Launched in 2014, Victoria Beer Week returns March 1-9 for a 10th annual celebration of our capital city’s craft beer culture.

The event that kicked off Victoria Beer Week back on March 1, 2014, was a Cask Night featuring 30 cask-conditioned beers from a great mix of breweries located on both sides of the Salish Sea/Georgia Strait. About an hour into the sold-out event, after all the hectic setup and the flurry of opening the doors and letting in all the ticketholders, I found myself at the top of the stairs overlooking the main hall of the Victoria Public Market where I paused to take a breath. The venue looked amazing: the low lighting and decorative twinkly lights created a magical ambiance. 

I was filled with pleasure and pride as I looked at the sea of happy beer lovers filling the big room — throngs of people smiling and laughing, sipping and savouring a glass of something fresh and unique. The buzz of their conversations filled the spaces in the background music. It was an amazing moment after all the long weeks of planning and organizing with my colleagues on the VBW founding team. We had done it!

Victoria Beer Week give experiences
The Victoria Public Market filled with beer lovers at a past Victoria Beer Week event.

Since that first night a decade ago Victoria Beer Week has returned annually with a series of events — often featuring Cask Nights like that first one. Over the years we have produced more than 100 events, and there are some that stand out in my memory: 

  • the Town Hall when I challenged Matt Phillips to open a tasting room, something that all the new Vancouver breweries had but no one was doing in Victoria—at least not yet! 
  • the first Pucker Up sour beer night, which sold right out, teaching us that there was another type of beer drinker out there that we didn’t even know existed; 
  • Thunderdome, which was held outside at Wheelie’s complete with barrel fires (!) and actors dressed up as Mad Max characters; 
  • the first Lift Off! event held outside at Market Square with 550 folks in attendance, our biggest VBW crowd ever; 
  • the excellent historic talks given by dearly departed beer historian Greg Evans (RIP);
  • arguing with the liquor inspector who nearly shut us down (for no reason) at All About the Wood at the Roundhouse;
  • and the 5th Birthday Bash when we all dressed up in fancy clothes and were serenaded by the very talented Susannah Adams and her band.
Chloée Smith of Townsite Brewing speaks to a crowd at Drink in the Story at The Drake Eatery as part of VBW2016
Chloée Smith of Townsite Brewing speaks at Drink in the Story at The Drake Eatery as part of VBW2016

Not surprisingly, the hardest time was 2020. As March approached, so too did word of some sort of contagious virus spreading around the globe. We watched the news and wondered if it might disrupt our events. Ticket sales faltered as our customers wondered the same thing. The week began, but the news got worse and worse until, finally, with two nights left in our festival, the government cancelled all events. It would be two years before VBW returned.

Putting together Victoria Beer Week each year has always been a team effort. There were close to a dozen co-founders when we started meeting back in 2013. Over the years, those numbers slowly dwindled as some folks moved on to other challenges. Today, the Victoria Beer Society’s board includes four people who have all been involved from the start: Ryan Malcolm, Chris Nohr, Glen Stusek, and me. Of course, there are many others who have played a part in the success of the events over the past decade — too many to list here, but you all know who you are and how much we appreciate your involvement. I hope to see you all at our 10th Birthday Bash on March 9!

a Victoria Beer Week graphic

VBW10 Event Schedule

Tickets for all events are on sale now at

Ten Ten Ten: VBW Collaboration Beer Launch

Friday, March 1, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm at Île Sauvage Brewing

Celebrate the start of the 10th Victoria Beer Week. We’ve brewed a special Extra Pale Ale with our friends in the Victoria beer community.

World Class Lagers

Saturday, March 2, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Hoyne Brewing

A showcase of the variety and depth of finely made lagers, poured and presented perfectly. Includes an educational tour of the facility and tastes of 5 Hoyne lagers.

Sidney Brewing Experience

Sunday, March 3, 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Beacon Brewing & Small Gods Brewing

A bus tour from Victoria to Sidney that begins with a guided tour of Field Five Farms in Central Saanich, where brewing grains are grown, harvested and malted. After exploring the farm, guests will visit both Beacon Brewing and Small Gods Brewing in Sidney.


Monday, March 4, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Moon Under Water

A German Beer Dinner pairing 4 German-style beers with small plates, including the Island Rauchbier, a collaboration with Small Gods Brewing and Whistle Buoy Brewing.

Trivia Night

Tuesday, March 5, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at Phillips Brewing

Kick it old school and test your craft beer knowledge with trivia brewed responsibly by irresponsible quizmasters at Phillips Brewing. All proceeds to benefit the Pink Boots Society.

Haze Fest

Wednesday, March 6, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Whistle Buoy Brewing (with Category 12 Brewing)

Celebrate the Hazy IPA: a style that has helped define the recent history of craft beer and has pushed innovation in the use of hops and yeast in beers. Watch Victoria’s first-ever, industry-wide corn hole tournament where staff from local breweries will compete to be crowned the best team in Victoria!

Throwback Thursday – 40 Years of Victoria Craft Beer

Thursday, March 7, 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm at Vancouver Island Brewing

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Vancouver Island Brewing will serve a small list of heritage beers plus some throwback pilot batches using old recipes. More taps will feature heritage beers from other local breweries. Guests are encouraged to dress up in their retro/throwback beer merch.
Scorpion Chef will be on site with delicious empanadas.

Trove of Treasures

Friday, March 8, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Lighthouse Brewing

A special event celebrating some classic Lighthouse recipes, voted in by the fans themselves! On deck is the Beacon ESB, Perla Negra Baltic Porter and Red Sky IPA.

VBW’s 10th Birthday Bash

Saturday, March 9, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Join us as we raise our glasses to a decade of craft beer events, community, and camaraderie. Sip and savour delicious craft beers from your favourite BC breweries. Enjoy fun entertainment, play games, win prizes and cut the cake with us as we celebrate a brew-tiful decade together. Put on your party hat and ring in 10 Years of Cheers with us!

Joe Wiebe at Victoria Beer Week 2022
Yours truly sporting a COVID ‘stash during Victoria Beer Week in May 2022
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