The Drake Eatery in Market Square hosts The Thirsty Chef, its annual anniversary party and fundraiser for the Island Chefs Collaborative, on July 27 in the square. Photo by Matthieu Poirier

Mathieu Poirier: Local craft beer the star in many summer events

From The Thirsty Chef event to pop-up beer gardens in Centennial Square, brewers have you covered

We’re halfway through the year and things are just starting to heat up in terms of festivals, events and new pubs and breweries on the verge of opening.

After another amazing HOPoxia in the Phillips Backyard in June, summer festival season is in full swing, and July brings its own level of excitement.

Matthieu Poirier

One of my favourite events every year happens at The Drake Eatery. The Thirsty Chef, their annual anniversary party and fundraiser for the Island Chefs Collaborative, takes over the courtyard of Market Square with amazing local and import beers, and an array of delightful food options from local restaurants. This year marks the fifth anniversary, and with Whistle Buoy Brewing set to open soon, the courtyard will definitely be the place to be on July 27. Tickets are $30, available on eventbrite.ca or in person at The Drake.

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The Victoria Beer Society is planning multiple Pop-Up Beer Gardens in Centennial Square throughout the summer, and will also be on site at Eats & Beats out in Colwood on July 20. Dates in Centennial Square include Wednesday nights coinciding with CFUV’s Eventide Music Series, as well as most Fridays and will include live music, food trucks and a great selection of B.C. Craft Beer.

Speaking of the Victoria Beer Society, if you’re not a member yet, you should consider joining. Tickets for the Great Canadian Beer Festival went on sale for members in June at a 25 per cent discount, while tickets for non-members go on sale July 3. Weekend passes are available at $70, saving those with the stamina for both days $10 over the regular price. Keep an eye out for more details as we get closer to that wonderful weekend in September.

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Finally, I want to take a moment to honour the legacy of John Mitchell, who opened North America’s first Brewpub in 1982 in Horseshoe Bay, helped found Spinnakers in 1984, and was the major force in starting the 40 years ago has blossomed into the industry we see today, and his recent passing at the age of 89 leaves a large hole in a very tight-knit community. Many well-deserved glasses are being raised to his memory.

Also by this author:

MATHIEU POIRIER: New Island brewery tour book a great resource for beer fans

Mathieu Poirier: Beers beat wines for pairing with food

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