Victoria Beer Week Withdrawal

Victoria Beer Week Continued…

After Victoria Beer Week we’re feeling withdrawal symptoms. This week is underwhelming compared to the previous week’s amazing Beer Week events. EAT was lucky to have attended a number of events, a special brunch, a talk and some tastings (you can read about the history class here). Next up was the Beer and Cheese Night at the Garricks Head pub.

Beer and Cheese Night

Beer with cheese is like alchemy – the whole being better than the two separate elements. Why does beer work so well? A fizzy beer works with the fatty cheese by cleansing the palette between bites. At Beer & Cheese.. and More Beer, an energized crowd was packed into the Garricks Head Pub. Various delis and their cheeses were paired up with a local brewery and their beers. People went from station to station trying the recommended beers with the specified cheeses. This was not only educational but a load of fun. A few of my favourite pairings were Driftwood Farmhand with a sharp sheep’s cheese Pecorino Crotonese from Ottavio; and Longwood’s Stoutnik  – a Russsian Imperial Stout with a semi-firm cow’s milk Bleu Coffee Java Jill from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.

Town Hall

The town hall meeting took place on Thursday night, was well attended, and had a great panel of experts on the subject. Joe Wiebe was the moderator for the night. Topics ranged from chatting about gluten-free beers, to how the smallest brewery survives, to how the breweries are really just good friends when it all comes down to it.

Paul Hadfield of Spinnakers made some very good points about the new legislation on liquor laws—he has such good insight to how a brewery/pub/liquor store works and brought up points that I hadn’t thought about when reading through the government’s press release, such as being able to sell kegs at stores may not be as good as it sounds (if they are a smaller scale brewery they may not be able to put out enough kegs).

There was also a display of some very cool artwork for “bottle labels” by some of Victoria’s best graphic designers.


-Gary Lohin (Central City Brewing) speaks while (L-R) Clay Potter (Moon Under Water Brewpub), Brent Mills (Four Winds), Graham With (Parallel 49), Matt Phillips (Phillips) Paul Hadfield (Spinnakers), listen in



– One of the fantasy beer labels



– Joe Weibe moderating


Sunday Brunch Finale

On the final day, Victoria Beer Week hosted an amazing brunch at the Atrium courtyard downtown. It was a bright sunny day, which helped make for a fantastic experience. The organizers had set up with a long table style, the tables snaking throughout the courtyard. Each course had been created by a chef who is part of the Island Chefs Collaborative. Each chef was paired up with a local BC craft brewery. Before a course was brought out, it was introduced by the chef and brewer so that we would understand why they created it the way they did.



– Kyle, Victoria Beer Week volunteer, pours Thirsty Beaver from Tree Brewing.



– Some of the selection on hand.



– Some of the Chefs from the Island Chefs Collaborative joke around behind the scenes before the brunch started (Vista 18’s Garrett Schack telling a joke he’s reading from his phone).



Little Jumbo prepared Saltspring Island Nouveau Classique Brined Furness Farm Pork Belly, Beans ‘n Beer Bread & Chimichurri, that was raised on the spent mash from Saltspring Island Ale.  Paired with Saltspring Island Ale Ginger Marmalade Cream Ale. Chef: Justin Hardiman



Camille’s made Bacon Beignet with Coffee Roasted Parsnip Ice Cream. It was paired with Hoynes Voltage Espresso Stout. Chef: Stephan Drolet



– Ryan Malcolm who put together the brunch, and is also part of Salt Spring Island Ales



Cafe Tres Fanatastico had a Whole Beast Chorizo and Cornmeal Cake with Caramelized Shallots and Spicy Lime Sabayon. Paired perfectly with the slightly spicy Driftwood Farmhand Saison. Chef: Kerry Park



– Left: Paul Hadfield of Spinnakers. Right: Spinnakers Beer Bread French Toast with Fernwood Coffee Espresso Infused Whipped Cream. Chef: Ali Ryan



Till next year Victoria Beer Week!

Written By:

Colin is the Assistant Editor at EAT. You can contact him via Colin was born in Nova Scotia and spent his first five years there. His mother and father owned an inn and restaurant and Colin spent his time ...

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