Organizers with the Oregon Brewers Festival announced Friday that they are canceling the event planned for July 2023.
In a statement posted to the festival's website, cofounders Art and Alissa Lawrence were joined by fellow organizer Terry Peetz to say they're putting the event "on pause" for a number of reasons. Among those are rising costs, declining attendance, and extreme weather.
"We’ve developed a solid understanding of what it takes to give our attendees a great festival. And it’s clear when those factors aren’t coming together for a successful event," the statement says.
According to the statement, the festival is planned to return at some point in the future, but no date has been set. The festival started in 1988, and 2023 would've marked the event's 33rd year after taking a two-year hiatus during the pandemic. Its 2022 return to Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park was heralded as a sign of a loosening of the pandemic's grip on major events and a return to a challenged downtown—as well as a sign of health for an industry with a long local history but plenty of recent challenges.
Organizers also recognized that the toll the pandemic took on the local hospitality industry hasn't been fully realized, saying, "from local breweries to the suppliers of our festival infrastructure, many folks are just working to keep their doors open and their employees paid."
Oregon Brewers Festival, they wrote, "will return when the time is right. As we go forward, we’ll be considering creative ways to support our local breweries and cideries through smaller festivals and partnerships. And we encourage you to do the same."