A Busy Week for Victoria Craft Beer Lovers

If you love craft beer and live in Victoria, B.C., you are going to have no shortage of events to attend this week.

Wednesday, Sept 28

Fresh-hopped beer seminar: Thirty Writer, Joe Wiebe will be hosting this seminar and tasting at Vessel Liquor Store in Oak Bay. The event costs $20 and you will be able to samples eight different local fresh-hopped beers. The seminar runs runs from 18:00–19:30. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Note: This event had to be canceled at the last minute because they were unable to source enough fresh-hopped beers for the tasting.

Twin Sails tap-takeover: Head on over to Smiths pub, where they will be hosting a tap takeover by Twin Sails Brewery. Twin Sails is a newer brewery from Port Moody that opened in late-2015.

All of the Twin Sails  regulars will be on tap, as well as two of their brand-new seasonal releases. You can expect to see me drinking that DIPA!

  • Pilsner 5.2%
  • Hefeweizen 4.8%
  • Marzen 5.5%
  • Roggenweizen 5.6%
  • Space Armadillo Double IPA 8%

Pints will be $6, sleeves are $4.50, or you can try a few in a flight. Here’s a Facebook link for the event.


Thursday, Sept 29

Swans pumpkin ale launch: Ever since they got new management, Swans has been a lot more adventurous and have been doing a lot more seasonal releases (with far less boring labels).

Their latest is a pumpkin ale flavoured with nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon. To be honest, I wish they’d tried a fresh-hopped pale ale or IPA, but ho hum, I’ll still give it a try.

The tasting takes place from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Here is the Facebook link.


CAMRA Driftwood tour/tasting: For this month’s meeting the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) will be going behind the scenes at Driftwood Brewery for a tour and tasting.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and is only open to CAMRA members. Here is the Facebook event link.

CAMRA membership costs $25 a year and you can sign up here.


Saturday, Oct 1

Zwanze Day at The Drake: Every year, Belgian brewery Brasserie Cantillon, who are world-famous for their lambic beers, release an experimental beer that is only available in very limited quantities at a select few locations around the world. This year, The Drake was picked as one of three location in Canada to host this auspicious occasion!

This year’s release will be Cantillon Framboise, which is a raspberry beer with 25% cherry Lambic and a bit of vanilla.

The event runs from 12:00-13:15. Tickets cost $45. For this you get one 4oz sample of the Cantillon Framboise along with three more 4oz samples of other Belgian or Belgian style beers. You also get a ploughman’s lunch and a commemorative glass.

You can find the Facebook event here and buy tickets here.


Fresh to Death: Fresh to Death is my very favourite annual beer festival. The event is unique in that all of the beers on offer are fresh-hopped. That means that the brewers have taken advantage of the fall hop harvest and that all of the beers have been brewed with hops freshly picked from the vine within 12-24 hours, rather than in dried, pelleted form. This results in beers that taste incredibly fresh and mouth-watering. If you’ve never had a fresh-hopped beer, then you haven’t lived!

The event runs from 13:00-18:00 in Centennial Square and tickets cost which cost $25 can be purchased here. Oh, and the ticket price includes your first three samples, which is great value for money! The Facebook event can be found here.


…and Another Thing

Make sure if you don’t miss out on these delicious new seasonal releases:


Phillips just release their annual batch of Crooked Tooth pumpkin ale, along with it’s big brother Crookeder Tooth, which is aged in bourbon barrels. This year they have added to the family and released a sour pumpkin beer called Toothless.

They have also released their annual wet-hopped IPA, Green Reaper. This year they decided to switch away from the Sartori hops that every brewer in lower B.C. used and used cascade, chinook and centennial hops from the Saanich peninsula. This is my favourite batch of Green Reaper yet. It’s so fresh and citrusy!



Driftwood has collaborated with Persephone Brewing Company in support of BC Craft Brewers Guild to brew a new seasonal called King Tide Strong Saison.

They state that “notes of tropical fruit abound from the warm fermentation required by our use of the famous Brasserie Dupont yeast.” Sounds amazing!

I should imagine that we’ll also see a release of their annual Sartori Harvest IPA very shortly.