– Words by Mathieu Poirier
September is here, and for the first time in a while, you know what that means: it’s Great Canadian Beer Festival time! After two years without the beers, buds, costumes and camaraderie, the 28th annual iteration of Victoria’s beer blast is back for all to enjoy. So if you have either forgotten or have never experienced this weekend whirlwind, here’s a little of what you can expect.
Featuring nearly 100 Canadian breweries from coast to coast, pouring more than 245 beers over the two-day (September 9/10) festival, you would think that would be enough to draw you in. Still, there’s so much more to it, and there are some new additions to the festival lineup this year that seasoned veterans have never seen before. As always, there are fantastic food vendors, with eight locally owned businesses that will have you trying to decide what to eat next. But this year, there are also so many new, fun, and interactive options to keep you entertained.
The Vancouver Island Blacksmith Association will be on site, making and selling bottle openers and accessories—this is a fantastic way to remember the day, so you will want to check them out. There will also be giant jenga, corn hole, hulahooping, and a “Beat the Goalie” challenge with Fernwood Town FC. Live music will include an Oktoberfest Band on Saturday, and The Zone@91.3’s DJ Boitano performing throughout the weekend.
Finally, there will be a 100-foot-long inflatable obstacle course to show just how uncoordinated you are after a few beers. So imagine your abilities on a good day, and then envision how much worse those can be once you’ve had a few drinks.
Tickets and weekend passes are available at www.VictoriaBeerSociety.com, and if you want to save time at the festival, you can pick up beer tokens ahead of the event at the office at 2725 Rock Bay Avenue during office hours.
If that isn’t enough to make September a month to remember, Brewery and the Beast somehow still has tickets available. The Festival of Beer and Meat has expanded its drinks selection, and after last year’s great event at Langford’s Starlight Stadium, they are returning with even more great food and entertainment to delight in an amazing, accessible space. For more information, go to www.BreweryAndTheBeast.com and see what all the talk is about.