Winterbrau a feast for dark beer lovers

Also available in Monday Magazine, originally posted on September 19th, 2019.

Summer is barely over and yet, a local favourite event with Winter in the name is back, one that will definitely make more than a few people happy, as darker, stronger and richer beers are on the horizon.

WinterbrauCanoe Brewpub’s annual celebration welcoming cold temperatures, rich beers and warm friendships, returns for its eighth year. And given the speed with which this event has typically sold out in past, changes this year will make many people happy.

Courtesy Canoe Brewpub

Happening from 1-5 p.m. both Nov. 9 and 10 under the wooden beams of the heritage City Lights Building, this year’s Winterbrau will bring back some of the reasons for its popularity. Those include the all-inclusive ticket offering a wide variety of token-free beer samples from more than 20 breweries, delicious food put together by Canoe’s Executive Chef Kyle Dampsy, and entertainment from the always energetic Bučan Bučan.

The biggest update this year is to double the fun: expanding the event to two daytime sessions will open the door to so many who have missed out in years past due to strong demand. In addition, the brewery list will have some variety each day, so if there’s a brewery whose beers you’re really looking forward to trying, you can choose one or maybe both days to get your fill.

Tickets cost $68.25 per day plus fees, available online through ticketrocket.co. The event is likely to sell out once more, so don’t delay.

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Another returning event, slated for Thanksgiving weekend, is the Victoria Beer Society’s Fresh to Death. This celebration of fresh-hopped beers from throughout B.C. takes harvest season to a whole new level.

Returning to the (unheated) Roundhouse at Bayview Place on Saturday, Oct. 12, the event has two ticket options. General admission tickets provide entry at 2 p.m., your glass and four four-ounce samples for $30. VIP tickets give you entry at 1 p.m., a guided tasting of four beers with certified cicerone Jeff Kendrew, plus four additional samples, all for $50.

Find more info at victoriabeersociety.com.

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Finally, with September over, it might be time to buckle down and focus on some education before falling too far behind. Joe Wiebe’s series of beer classes at Vessel Liquor continues Thursday, Oct. 17 with the topic Harvest Seasonals. He’ll cover fresh hop beers, Oktoberfest-style Märzens, and may even offer some pumpkin beers.

It goes from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 1609 Fort St. Tickets are $20, or consider getting a Six Pack of Classes for $90, and save $5 per class.

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