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Spinnakers celebrates 40; plus other beer events in Victoria this summer

Spinnakers hosts its brew anniversary on June 17; The Drake Eatery brings back The Thirsty Chef
Spinnakers Brewpub upstairs bar. (Mathieu Poirier)

If you’re familiar with craft beer history, names like John Mitchell and Paul Hadfield would be easily recognizable, especially if you ever stopped by Spinnakers, nestled next to Lime Bay along Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Without those two men, Canada’s oldest brewpub likely wouldn’t be celebrating 40 years of beers, spirits, ciders, food, chocolates, accommodations and more. We lost John Mitchell back in 2019, but his impact is found in each glass of craft beer served. Mitchell, who founded Spinnakers, fought against the status quo and reformed laws in order to add a brew house to his pub and later lobbied so that beer could be brewed and sold under the same roof.

May 15, 1984, is when the doors of the now-historic brewpub opened but June 17 is the 40th anniversary of the first brew. Celebrations are planned for that special day, and recreations of old brews are already in the works. Watch for more announcements as 40 years of good beer, good people, and good times are honoured.

The view from the bar at the Drake Eatery as they celebrate 10 years. (Mathieu Poirier)

Other summer events coming up:

The Drake Eatery, until 2019, held its fantastic anniversary party, lovingly referred to as The Thirsty Chef, in scenic Market Square. The last event was their 5th anniversary, and now, five years later, the event returns just in time for the 10th anniversary of one of the best beer bars in B.C. August 3rd will bring back a fantastic selection of local beers and local eateries for a celebration of all things food and beer. Details will be available soon on The Drake’s social media.

For those ready for beer festival season to begin, wait no longer! Langford Beer Festival is happening July 13, returning to Starlight Stadium in Langford. Last year was a significant improvement in space with the move to the field, and this year should be another fantastic event. Tickets are available at with discounts available for members, so consider signing up to save.

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