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 Canadian Beer Festival 2013 – Victoria BC – September 7th


Well its that time of year again!  The Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria has come on gone.  The festival ran on Friday September 6th between 3pm – 8pm and Saturday September 7th Noon to 6pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park.  I was lucky enough to go this year but was only able to go to the Saturday event.

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The breweries involved came mostly from BC but also came from all over Canada and the Western United States.  The breweries that came included 33 Achres, Big Rock, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Cannery, Canoe, Central City, Coal Harbour, Creemore Springs, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Double Trouble, Driftwood, Elysian, Fernie, Four Winds, Gigantic, Granville Island, Green Flash, Hogsback, hopworks, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Lighthouse, Longwood, Merridale, Mill Street, Moon Under Water, Mt. Begbie, Muskoka, New Belgium, Nickel Brook, Ninkasi, Noble Pig, Okanagan Springs, Old Yale, Paddock Wood, Parallel 49, Phillips, Powell Street, Prince Albert, Prohibition, Russell, Salt Spring Island, Sound, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Swans, Tin Whistle, Tofino, Townsite, Tree, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Wolf and Yukon.

One of the great things about this festival was that many of the booths were serving casks of their beer.  It is always great to try one off beer and standard beer hopped in a different way.  Due to the fact that I know way to many people now I did not get to try all that many beer.  I did however try some amazing beer as well as meet all kinds of new people and visit with lots of local beer friends.  My beer list was as follows:

33 Acres – 33 Acres of Sunshine
Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller cask
– Crooked Coast altbier
Canoe – Galaxy ESB
– Summer honey wheat ale (Blackberry infused)
Granville Island – The Pumpkining cask
Howe Sound – Hopraiser IPA
– Megadestroyer Stout
Hoyne – Devils Wet Dream
Ninkasi – Maiden In the Shade Dble IPA
Old Yale Brewing – Chilliwack Blonde
Paddock Wood – Black Friars Porter
Phillips – Kaleidoscope Mosaic IPA cask
Salt Spring Island – Spring Fever Gruit Ale
Tin Whistle – Strawberry/rhubarb cask
Townsite – Westview wheat
– Blackberry FestivALE

My pick as favorite beer of the day was Driftwood Brewings Old Cellar Dweller cask although I did only have a small sampling of the beers.

This festival was just as much about the beer as it was for the people for me so here are all the photos that I took at the event!

Next year I plan on taking in both days and hopefully every brewery if not every beer.  One day will be for visiting and one day for sampling seriously.  The people that Put on the Great Canadian Beer Festival and volunteers did an amazing job and should be very proud.  I look forward to my next festival!

Larger versions of the photos can be seen on the blogs new flickr page!

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