Great Canadian Beer Festival 2015 – Victoria BC – September 12th


After missing last years Great Canadian Beer Festival it looked like a good time to reacquaint myself with the largest Beer Festival on Vancouver Island (and one of the largest in BC).   Like every year the festival was a two day event with a Friday that ran from 3pm-8pm and the Saturday Noon-5pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.  Much like last time I was not able to make it out to the Friday event and only the Saturday because of work and bad/late planning on my part.  Tickets ran at $40 per day and you got a pamphlet with all of the breweries and beers available and a beer glass.  Beer tokens came in at a fairly average BC price of $1.5 which got you a 4oz pour of beer.

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This years festival has reverted back to Canadian only Breweries with the vast majority being from British Columbia.  I personally like to bring in American breweries because its a good way to compare our brews to some of the most renowned in the world (but that’s just me).  There were still a ton of breweries at the festival with a total of 62.

The breweries in attendance:

33 Acres, Bad Tattoo, Barkerville, Big Rock(AB, BC), Bomber, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Bridge Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canoe Brewpub, Category 12, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour, Cumberland, Dageraad, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Dieu Du Ciel, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Mile, Four Winds, Fuggles & Warlock, Gladstone, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Le Trou De Diable, Lighthouse, Axe & Barrel, Longwood, Merridale Cider, Mill Street, Moody Ales, Muskoka, Okanagan Springs, Parallel 49, Persephone, Phillips, Postmark, Powell Street, R & B, Red Arrow, REd Truck, Russell, Salt Spring Island Ales, Sherwood Mountain, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Swans Brewpub, Tofino, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Wheelhouse, Wolf, Yellow Dog, Yukon.

With a selection of breweries as far north of Victoria as a 2,490km drive and as far East as 4,805km away this festival did a good job of bringing Canadian breweries out to share their beer!  In previous years I kept a log of the beers that I was enjoying but this year I decided against it.  I did take many photos of the beer I was enjoying but not all of them as I would hold up the line while doing it.

Once again the costumes were out in full force as well as the entertainment.  There were lots of familiar faces all around but there were so many people I knew were there but missed. This event is planned and executed very well and is a ton of fun but I found that there might have been to many people.  Some of the breweries had lines that you would be lucky if they only took you 10-15 minutes to get a beer sample.  Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks beat this with a line so long that I didn’t even say hi to the guys at the booth it stretched so long!  I hear the Friday event was much less crowded but I did not get to check that night out.

Full sized photos found here

Overall I had an epic time and I look forward to what next year has to offer!

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Great Okanagan Beer Festival (On Sale Now!) 2015 – Kelowna


Beer Festival

Today is the day that the inaugural Great Okanagan Beer Festival goes on sale!  The festival has events from May 7-9th in Kelowna with the Main Festival itself happening on May 9th.  May 6-8th and 10th have events at local establishments in Kelowna and Penticton highlighting different breweries from around BC and one Alberta brewery.   The main festival happens at the Waterfront Park and Concession Plaza right on the lake in downtown Kelowna on may 9th.

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I don’t think you could find a better location to hold a beer festival than on the shores of the Okanagan Lake.  The festival runs from 1:00pm to 5:00pm and features 35 breweries (and a few cider places) with nearly 100 beers.  The capacity for the event is 2500 people so it should be a blast!

Breweries that will be pouring include Barkerville Brewing, Big Rock Brewery, Bomber Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Coal harbour Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Four Winds Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, Mill Street Brewery, Moody Ales, Mt Begbie Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Red Racer, Red Truck Beer, Steam Whistle, Steamworks Brewing, Big Surf, Bowen Island Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Parallel 49, Glutenberg, Okanagan Springs, Prohibition, Scanal Brewing, Wolf Brewing, Stanley Park, Worthy Brewing, Coronado Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks.

This sounds like an amazing event and should promise some great weather to hang out at the beach with some amazing craft beer!  I recommend purchasing your tickets early as they will sell fast!

Click here to purchase tickets

Whistler Village Beer Festival (Main Festival) – Whistler BC


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On Saturday September 13th, 2014 the Second Annual Whistler Village Beer Festival was held.  The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village.  The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45).  The event cost $35 or $45 for gatecrashers and included a branded 4oz mug, 5 beer tokens and a $5 off-site food voucher.  extra tokens cost $1.5 with a maximum of 10 tokens purchased at a time.

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Breweries involved included the following

British Columbia
Red Racer (Central City Brewers & Distillers), Whistler Brewing Co, Dead Frog Brewery, Lighthouse Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Parallel 49 Brewing, Driftwood Brewery, Old Yale Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Canuck Empire, Howe Sound Brewing, Four Winds Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing, Cariboo, Okanagan Springs, Scandal Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Fernie Brewing, Vancouver Island Brewery, Prohibition Brewing, Big Surf Beer Co, Red Truck Beer, Bomber Brewing, Russell Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Stanley Park, Brewhouse Whislter, Steamworks Brewing

Canada
Unibroue, Glutenberg, LTM, Alexander Keith’s Hop Series, Big Rock Brewery, Creemore Springs Brewery, Mad & Noisy Brewing, Steam Whistle

America
Ninkasi Brewing, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada, Pyramid Breweries, Hub, Lakefront Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Samuel Adams, Double Mountain, Scuttlebutt Brewing, Worthy Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Magic Hat, Deschutes Brewery, Gigantic Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery

World
Watsteiner, Konig Ludwig Weissbier, Ankerbrau, Grolsch, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, Brouwerij Vansteenberge

Importers
TruCraft Beverages, Bravo Beer Corp, Copper & Theory, Untapped, Beverage Concepts Int’l Network Agency

The second annual Whistler Village Beer Festival seemed to be a big success with over 3500 attendees.  People from the biggest craft beer aficionados to people that like Macro beer but wanted to try something new were in attendance.  Having this festival in the middle of this mountain paradise made for one of the looking craft beer festivals that I have ever attended.  This festival may be smaller than the Victoria event but I would say that it is giving it a run for its money!

Like all craft beer festivals the people at the festival were very friendly and loved to chat!  I had all kinds of great conversations while walking around and taking photos.  I had even better encounters when I was at breweries tents.  Here are some of my more candid photos taken with my phone.

 

If I could only pick one Beer Festival per year I would have to say that it would be hard not to pick this event!  Between the amazing selection of breweries almost all being craft beer to the great food and the event better location nestled in the mountain resort town of Whistler.  I would not hesitate to recommend this festival to any craft beer fan or anyone that is interested in expanding their palate.  With all of the extra events that happen around this festival I would recommend coming up on the Thursday and staying until Sunday.  It may be a pricy weekend but you will not regret it!

Fool sized photos can be seen here.

Whistler Village Beer Festival

Steamwhistle Oktoberfest – Vancouver BC – September 28, 2013


Steamwhistle Oktoberfest

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On September 28th, 2013 Steamwhistle out of Toronto Ontario held an Oktoberfest party at the Vancouver Alpen Club in Vancouver BC.  Every person that attended received a free Steamwhistle Pilsner as well as a 1L stein to take home.  The venue was set up as a long table hall like you would find in Germany for Oktoberfest.  Tickets were only $18 witch is pretty good value!  They had german food like schnitzel and German sausages for purchase.  Beer was sold by the glass or the pitcher and beer was flying out of the taps!  There was live entertainment and crowd participation during the eventing to liven up the celebration.  There were a few issues like long lines for beer as there was only one bar and one barrel pouring but you got to know way more people.

Overall it was a fun event and I hope that with a few more bars being open next year it will be that much better!

Full Sized photos found here!

Beerlesque 3 – September 20th 2013


On Friday September 20th, 2013 the third annual Beerlesque was held.  Like last year the event was held at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown an area of Downtown Vancouver.  The event was put on by Vancouver Craft Beer Week and The Donnely Group.  The tickets once again cost $55 but included everything but the food.  One wrinkle this year was that with your ticket purchase you had to choose a time slot for the Burlesque proformance.  There was a 7pm and 9pm show but the event ran from 6pm-11pm.  All the action was shown on big screens in the main hall so that you could see everything going on in the theatre.

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The breweries at the event included Lighthouse, Bridge Brewing, Red Truck, Russell, Driftwood, Phillips, Deep Cove, Steamworks, Vancouver Island, Storm, Hoyne, Central City, Parallel 49, Steam Whistle and New Belgium (Colorado USA).  All were pouring amazing beer but my pick as best beer was Storm Brewing’s Cherry Lambic.

Partial Beer List
Driftwood Brewery – Fat Tug IPABridge Brewing Company – North Shore Pale Ale, Hopilano IPA
Storm Brewing – Cherry Lambic, Black Plague Stout w/ Whiskey, Hurricane IPA
Vancouver Island Brewing – Storm Watcher, High Tail Honey Ale, Hermans Dark Lager, Seadog Amber

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Like always there were great Entertainers at this amazing event including The Danger Thrill Show with Neil E. Dee, Rebel Valentine, Lola Frost, Burgundy Brixx, callio p cock,  Lydia DeCarllo, Nicky Ninedoors, and a drag show featuring local Brew Masters.  The brewmaster drag show was a ton of fun and all 4 guys showed a ton of balls including James (Jamey Storm) of Storm Brewing, Adam Chatburn the President of Camra Vancouver, Scott Butchart (Tamara Tuggit) of Van Brewers and Shae DeJaray of Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers.

7:00 PM*
Danger Thrill Show
Teresa Marie (ukulele performance)
callio p cock (burlesque)
Lola Frost (burlesque)
Burgundy Brixx (burlesque)

9:00 PM*
Drag Show
Lydia DeCarllo (burlesque)
Rebel Valentine (burlesque)
Nicky NineDoors (burlesque)

Like last year this was an amazing event with lots of amazing people, breweries and performers!  I look forward to next years festivities.

Full sized photos can be found here
Mikescraftbeer Flickr