CALGARY -- After being rescheduled three times due to the ongoing pandemic, the Calgary International Beer Festival has been tapped with a new date — Oct. 15-16 at the BMO Centre.

And the Edmonton Craft Beer Festival will take place the following weekend — Oct. 22-23 — at the Edmonton Expo Centre.

Tickets for last year will be honoured, with a shifted schedule to minimize crowds on the Saturdays. Pre-purchased sample tokens from last year will also still be valid at the October festivals.

No refunds will be offered for tickets to last year’s postponed events, but existing ticket holders will be entered in a draw for door prizes. 

Originally slated for May 2020, both of the Alberta Beer Festivals events were postponed to September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then last fall, both were postponed again to spring 2021.

The third wave of the pandemic earlier this year forced organizers to again reschedule the festivals for this fall, which they hope to be the final delay. 

"Alberta Beer Festivals is all about bringing people together,” said ABF president Bill Robinson.

“It has been a challenging time for us over the past 17 months as we've had to put our festivals on hold. That being said, we're very excited to bring people together to celebrate community at our festivals this October.”

Crowds at both the Calgary and Edmonton events will be split into two groups on the Saturday to control crowd size and prevent spread of COVID-19.

The first group will run from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the evening group running from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Those with tickets from last year will be automatically given an evening ticket. 

Rated as one of the best beer festivals in the world, the Calgary International Beer Festival features more than 700 beers from more than 200 breweries.

Both festivals will also feature Lets Meet For a Beer and Cooking with Beer seminars so attendees can learn about food and beer pairing, as well as a variety of local spirits, ciders, and food.

The Canadian International Beer Awards will also be handed out at the Calgary festival.

“So many of our partners have been able to get very creative of the last year and a half so there will be all kinds of things to try," said Robinson.

"And there have been so many new breweries and distilleries opening up that will be at the events for the first time.

"ABF is very proud of the community they create, and it will be great for everyone's spirits to have the festivals to look forward to."

Tickets for both events can be purchased on the Alberta Beer Festivals website.