GREAT CANADIAN BEER FESTIVAL
Join up to 9,000 craft-beer lovers to sample unique brews and meet the brewers behind the taps at the Great Canadian Beer Festival, Friday and Saturday at Royal Athletic Park.
It’s the 25th year for the two-day event, making it the longest-running craft-only beer festival in Canada. The micro-brewery industry has never been more popular in B.C., with close to150 companies. That’s a far cry from when the first festival was held 25 years ago, when there were only 12 to 15 companies in the whole province.
“It’s all about getting small breweries into a great venue in front of an appreciative audience,” said Gerry Hieter, the event organizer.
This year, participants can taste offerings from 66 breweries and two cideries, with more than 250 beers and ciders on tap.
“This year, we had 20 more breweries than we could accommodate,” said Hieter. “We have 14 new breweries this year, as well as five that have been with us every year for the past 25.”
You can belly up to the bar for a chance to sample dozens of variations on ever-popular India pale ales, pilsners, bitters and wheat beer.
New varieties include Dad Jokes Double IPA from Twin Sails, Captain Cooper’s Tart Cranberry Ale from Trading Post Brewing, Wild Brett Wasp Ale (a collaboration between Fieldhouse Brewing and Brassneck Brewery, it’s a must-try sour ale fermented with yeast harvested from a wasp’s gut), Numbskull IIPA: Ahtanum Edition from Lighthouse Brewing, Popinjay (a dry-hopped New World sour from Strange Fellows Brewing), Lucifudge Cherry Choco Porter from Swans, Belly Flop Apricot Grisette from Big Rock Urban and Fruity Mother Pucker Sour Ale from Axe and Barrel.
New this year is the Drake Eatery Cask Tent, with eight breweries serving unique cask beer.
While most of the suds come from B.C., the festival welcomes brewers from as far away as Halifax. New breweries this year include: A-Frame Brewing, Andina Brewing, Backroads Brewing, Hathi Brewing, KPU Brewing, Luppolo Brewing, Mt. Arrowsmith Brewing, Riot Brewing, Sooke Oceanside Brewery, Strathcona Beer Company, Twin Sails Brewing, Two Wolves Brewing, Whitetooth Brewing, and White Sails Brewing.
A variety of local food vendors will offer both West Coast and ethnic flavours, while local musicians and buskers wander the grounds.
“People tell us that what sets us apart from the competition is the event’s lively atmosphere,” said Hieter.
Any profits from the event are donated to CFAX Santas Anonymous.
Tickets are $40 per day and include a B.C. Transit Get Home Safe bus ticket. Beer tokens are $1.50 each (cash only). Each token can be redeemed for a four-ounce tasting.
The event runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Royal Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Ave.
For details or tickets, go to gcbf.com.
Enjoy the last blast of summer at Metchosin Day, a community celebration always held on the first Sunday after Labour Day, on the Metchosin Municipal Grounds.
This is the 50th year for the celebration, which coincides with the regular Sunday Metchosin Farmer’s Market, with more than 100 vendors selling vegetables, meat products, fruits, crafts, artisan creations and more.
Take a hayride for 25 cents or upgrade to a backhoe digger for 50. Watch a sheep-shearing demonstration and see the winners of the baking, photography and produce growing competitions.
Watch youngsters in a gymnastic demonstration, in a pet show and showing off their 4H showmanship.
Car buffs will enjoy the collection of classic cars and motorcycles.
Members of the Victoria Motorcycle Club will set up an obstacle course with natural and manmade challenges to showcase their skills, with a show every two hours starting at 10:30 a.m.
The Metchosin Equestrian Society has several events planned, with local trainers, horses and riders demonstrating their skills between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the riding ring.
The Pioneer Museum is also nearby for those who want to learn more about the history of Metchosin.
There will be all-day entertainment by Metchosinites throughout the day on the main stage, with Morris Dancers performing around the field all day.
Food is available all day, including ice cream and hot, buttered, locally grown corn on the cob. Wash it all down with beer and wine in the beer garden.
Admission to Metchosin Day is free (donations accepted). The event runs 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the Metchosin Municipal Grounds, behind the fire hall, 4450 Happy Valley Rd. Free vehicle parking with entry and exit via Rocky Point Road. Free bicycle parking behind the Community House, just past the disabled parking.
For more information, go to metchosinday.ca.
STREET PARTY ON VINING
The Vining Street Party on the Plaza is a humble neighbourhood block party that has grown to include a whole community, and now spans six hours with professional musicians and entertainers on the grounds of Victoria High School on Sunday.
This is the 10th year for the event, which this year includes Canada 150 celebrations. Organizers expect more than 2,000 people to show up at the party, which includes a community barbecue.
Family-friendly activities include giant puppets, a cardboard castle, The Great Goffini, face painting, dance and martial arts displays and magnet experiments.
More than 70 local artisans, vendors and exhibitors will display their wares in a marketplace and 400 silent-auction items will be available for bidding.
The street party is an important fundraiser for community projects, raising more than $21,000 last year.
This year, net proceeds from the event will benefit the Learning Curve Society, funding programs for children who experience learning and behavioural challenges.
Admission is free. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of Victoria High School, 1260 Grant St.
For more information, go to viningstreetparty.com.
PUZZLE YOUR WAY TO A NEW CORN MAZE
Get lost (and found) at the opening of the corn maze at Pendray Farm — and help raise food and funds for the Sidney Lions Food Bank on Saturday.
Organizers bill their field of corn as the largest family-friendly maze in Victoria, with 10 kilometres of trails on a 14-acre plot of land at the West Saanich Road farm.
This year, the design of the maze is a salute to Canada 150.
There will be activities for all ages, including a treasure hunt, children’s maze and corn sandbox.
On the opening day, the Pendray maze and two other local businesses — Werner Mayburry Wealth Management of Raymond James, and the Spitfire Grill — are banding together to collect food donations for the Sidney Lions Food Bank.
Collection boxes for non-perishable foods will also be located at the Spitfire Grill, 9681 Willingdon Rd., until Sept. 9. The restaurant and Werner Mayburry Wealth Management will be matching online donations up to $500 each for a total of $1,500.
Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children three to 12 years old. The corn maze will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the farm, 9537 West Saanich Rd. For more information, go to vicornmaze.com.
PARKS PROGRAM TAKES A HIKE AT MATHESON
Discover a gem of a lake at Marvelous Matheson, a CRD Parks program that kicks off the fall season at Matheson Lake Regional Park, Metchosin, on Saturday.
The 157-hectare park, established in 1994, is neighbour to Roche Cove Regional Park.
It boasts a picturesque lake, set behind forested hills in Metchosin, with access to hiking, swimming and fishing activities.
On Saturday a CRD Parks naturalist will take adults 18 and older on a guided walk to uncover the cultural and natural history of this park.
There is a loop trail around the lake, with a sandy beach area perfect for a relaxing picnic or a refreshing dip.
The park is adjacent to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, with some cyclists using the park as the starting point for a cycle day trip.
Those who like to catch their supper will find the lake well-stocked with Rainbow Trout.
Participants for Saturday’s hike are encouraged to bring a snack, some water and wear sturdy footwear.
There is no fee to join the hike but you need to pre-register. The hike runs 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Matheson Lake Regional Park.
Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of the program. Please leave pets at home. For more information, go to crd.bc.ca/parks. Call 250-478-3344 to register and find where to meet.