Phil Atkinson (from left), Gerry Hieter, Claudia McNeil and John Rowling were among the longtime Great Canadian Beer Festival board members whose retirement from the event led to the request for Victoria Beer Week Society to take over management of the 26-year-old Beer Fest. Contributed photo

Phil Atkinson (from left), Gerry Hieter, Claudia McNeil and John Rowling were among the longtime Great Canadian Beer Festival board members whose retirement from the event led to the request for Victoria Beer Week Society to take over management of the 26-year-old Beer Fest. Contributed photo

New organization to host Great Canadian Beer Festival starting in 2019

Longtime beer festival board pours their last pint, hands reins to Victoria Beer Week Society

Two of Greater Victoria’s biggest promoters of craft beer are joining forces.

On Tuesday the Victoria Beer Week Society announced it is taking over management of the Great Canadian Beer Festival in 2019 and for the foreseeable future, while the non-profit that operates the Beer Fest in September will dissolve.

The move was prompted by the retirement, following this year’s 26th annual Great Canadian Beer Festival of society directors Gerry Hieter, Phil Atkinson, Claudia McNeil, John Rowling and Petra Trafford. They formally asked if the non-profit society that operates Beer Week in March would take the event on.

“Over the past five years, Glen Stusek, Ryan Malcolm, Joe Wiebe, Chris Nohr and the many alumni of the Victoria Beer Week Society have demonstrated a commitment to craft beer and a quality in their events that we believe will reflect the values of the Great Canadian Beer Festival,” Hieter, one of its co-founders, said in a release. “Under their stewardship, we look forward to enjoying future [festivals] and having a beer with you all on the field.”

READ MORE: B.C. locations listed among top beer cities in Canada

READ MORE: Spitting beer – a tale of beer geekery

READ MORE: Craft beer revolution a long time coming for Saanich volunteer

The Great Canadian Beer Festival dates back to 1993 and since 2003 has been held at Royal Athletic Park the second weekend of September. It sees breweries and cideries from B.C. and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest showcase their products over a two-day festival.

Wiebe said the Beer Week Society board was pleasantly surprised by the offer to manage and operate the longstanding festival.

“We are honoured to be given this opportunity to sustain and build upon the legacy created by Gerry Hieter, John Rowling and the other key organizers of GCBF,” he said, speaking for the society. “We are very excited about what the future holds.”

The two festivals have different formats. Beer Week, the sixth edition of which happens March 1 to 9, hosts craft beer-related events at various venues around the region.

The coming weeks and months will see members of the Victoria Beer Week Society work with the Beer Fest team to ensure a smooth transition and planning heading into the fall 2019 edition of the festival.

editor@mondaymag.com

Craft beerVictoria Beer Week

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Frank Ludwig in a forklift with his long hair during Trooper’s heyday. (Photo submitted)
Humble Island beginnings blossomed into storied career for Trooper keyboardist

Frank Ludwig got his start as a boy pumping the organ in a tiny downtown Chemainus church

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Thomas Kuecks, Bellamy Kuecks and Paula Foot have come together to create an album of stories for children. (Nina Foot photo)
Moments with Miss Paula creates musical stories for kids

Music and the spoken word from Island pair available on streaming

Author Eden Robinson poses for a portrait during an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Trickster trilogy author Eden Robinson hosts online conversation and reading

Haisla and Heiltsuk will join fans in event hosted by Vancouver Island Regional Library

Nanaimo author Lawrence Winkler’s latest book is ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa.’ (Bulletin file photo/supplied)
Nanaimo author wraps up trilogy following ‘antihero’ Island doctor

Lawrence Winkler presents ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa’

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

Most Read