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Cheers, beers & beyond: uncorking a decade of Victoria Beer Week

Mathieu Poirier’s monthly Matter of Beer column
Sour Power, a ’70s-themed sour beer disco party at Victoria Beer Week in May 2023. Victoria Beer Week this year falls in March. (Courtesy Victoria Beer Week)

March is here, which means the return of Victoria Beer Week, back to its original month, and back again for its 10th anniversary. Things have been changed up this year, with a focus not just on the beer, but the places that make it all happen: the breweries and beyond.

Except for Victoria Beer Week’s Birthday Bash, taking place at the Victoria Press Building on March 9, all the other events of the week are taking place directly with breweries all over the Capital Region.

The week launches with Ten Ten Ten, which stars the Extra Pale Ale, a beer made in collaboration with several Victoria breweries that includes 10 grains, 10 hops and 10 yeasts. Taking place at Ile Sauvage on March 1, from 5:30-10 p.m., a $10 ticket gets you in with an included glass of the special beer.

On March 2, the afternoon is all about the lagers. Hoyne Brewing, known for its true-to-style lagers and fantastic brews, hosts World Class Lagers from 3-6 p.m.. For $30, guests will receive a tour of the brewery, five 10 oz samples of Hoyne beers, and a selection of appetizers.

Sunday, March 3 is as much about the journey as the destination. The Sidney Brewing Experience takes you on a bus ride to Field Five Farm, where you’ll learn all about the local maltster and how one of the most important ingredients in beer is produced while enjoying a beer on site. The trip continues up to Sidney, where tours of Beacon and Small Gods Brewing await with a beer or flight at each location.

March 4 heads down to Moon Under Water, with their Marchtoberfest offering a selection of German lagers and light eats, including a Rauchbier (smoked beer) brewed with Whistle Buoy and Small Gods.

Quiz night returns on Mar. 5 at Phillips, with all proceeds going to the Pink Boots Society, which aims to assist, inspire and encourage women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education.

March 6 is all about the hazies, with Haze Fest happening at Whistle Buoy in Market Square. The last two events before the finale take a sentimental look back, with Vancouver Island Brewing hosting Throwback Thursday – 40 Years of Victoria Craft Beer on March 7, and Lighthouse Brewing celebrating with a Trove of Treasures on the 8th. Both events will look back at their storied histories and bring some classics out of the woodwork.

With a single event each day and a focus on intimate, enjoyable moments in the spaces that have become so important to the industry, Victoria Beer Week’s 10th anniversary is something to look forward to and partake in.

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