The national passport program will give beer lovers a chance to enjoy beer-related events again this fall. 

The country's largest ticketed beer festival—the Great American Beer Festival (GABF)—has been sidelined for a second year due to COVID-19 concerns. Event organizers said the in-person event will return to the Colorado Convention Center for its 40th-anniversary celebration in October 2022.

Despite progress with vaccination efforts and gradual re-openings across the country, concerns for the health and safety of participants attending large indoor events remain, said event organizers of their decision to cancel for the second year in a row. GABF draws about 60,000 attendees each year.

Event organizers will move forward with the GABF competition and national passport program again this year, said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. The competition and awards ceremony typically coincide with the in-person festival. This year, winners will be revealed during the Craft Brewers Conference & Brew Expo America on September 10 at the Colorado Convention Center. The ceremony will be live-streamed. 

The conference, hosted by the Brewers Association, was scheduled to be held in San Diego from March 29-April 1 but was moved due to the ongoing pandemic.

Denver Beer Week, which also typically coincides with GABF, will shift to correspond with the conference dates this year. The 9-day celebration of craft beer hosted by Visit Denver is expected to feature more than 200 beer-focused events, including tap takeovers, rare beer tastings, meet the brewers, and more.

The national passport program will run from September 17 through October 17. Pass holders will have exclusive access to deals at participating breweries nationwide. Organizers said more than 1,100 breweries in all 50 states participated in the inaugural passport program last year. Passports will be available to purchase for $20 in July.

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