Scenes from the annual Southern Brewers Festival.  (Photo: Amy Kenyon Photography)

The annual Southern Brewers Festival has been a Chattanooga institution for more than 20 years, but officials have announced it will go on an “indefinite hiatus” beginning this year.

A statement was posted on the festival website: 

Over the years this event has grown from our humble parking lot beginnings to a large, Riverfront festival. Because of your support we have been able to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities that support causes important to the Chattanooga community.


Yet, due to rising expenses and lower attendance, we are putting the Southern Brewers Festival on indefinite hiatus and will instead focus our fundraising efforts elsewhere.

Thank you for celebrating craft beer, music and community with us for the past 23 years. We look forward to seeing you at future Chattanooga area events.

Organizers decided to rethink the feel of the festival in 2017. They omitted the VIP area and made all tickets general admission instead of having several price levels available.

The Southern Brewers Festival is presented by the CraftWorks Foundation.

More than 30 breweries attended the event each year, offering hundreds of beer varieties.