Today, organizers behind the Westside Beer Fest announced that they would be scrapping the event just over a week after announcing its inception.
After monitoring the latest pandemic updates from Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority, the team says that they simply can’t proceed safely given the number of COVID-19 patients flooding the state’s hospitals. Brewers, volunteers and potential attendees also expressed concerns.
“When we started planning the Westside Beer Fest months ago, it looked like COVID-19 infections were trending in the right direction, and we were eager to host a beer festival to celebrate together again,” co-founders Art Larrance and Teddy Peetz stated in a press release. “We appreciate the enthusiasm of the brewing community around this festival, and we look forward to a time when we can reschedule it and gather again safely to raise a glass.”
The event was originally scheduled to take place Sept. 24-26 at the Wingspan Event Center located inside the Washington County Fairgrounds. With a planned 30 craft brewers to be pouring, Westside Beer Fest sounded like a scaled-down Oregon Brewers Festival, which Larrance has successfully operated since 1988, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. However, that event has been canceled the last two years due to the pandemic.
So far, other upcoming communal drinking events, including the Mount Angel Oktoberfest and McMenamins’ UFO Festival, are still on. But the swift rise of the Delta variant appears to be on its way to dashing those remaining hot vaxx summer dreams.
Just last week, both EastBurn Public House and Mutantis Brewery & Bottle Shop shared on their social media platforms that the COVID spike was forcing them to pull the plug on standup comedy shows, open-mic sessions and trivia nights. Mutantis also canceled its Gluten-Free Beerfest, which would’ve been held at the end of August.