Phil Atkinson (from left), Gerry Hieter, Claudia McNeil and John Rowling were among the longtime Great Canadian Beer Festival board members whose retirement from the event led to the request for Victoria Beer Week Society to take over management of the 26-year-old Beer Fest. Contributed photo

New organization to host Great Canadian Beer Festival starting in 2019

Longtime beer festival board pours their last pint, hands reins to Victoria Beer Week Society

Two of Greater Victoria’s biggest promoters of craft beer are joining forces.

On Tuesday the Victoria Beer Week Society announced it is taking over management of the Great Canadian Beer Festival in 2019 and for the foreseeable future, while the non-profit that operates the Beer Fest in September will dissolve.

The move was prompted by the retirement, following this year’s 26th annual Great Canadian Beer Festival of society directors Gerry Hieter, Phil Atkinson, Claudia McNeil, John Rowling and Petra Trafford. They formally asked if the non-profit society that operates Beer Week in March would take the event on.

“Over the past five years, Glen Stusek, Ryan Malcolm, Joe Wiebe, Chris Nohr and the many alumni of the Victoria Beer Week Society have demonstrated a commitment to craft beer and a quality in their events that we believe will reflect the values of the Great Canadian Beer Festival,” Hieter, one of its co-founders, said in a release. “Under their stewardship, we look forward to enjoying future [festivals] and having a beer with you all on the field.”

READ MORE: B.C. locations listed among top beer cities in Canada

READ MORE: Spitting beer – a tale of beer geekery

READ MORE: Craft beer revolution a long time coming for Saanich volunteer

The Great Canadian Beer Festival dates back to 1993 and since 2003 has been held at Royal Athletic Park the second weekend of September. It sees breweries and cideries from B.C. and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest showcase their products over a two-day festival.

Wiebe said the Beer Week Society board was pleasantly surprised by the offer to manage and operate the longstanding festival.

“We are honoured to be given this opportunity to sustain and build upon the legacy created by Gerry Hieter, John Rowling and the other key organizers of GCBF,” he said, speaking for the society. “We are very excited about what the future holds.”

The two festivals have different formats. Beer Week, the sixth edition of which happens March 1 to 9, hosts craft beer-related events at various venues around the region.

The coming weeks and months will see members of the Victoria Beer Week Society work with the Beer Fest team to ensure a smooth transition and planning heading into the fall 2019 edition of the festival.

editor@mondaymag.com

Just Posted

Group finds B.C. Archives collection licences costs prohibitive

Teachers asked to pay $25 per image to use on slideshows

Saanich council approves rural subdivision despite staff and public opposition

Critics say it will lead to urban sprawl, while supporters cite the need for housing

Coalition campaigns to build new West Shore skate park

Group seeks $25,000 in donations for park proposed for near the Juan de Fuca rec centre

North Saanich council provides update on Sandown farming plan

The District notes that 50 per cent of local farmers are likely to retire within the next 10 years

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Most Read