Last month I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Christmas Craft Beer Show at Save-On Food Memorial Arena in Victoria, B.C.
I attended the first show back in 2016 and while I enjoyed the experience, there were a few areas that I thought the organizers could improve upon. Well, I’m glad to say this year’s show had significant improvements over last.
The arena floor had been reorganized this year so that there was more space to move around in, while also fitting in more tables for vendors. Seating was placed in the centre of the setting to allow guests to mingle and chat, and token sales had been moved to the concession stand in the lobby, which was also selling food.
Possibly the greatest improvement over last year was that the band only played for one hour, rather then throughout the show. I’m still not 100% convinced that a craft beer show needs a band, but guests seemed to be enjoying the ’80s classics they were pumping out, so what do I know.
This year, they also managed to expand the roster a bit, with 47 breweries and 4 cideries, including a few new breweries that I’ve not had a chance to try yet, which is saying something!
There was a wide selection of beers on offer this year, from core beers for the casual beer drinker, winter seasonals for the enthusiast, to casks for the true craft beer nerd. Being an Untappd addict, I’ve tried a lot of beers, but I still found a number of new offerings to sample at this year’s event.
All in all, this year was a huge improvement over last. Everyone in my group seemed to have a great time and we are all looking forward to attending again next year!