Ale-heads and lager-lovers rejoice! Kegs are rolling into town for the third annual Victoria Beer Week, showcasing the best brews from the region at events across the Capital City March 4-12.
With 17 events on tap over nine days, Victoria Beer Week has something for every kind of beer lover; from the brewpub-beginner to the seasoned home-brewer.
A highlight of this year's offerings is Lift Off! A Craft Beer Launch Event, where you can be one of the first to try a dozen brand-new, unreleased beers from some of BC's best breweries. This outdoor afternoon event in Market Square is " a bigger and better version of the Thunderdome event from last year," says Victoria Beer Week co-founder and author of the Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries (Douglas & McIntyre), Joe Wiebe. "These beers haven't been tasted anywhere else before."
Those in attendance will also have the first chance to purchase bottles of the new beers at Spinnaker's pop-up liquor store at the event.
While the social aspect of beer is central to its culture, the team at VBW "really wanted to make education a big part of the program," says Wiebe.
While the Homebrewers Workshop at Category 12 has long-been sold out, there's still a chance to test your beer knowledge with Quiz Master Benji Duke with The Ultimate Craft Beer Quiz, March 7 at Northern Quarter.
Class is in session for Beer School, March 6 at Swans Brewpub where local experts give lessons on being a beer judge, and the brewing history of Vancouver Island.
Or learn what it's like to be a female brewer in a male dominated industry with Drink in the Story, March 8 (International Women's Day) at The Drake. Julia Hanlon (Steamworks Brewing), Karen Kuzyk (Category 12) and Chloe Smith (Townsite Brewing) tell the story behind their breweries, followed by questions and a beer-fuelled social.
And for the explorer out there, check out The Definitive Victoria Brewery Crawl (March 11 and 12) or the New Brew Cruise, a six-hour tour to Nanaimo and back with stops at three breweries in between (March 6).
Celebrate Sour beers with Pucker Up: A Sour Beer Showcase, March 8 at The Churchill. Hop on the sour beer bandwagon and taste a dozen of the regions best, like Four Winds Brewing's Pequeno Cabo Tequila Barrel Aged Berliner Weiss.
Or maybe Cheese, Pizza, Seafood or Barbecue is more your flavour? Try pairing regional beers with local food at:
Beer, Cheese, More Beer:
March 10, 7:30pm at Victoria Public Market
Beer, Pizza, More Beer:
March 7, 5:30pm at Pizzeria Prima Strada
Fishing for Beer:
March 11, 7:3-0pm at Victoria Public Market
Beer-B-Q at the Duke:
March 9, 6pm at The Duke Saloon
For more information and to book tickets, visit http://victoriabeerweek.com/
Mary Ellen Green - Analogue Magazine
All photos by Christian Tisdale.