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

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Most Read