It may still be a month away, but there is never too much time to get excited for the biggest beer event of the year. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the award-winning Great Canadian Beer Festival, and if early indications are anything, it will definitely be one to remember.
Royal Athletic Park gets converted to a beer lover’s paradise, and this year will play host to not only 66 breweries, two cideries, and their wares, but The Drake Eatery will also be sponsoring a tent dedicated solely to cask beers from at least an additional eight breweries. The early estimates suggest there may be around 250 unique beverages being served over the two day event.
Another big change that will be sure to make the working crowd happy involves the hours on Friday. In the past the 3 PM start has led to Saturday selling out much earlier, but this year, the event moves an hour later, and will run from 4 PM – 9 PM.
As the Craft Beer industry has grown in BC, the event has definitely taken on a more West Coast feel, but if you are looking for something from outside the Province, there will be a handful of breweries coming from as far away as the East Coast, including Beau’s from Ontario, and Trou du Diable, Brasserie Dunham, and Dieu du Ciel from Quebec.
Also, For those who thrive on something new, there will be fourteen new attendees this year including visitors from Up-Island like White Sails, Mt. Arrowsmith, and Riot. There will also be some new representation from the Mainland, with Twin Sails, Strathcona, A-Frame and Whitetooth to name a few.
Over the past 24 years, the festival has grown from a 2200 attendees to over 8000, and now employs more than 350 volunteers to make it run smoothly, so take a day off in early September and enjoy the best in Craft Beer. Tickets are already on sale, and can be purchased online at GCBF.com for $43 per day including taxes and fees, and the price of tokens remains the same at $1.50 per 4 oz taster.