Ed Kaye’s Top Beer Picks for Great Canadian Beer Festival 2019

Here at Beer Me BC we’re all about helping you figure out what new and tasty things to put in your mouth. And sometimes you have to go to a beer festival to get access to those things. This weekend at Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria is one of those times, because the taplist at Canada’s longest-running beer event is absolutely monstrous. With over 275 beers from more than 60 BC breweries and 24 breweries from Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon, you need some guidance.

Ed Kaye is Events Editor for What’s Brewing magazine, and he runs an amazingly comprehensive beer blog called Bring Your Porter to the Slaughter. Ed is the beer geek we need to supply a curated list of must-try brews at GCBF. Without further ado, let’s hand the mic over to Ed. 

Ed Kaye

My Top Beer Picks for GCBF 2019

The 27th Great Canadian Beer Festival will be held at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, BC on Friday Sept 6 (4-9 p.m.) and Saturday Sept 7 (12-5 p.m.). This year’s festival features over 275 beers. To give you a helping hand, I have put together a list of my top picks from this year’s list.

As this year’s festival has an expanded range of beers from out-of-province, I have divided the list up into two parts: BC beers and non-BC beers.

Ed’s BC Beer Shortlist

After reading through the list several times and noting the beers that interest me, I’ve realized that I’ve not picked one core beer or regular seasonal. There’s nothing wrong with these beers, but that’s not what I go to festivals for. When I can easily walk to a brewery or bar and buy a pint or can of a beer whenever I want, why would I spend my time lining up for a 2 oz sample?


Coal Harbour Brewing (East Vancouver): Hangover Elixer – Lager– 5% (Saturday cask)

Container Brewing (Vancouver): Pour Les Mineurs – Grisette – 3.2%

Crossroads Brewing (Prince George): Peanut Butter Cup Stout – 5.2% (Friday cask)

Dageraad Brewing (Burnaby): Best of All Possible Worlds – 6.5%

Highway 97 (Penticton): Islay Peated Scotch Ale – 6.5%

Howl Brewing (Sidney): Reishi Mushroom Hibiscus Lager – 5%

Moon Under Water (Victoria): Year VII – Wheat Wine – 11.9% (Friday cask)

Smithers Brewing (Smithers): Mango Passionfruit Milkshake IIIPA – 9.3%

Sooke Oceanside Brewery (Sooke): Ludakris – Black Lime Gratzer – 3%

Twin City Brewing (Port Alberni): Vanishing Act – Pineapple Coconut Sour – 5.4

Wildeye Brewing (North Vancouver): Strawberry Cardamon Gose – 4.5%

Wolf Brewing (Nanaimo): Dry Hopped Brut Braggot – 7%

Full Details ≫

Ed’s Out-Of-Province Picks

It goes without saying that my opinion is just that: mine. This is just here to give you a few ideas to make your own list.


Tatamagouche Brewing Company (Nova Scotia): Toro – Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad with Brett – 11.2%

Big Spruce Brewing (Nova Scotia): Cereal Killer – Oatmeal Stout – 4.5%

2 Crows (Nova Scotia): Fool’s Errand – Foeder-Aged Wild Saison – 5.7%

Nickelbrook (Ontario): Zap! – Sour IPA – 5.5%

Torque Brewing Co. (Manitoba): Witty Belgian – 4.7%

Nokomis Craft Ales (Saskatchewan): Haskap Sour – 4.5%

Analog Brewing (Alberta): In Another Castle – Milkshake IPA – 5.5% abv

Annex Ale Project (Alberta): Forward Progress – Pale Ale – 5.2%

Town Square Brewing (Alberta): Forged– Rye Amber Ale – .2%

Dog Island Brewing (Alberta): Lip Pointer – DIPA – 8.5%

Last Best Brewing & Distilling (Alberta): Spelt Saison– 6.0%

Winterlong (Yukon): Mountain Hero – Saison – 6%

Full Details ≫

That’s just the shortlist. Be sure to click through to Ed’s full blog posts to find out what each of these brews is about and WHY Ed recommends lining up for them.

See you in Victoria!

Great Canadian Beer Festival

Friday September 6th 2019 @ 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday September 7th 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Royal Athletic Park
1014 Caledonia Ave, Victoria, BC


Categories: Events & Festivals

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