2014 Great Canadian Beer Festival – The Time and Place for Craft Beer in British Columbia
The Great Canadian Beer Festival has been running since long before Craft Beer was considered cool/ In its 22nd consecutive year more than 8000 attendees found their way to Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park to experience brews from 83 different breweries. The majority of breweries call British Columbia home but spanning east across the country and south into the United States a collection of those looking to capitalize on the BC Craft Beer boom noted this as an event to win over some new fans.
With close to 500 unique beers to be tasted at this best-of-the-best event at the strike of three pm on Friday September 5th the event kicked off with a grand welcome from the Mayor of Victoria himself, Dean Fortin. As the swarms filled the outdoor venue the taps were immediately flowing with every beer your heart could hope for. From Pilsners to Stouts, IPAs to Sours the real challenge here is picking your battles as to try what is truly tickling your heartstrings.
Keeping an ear to the ground and taking in the advise of fellow craft beer fans favourites from this year’s event included the 33 Acres Belgian Tripel, Brassneck’s One Trick Pony IPA, Crannog’s Back Hand of God Stout, Four Winds’ White IPA and the Saltspring Island Basil ESB. These represent only a small handful of the amazing beers at the festival but the people don’t lie and a lineup speaks louder than anything. Find a lineup for beer and you are undoubtedly in for something special!
At this year’s Great Canadian Beer Festival there are also a few newcomers on site serving up brews that have likely never been tasted before. These are breweries that have just opened their doors and in many cases do not even sell in the Victoria Area. What better place to introduce your beer to a passionate crowd of beer drinkers than here! Newcomers to the BC Craft Beer festival scene include Barkerville, 3 Ranges, Wheelhouse, Green Leaf, Bomber, Dageraad, Four Mile, Postmark, Steel & Oak, and Yellow Dog Despite being the newcomers each one of these breweries awed crowds with their unique styles and local twist on tradition. It is amazing to see the industry growing so rapidly yet staying unique and differentiated between brands, styles and amazing flavours.The Great Canadian Beer Festival is the event that sets the bar for all other Canadian festivals and has been doing so for more than twenty years. This year’s event marks another VERY successful year and acts as a gauge for the craft beer scene in BC as a whole. With another year under the belt it is very clear that the industry is thriving and thirst is not something that is about to disappear.
See you next year in Victoria for the 2015 Great Canadian Beer Festival!