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30th Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria switches location

The beer-tasting festival is moving to Topaz Park in Victoria
The Great Canadian Beer Festival will no longer take place at Royal Athletic Park as it did for the past two decades.

Canada’s oldest beer festival will celebrate its 30th on September 6 & 7 at a new location.

Its new home is Topaz Park in Victoria, a move from Royal Athletic Park where the festival has been held for the last two decades.

“The move to Topaz Park gives us a blank slate to re-imagine the festival not only for the 30th anniversary but many years to come,” said Ryan Malcolm, executive director of the Victoria Beer Society in a press release.

Joe Wiebe, beer director at Victoria Beer Society, further explained to Black Press that the festival moved because Royal Athletic Park is hosting a CFL game a few days before the event and would require infrastructure changes that would interfere with the beer festival.

"We assume we will use Topaz Park moving forward, but of course, we’ll have to see how it all works out this year," Wiebe said. "We are very happy with the change ... It does give us a bigger footprint should we need it."

The festival showcases beers from across Canada, including beers that can't be found anywhere else in B.C. with up to 250 beers from close to 80 Canadian breweries.  Many of the brewers will be in attendance offering a chance for conversation and question-answering.  BC Ale Trail will also be there to showcase hand-picked BC beers.

The full brewery and beer list will be announced in the summer.

For the first time ever, a Premium Ticket option exists to offer additional perks. Festival-goers can partake in a crafted beer-and-food pairing by Chef Brian Tesolin of the Courtney Room, featuring four collaboration brews between the Courtney Room, Île Sauvage Brewing, Herald Street Brew Works, Small Gods Brewing and Whistle Buoy Brewing. Each beer will focus on a foraged ingredient and is to be paired with gourmet snacks.

Additional Premium Ticket perks include separate entry, six extra beer tokens and a Premium lounge.

To celebrate 30 years, GCBF founders Gerry Hieter and John Rowling, who retired and handed the festival over to the Victoria Beer Society in 2018, will lead the media tour and ring the opening bell.

Tickets for the festival went on sale Thursday, June 20. 

Visit for more information.




Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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