Many of you know what Bellingham Beer Week is right around the corner, April 21-29. You may ask why we moved it to April. Well, take a look at who else in our region does awesome beer weeks in spring: Seattle, Portland, and Victoria, BC. We just wanted to be part of the party!
I’ve had Victoria Beer Week (VBW) on my festival bucket list for a while and I’m hoping to tick it this time around. Having talked to those that have been and looking at their events list, it is a truly unique week with beautifully crafted and thoughtful events, supported by a vibrant BC craft beer community.
Victoria Beer Week kicks off the season’s festivities this weekend, March 3-11. I reached out to Joe Wiebe who not only helps coordinate VBW, but also helps runs the brand new BC Ale Trail, our northern beer map cousin. The man is a craft beer busy body and he’s doing great things for our North American craft beer community.
Victoria Beer Week launched in 2014 with 14 events and has evolved to more than 16 events with over 3,000 people expected to make their way to it. You should be one of them. The week isn’t just a week of events. The organizers have worked tirelessly to curate groups of like events together to make it easier and more cohesive to experience it all. You can buy tickets to these groupings on their website.
The festival kicks off on March 3 with Friday Night Casks at the Victoria Public Market, featuring 25 cask-conditioned beers from breweries throughout British Columbia. Another cask night will take place a week later, featuring an entirely unique range of beers.
Returning on the opening weekend is the Brewmasters Brunch with the BC Craft Brewers Guild, which gives ticket buyers the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of BC’s best brewmasters while lining up for bacon and eggs at the buffet. It takes place at Swans Brewpub on Saturday, March 4 at 11:00am.
The week of beer has numerous awesome events, including a new event called “All About Wood”, which features barrel-aged beers from 13 of BC’s best breweries such as Driftwood and Four Winds. On March the 11th you can attend Beer School, which covers a history of prohibition in BC and the US.
But the week isn’t just about beer. It’s also about food! They have put together a curated list of food events under the Foodie Frenzy category. Victoria has a killer taco scene, so they put together a Taco Tuesday. Want more food? Checkout “Beer, Cheese, More Beer” on Wednesday March 8th. It sold out last year, so be sure to get tickets early.
Victoria Beer Week has quickly evolved to an incredibly well organized, well attended and creative event, with something for everyone. I’m hoping to make it up there, but, if not, I’m hoping Joe can make it down here to experience our city’s craft beer scene. VBW is, frankly, a great role model for Bellingham Beer Week and has many elements that we can strive for! Go see for yourself.
What: Victoria Beer Week
When: March 3-11th