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Matter of Beer

Crafting cheers: Celebrating decades of Victoria’s beer and culinary flavours
Spinnakers Gastropub is one of the locations for Dine Around. (Courtesy of Mathieu Poirier)

With Dry January out of the way, it’s time for things to ramp up into event season. The plan was originally to cover March’s upcoming Victoria Beer Week, but they’ve managed to keep almost all the events under wraps, even from me. So we remain excited about that while looking at other options to distract until my favourite nine-day week of the year.

Dine Around returns in 2024 for its 20th anniversary, and one of the participating locations happens to be the oldest brewpub in Canada, Spinnakers Gastropub. One of the benefits of having your beers on tap throughout this great event is the ability to properly pair beers that complement, cut, and contrast the dishes perfectly, and all three menus offer suggested pairings with each selection. Taking a closer look, you might also notice that there are quite a few dishes paired with either their Pew Pew Pew tart ale or their Flanders Red Ale, both of which offer a bright, fruity, sour note. This is precisely where the “cut” style of pairing comes in, with acidity that cuts through sauces, caramelization, and rich oils.

Going on until Feb. 11, Dine Around is happening at over 40 locations offering menus, and quite a few have a fantastic offering of local craft beers, so consider one to pair with your dishes. For more details on locations and menus, go to

While the complete listing of Victoria Beer Week events hasn’t arrived, the event announced in December still has tickets available. The Victoria Press Building hosts VBW’s 10th Birthday Bash, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 9. Tickets are $45 for six drink tokens, a 10th-anniversary tasting cup, and a Victoria Beer Week birthday goodie bag.

In addition to events, there’s a special surprise due to be released soon as well, with a collaboration beer brewed by several local breweries to commemorate 10 years of cheers. Brewed on location at Ile Sauvage Brewing, it will also be launched there at a special event on March 1 to mark the start of the week.

As for the rest of the events, head to for details once available, and check back next month for a closer look at what you can expect from all the different events between March 1 and 9.

READ MORE: Reflecting on 2023, and toasting to what’s new for Vancouver Island breweries in 2024