborational International Beer Festival
Carwyn Collaborational International Beer Festival has been postponed to 24 October 2020.
Carwyn Cellars made the call at the end of last week to delay the festival.
“The focus of the festival has always been on collaboration between International and Australian breweries which involves international guests flying into Melbourne,” the team said.
“Considering the current global climate and the ongoing spread of COVID-19, we’ve made what we consider the only socially responsible decision and that is to postpone the festival.
“The good news is that the festival will still go ahead later this year, and it will be even bigger and better than originally planned!”
Those who have purchased tickets can check their email to consider options. Any queries please contact [email protected]
While a number of events including Point of Origin are still on during this year’s Brewsvegas, Sydney brewers Young Henrys has made the decision to cancel its Rock & Roll Circus this Thursday (19th March) has been postponed.
Malt 101 with Cryer Malt at the Brewsvegas Hub, Beer & Ink Tattoo Flash Day at Catchment Brewing, and the 300 Club at Miss Demeanour have also been cancelled.
Zero Fox’s Sunday Arvo in the Hills, Getting Wild i the Woods, and Calibre Black Party at Saccharomyces have all been amended in some way – either downsizing or going ahead without brewers.
Brisbane’s Aether Brewing also told its Facebook fans that the taproom in in the suburb of Northgate will continue to be open as normal, and will be proceeding with its Brewsvegas event – Brews Blues, Brie and BBQ.
Last week (13th March) the GABS team said they would be going ahead with the events planned for Brisbane (9th May), Melbourne (22nd-24th May), Sydney (30th May) and Auckland (4th July).
However, following the gatherings ban from the Australian Federal Government over the weekend, it is unclear whether the events will still go ahead.
The organisers said that if things should change in the coming weeks, all tickets will be eligible for the new event dates, and tickets can be transferred or refunds will be provided at that time.
“We greatly appreciate the support of all our GABS fans, partners and exhibitors during this period,” said the organisers at the time.
“We will keep you posted as the situation evolves and we look forward to sharing another great GABS experience together soon.”
Indie Beer Showcase
The IBA has announced that the Indie Beer Showcase will not take place as COVID-19 gathers pace.
The event was due to happen 20th-21st March, and the organisers said they did not make the decision to postpone the event lightly.
“This is devastating news for the Good Beer Week Team, but we take the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, and brewery staff very seriously,” they said.
“At this point, the Indie Beer Showcase will not be cancelled but postponed until further information is revealed by The Australian Government regarding developments surrounding the virus.”
The team are telling ticket purchasers to hold onto their tickets until further notice, as they are aiming to hold the event “at a more appropriate time”.
They said that they will also provide refunds if requested, and any ticket enquiries should be directed to the [email protected] email address.
Wayward Brewing Co emailed their customers last week to assure them that the taproom remains open and said it was “taking steps to protect the health of our customers” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic escalation.
Victoria’s Brick Lane Brewing Co has announced that the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (19-29th March) of which they are a part will not be going ahead.
The organisers said COVID-19 had created an “exceptional set of circumstances” and that they are planning on a festival to be held later in the year.
Victorian High Country brewer Bright’s Darker Days 2020 is still on currently, but Bright told a Facebook commenter that the brewery will be following official advice and made a call on cancellation closer to the time if required.
Capital Brewing Co has postponed its Phoenix Rising event on 28th March.
“It pains us to do this, and as much as we wanted to party & raise much needed cash for our mates in Cobargo, it would be irresponsible for us to do so given the current situation,” they said.
The Capital Brewing Co Taproom is open as usual.
Moon Dog is also feeling the effects of coronavirus. While Moon Dog’s Abbotsford bar is a small venue, it will not be affected by the ban on gatherings of 500 people or more.
However Moon Dog World in Preston will be restricted to under 500 capacity including both patrons and staff at any one time.
“As the safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us we have decided to implement this immediately. We don’t believe this will cause any disruption if you are planning to visit our venue, however it will limit the potential risks.”
The COVID-19 pandemic situation is fluid and patrons are encouraged to follow the social media feeds of their planned events.