Victoria Beer Week is underway, with some of the premiere events happening at the Victoria Public Market. Image contributed

Mathieu Poirier: Hop into Victoria Beer Week

Fifth annual craft brew festival offers something for everyone at downtown venues

After months of preparation and excitement, one of the best events on the beer lover’s calendar is in full swing.

Victoria Beer Week 2018, on now through March 10, features 13 events showcasing 50 craft breweries from all over BC. And while it’s been around for half a decade, there are still many who have never been or have no idea what to expect.

To get a really good feel for what VBW is all about, there are a few events that just cannot be missed, and they all happen to take place towards the tail end of the week.

All About the Wood, returning for a second year, can easily be classified as a beer geek’s heaven. Last year’s event had a stunning list of over 25 barrel-aged beers, ranging from light and refreshing sours to rich and dark stouts and barleywines. It can only be described as the knock-out event from the 2017 campaign. This year’s event moves indoors to the Victoria Public Market and offers a great selection of 12 breweries pouring from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 8). Tickets are $50 and include six drink tickets and two food tickets.

While there will be casks at many of the events, only one night focuses on the little barrels that could. Friday Night Casks, taking place on March 9 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the public market, will have over 20 different breweries serving everything from their seasonal favourites to completely off-the-wall recipes that only brewers could imagine. Because of their small size, these beers are usually seen once and never again, so don’t miss this. Tickets are once again $50 and include six drink tickets and two food tickets.

Finally, what better way to celebrate five years of making beer lovers happy in the middle of winter than to have a birthday party. Hoppy Birthday wraps up the week on Saturday, March 10 from 8 to 11 p.m. and promises to impress. With live music from the Susannah Adams Trio, and the request that attendees dress in their fun and formal best, this is not your casual beer event full of hoodies, flannel and denim. Tickets are $75 and are all inclusive with gourmet snacks on hand from Victoria Public Market vendors.

Victoria Beer Week tickets and more information are available at victoriabeerweek.com.

Mathieu Poirier writes a monthly column on craft beer for Monday Magazine. Find him on Twitter @matterofbeer

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