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Summer is here and so is the beer

Beer festival, beer awards and beers to try as you travel

Words by Mathieu Poirier

Summer’s here, technically, so with the not-so-springlike weather we’ve endured for the past few months, it will be nice to take advantage of the new season with festivals, friends and flavourful beers. So why don’t we look at what’s coming soon in our local sphere of beers?

July has typically been a slower month for beer festivals, with The Drake’s Thirsty Chef usually taking a solitary spot in the month. This year, as staffing issues in the hospitality industry have shelved the event for an additional year, a fantastic new event out on the West Shore has stepped in to fill the void.

The Langford Beer Festival, happening at Starlight Stadium on July 16, is coming to the fastest-growing part of the Capital Region, taking advantage of a fantastic community space and whetting everyone’s appetite for larger-scale beer festivals all over again.

Brought to you by the same people who put on the Great Canadian Beer Festival (GCBF) and Victoria Beer Week, the evening will include two live bands, 50 breweries pouring up to 100 beers, five food vendors, and up to 2,500 beer-loving people. Tickets are available now at, with a $45 ticket getting you in with eight tokens. The already sold-out $75 premier tickets offered an additional eight tokens and access to the Cascadia Liquor party deck.

This festival is occurring in addition to the hotly anticipated GCBF happening in September, where tickets are also on sale now.

As mentioned in last month’s issue, the Canadian Brewing Awards took place in May, and island breweries brought home several awards, including Port Alberni’s Twin City Brewing, which won three for its Dissimulator Doppelbock, Tickety Boo Pale Ale and Sparkchaser Smoked Red Ale, which are all personal favourites.

Lighthouse Brewing, Dog Mountain Brewing, Sooke Brewing and Gladstone Brewing all brought home two awards each, with Sooke Oceanside Brewing, Ace Brewing, Moon Under Water and Whistle Buoy all winning single awards, as well. So up and down the island, there are definitely great beers that you can try as you travel this summer.

Speaking of travel, even with the cost of getting places increasing, this summer is a great opportunity to take some shorter trips, enjoy locally produced beers and support local businesses and local employees—so whether you take a flight to enjoy a flight, or stay local and frequent your local, take a moment to consider what’s pouring.