By Mathieu Poirier
Monday beer columnist
September is upon us, and that means back to school, back to work, the summer’s over, and so is all the fun, right?
Wrong. If anything, September has become one of the best months to find things to do in the Capital Region, especially those involving craft beer.
It may already be sold out, but Brewery and the Beast is something that any good meat-loving Victorian should try at least once. Tickets occasionally become available from those unable to attend at the last minute, so if you’re in the mood for three hours of some of the best food you’ll ever eat, paired alongside some great music, Phillips Brewing beers and a crowd there to have a great time, this is the event for you.
Its growth prompted organizers to relocate the event from the Phillips Backyard to Royal Athletic Park last year. That has offered chefs from some of the best restaurants in Victoria and beyond even more opportunity to come up with recipes and ideas that, in the spirit of friendly competition, continue to leave the previous year’s offerings in the dust.
The selection of beers from Phillips adds a nice break between food offerings, and this year you’ll notice a change aimed at those looking for something a little different. At a separate tent you’ll find some experimental brews for people wanting to branch out.
In addition to beer, there will be a nice selection of ciders, wine, kombucha and soda, so those who might not be into beer don’t feel excluded.
If tickets do become available, they will likely show up on the event’s Facebook page (@BreweryandtheBeast), so jump at the chance if it arises.
Rifflandia is taking a year off, but that weekend hasn’t been left out of the September fun. Canoe Brewpub has put together a weekend of music and fun called the Ember Music Series, all themed around wilderness camping. Running from Sept. 12-14 and with no cover charge, the event features local artists including Bousada, Diamond Cafe, OK Charlie and more.
Finally, a reminder that tickets for the Great Canadian Beer Festival are still available for the Sept. 6-7 event. With almost 100 breweries on tap to serve a variety of beers, it might be the best way to unwind after that first week back to life.
Surrounding those two fantastic days though, there are usually a handful of tap takeovers and other events around town, like the one happening at Smiths Pub on Thursday, Sept. 5. Gibsons’ Persephone Brewing and Squamish’s Backcountry Brewing will be showcased all evening, as a great start to the festival weekend. Watch out for similar events at a number of venues throughout the city.