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Snowbird Oktoberfest cancellation affects local breweries

Posted at 9:37 PM, Aug 03, 2020

MIDVALE, Utah – Snowbird’s annual Oktoberfest will not be held in 2020.

Due to safety concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Snowbird announced the event has been postponed until 2021.

This news presents another challenge to local restaurants and breweries that have already struggled to maintain their business in the face of stay-at-home directives and social distancing.

“I wouldn’t call it a hit, I’d call it another hurdle. It’s something we are trying our best to clear,” said Kelly Schaefer of Bohemian Brewery.

Bohemian’s Oktoberfest brew is one of its most popular.

“We produce over 400 barrels of that beer with 300 of that going to Snowbird’s Oktoberfest,” Schaefer said.

The beer is brewed during the summer to be ready in time for the fall. Despite the cancellation of Oktoberfest, Bohemian is not stopping its production.

“We are all coming together and expecting the normal we were used to to be changing on a daily basis,” Schaefer said. “Us being flexible and going through changes is something we have to expect on a daily and weekly basis.”

To account for the loss of business at the canceled festival, Bohemian plans to sell more cans of the product at its restaurant and grocery stores.

“There will be no beer going down the drains. We've got a lot more going into cans,” Schaefer said.

Having to adapt is the new normal for many businesses as they wait for an end to this pandemic.

One glimmer of hope is the future. Snowbird plans to bring the 48th version of Oktoberfest back next year.

“If it looks like we can bring this event back in 2021, I guarantee you it will be bigger and better to make up for, unfortunately, not being able to have it this year,” said Brian Brown, a spokesperson for Snowbird.

Brown added, the cancellation of Oktoberfest is not an indication of the status of the upcoming ski season. The resort plans to open its slopes once the weather allows.