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Victoria beer blast is back

Beer news with Mathieu Poirier

Have you sufficiently recovered from September? With the Great Canadian Beer Festival, Brewery and the Beast, Craft Beer Market’s official opening, Rifflandia, Capital City Comic Con, and so many smaller events that surrounded those, it would be easy to say October is time to rest. But as they say, “the hits just keep on coming.”

One of the last events staged before there were even murmurs of what the last couple of years have been was the Island Beer and Spirits Festival, held in February of 2019 for the 11th time at the Strathcona Hotel. Now rebranded as Island Craft, the event is back with a fall edition to keep us from waiting a few more months. Featuring over 60 craft beers, ciders and spirits from all over Vancouver Island, this is a great event to attend if you want to try some of the amazing local producers we have all under one roof.

One of the big changes is that this is no longer just an annual event either, having shifted to a series of events to showcase the seasonal products that we’ve grown to love over the years. So on October 9, strategically scheduled to let you rest on Thanksgiving Day, you can swing by the new Wicket Hall and Clubhouse for a look at the brand new space AND enjoy a great selection of drinks with always fantastic food options.

Tickets include two drink and two food tokens, starting at $25 for the 2 pm entry, and $30 for an extra hour. Additional drink tokens are $2.50 each. If that sounds like an event you can’t miss, head to to pick up your tickets.


September and October are harvest season, and as much as fresh fruits and vegetables are great, beer geeks become all about one thing: hops, and the fresher, the better. So what better way to celebrate than to gather in a new venue with a plethora of freshly hopped beers, and toast the harvest before the colder months?

Fresh to Death returns this year to the Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion, a brand new venue just opened back in June for a showcase of everything fresh-hopped. With Esquimalt now home to Driftwood Brewing and Lighthouse Brewing, it’s great to see the events following the growth of craft beer in the community. The event takes place on October 16 with VIP tickets for the 1 pm entry available for $60 and standard tickets available for $35. So head over to to pick up tickets before they’ve all been picked.