Anyone eager to celebrate the tenth Good Beer Week will have to wait a little longer after the organisers took the decision to postpone due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The country's biggest beer week become the latest high profile event to be delayed or cancelled with the announcement coming just days after the associated Indie Beer Showcase was also postponed.
The Good Beer Week team at the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) plan to run their ten-day festival at some point in August or September.
In a statement released this evening (March 16), the GBW team said: "In light of the announcement today by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, declaring Victoria in a state of emergency, and on the back of the Government’s ban of non-essential gatherings of over 500 people, Good Beer Week has been carefully considering the ramifications of holding our festival on May 15 to 23.
"Today, we’ve come to the very difficult decision that Good Beer Week will be postponed until further information is revealed regarding the current Coronavirus crisis. While many events have announced cancellations prior to now, we’ve been hard at work creating contingency plans to try and ensure our dedicated brewers, partners, staff, and beer lovers would not be negatively impacted by our choice, before making this announcement.
"Our strong preference is to hold the festival this year, instead of cancelling, however, this decision will be
made in light of advice by the Victorian Government. This is to ensure we continue to support the many
businesses, breweries, and individuals who have already dedicated so much time to this event and who may
suffer in these unprecedented times."
Describing the move as "an incredibly hard outcome to decide upon", they said it was made with the health and safety of the festival's supporters, staff, brewers, and volunteers.
The statement continued: "We understand that, right now, it is difficult to predict how long the current bans will be in place. However, we would like our supporters and the greater community to rest assured that Good Beer Week will go ahead once the Government advises it is safe to do so.
"While these are unimaginable times, our team will continue to do everything we can to support all those in the community to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure each other's safety.
"We’ll continue to stay across the latest advice from the Victorian State Government and Federal Government and will communicate any updates and changes once we know more."
In the past few days, other events including High Country Hops, the Carwyn Collaborational and Ballarat Beer Hop have also been cancelled or postponed as the threat from Covid-19 has increased.