|Thank you to everyone who joined us for our public Zoom meeting this week. A short recap: |
We discussed the year in review: COVID-19 shutting down the second half of TBBW 2020; our efforts to help the community with Relief events; Virtually Halfway There; and the launch of the 2021 Tampa Bay Ale Trail.
TBBW 2021 will move forward on its usual dates – the first full week of March, 3/6 – 3/14. This year will be different, as you can certainly understand. We’ve learned a few of the anchor events are looking to move to later dates. Best Florida Beer and Florida Brewer’s Guild are already locking in dates in late October. Cigar City announced this morning that they will still release Hunahpu bottles in March, but they will not be holding the associated festival. We support these decisions. The reality is that even if we saw a successful rollout of a vaccine to 100% of our community tomorrow, these events take months to plan. The health risks are still too high. We understand many bottle releases are still being planned and many smaller scale events will still occur. The last six months have taught us that 1) the service industry still needs our support, and 2) when executed responsibly we can have safe small-scale events and releases.
Our events calendar for TBBW 2021 will be live on January 1st, and we will require any submissions for events to also include a description of the COVID-19 precautions that will be taken to ensure participants’ safety. We hope those event producers and customers take these precautions seriously so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time. As always, submitting events to our calendar is free to everyone. Sponsorships will be available for featured events similar to the model every year prior.
We started Tampa Bay Beer Week nearly a decade ago with the goal of highlighting our beer community during our busiest tourist season. Spring training, Grand Prix, Gasparilla, and of course snowbird season all dramatically increase our population in the cooler months. Our beer community has grown so much since our founding and is now known nationwide as a premier destination for beer. Even though we will continue to hold our annual celebration during this peak season, we do operate year-round. Our mission statement is evolving to include the most simplified message possible: Tampa Bay Beer All Year. As events that are normally associated with TBBW move to other times of the year, we hope you’ll join us in continuing to support them.
So while this March might not feel like years past, and this year ahead may not feel like years past, we are here all year and every year. We will continue to encourage everyone to support local breweries, bars, and restaurants as safely as possible. We can’t wait to raise a glass with you. Cheers!
— Tampa Bay Beer Week Board