Enormous excitement is building in small town Chemainus over a big festival.
The Chemainus Business Improvement Association is proud to host the Cowichan Craft Beer & Food Festival in Chemainus for the third time and first since 2019 before the pandemic shut most everything down.
The festival on Saturday, Aug. 13 will feature 33 Vancouver Island and B.C. regional breweries plus a selection of artisan food outlets from within the Cowichan region and merchandise vendors.
Organizers are thrilled about the event’s return.
“An event of this magnitude is typically held in a larger market like Victoria or Vancouver and we are so excited to see it return to our wonderful little town,” said Krystal Adams, executive director of the CBIA and the festival.
Regarding any concerns about further COVID restrictions, “as long as we have a place to host it, with beer to serve, and people wanting to come, we are willing to find a way to make it safe for people to attend in whatever capacity is safest,” she added. “People are aching to return to events such as these and it’s exciting to be welcoming them back into the Cowichan region and Chemainus.”
The festival is unique in its focus exclusively on the craft beer movement. It’s one of only a few BC Craft Brewers Guild sanctioned festivals. Just like the last event pre-COVID, it remains the second largest craft beer event – by variety of beer – on the Island.
The last festival sold out well before the event with hundreds on the wait list.
“The event was so popular and well-received that we were still fielding requests years later to see its return,” noted Adams. “We will not disappoint and we will be enhancing the experience with additional live music, seating areas and big games for a little extra fun.”
Michelle Williams was hired as event coordinator to work alongside Adams to manage the fine details.
“This event is so much more than just a beer, it’s a community of vendors, volunteers and people that make this event what it is,” added Williams. “I am extremely grateful to be a part of the excitement this year.”
The organizers are working with multiple transportation companies to provide shuttles running to and from Victoria, Langford, Duncan, Crofton, Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Chemainus. Transportation is being arranged from parking areas in Duncan and Chemainus to the festival at the Chemainus Ball Park, 9740 Elm St.
Supporting partners such as Riot Brewing Co. as the hometown brewery are also being confirmed.
Tickets are for sale online at www.craftbeerandfoodfest.com and around the island at locations in Victoria, Langford, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and multiple key locations throughout Duncan, Crofton and Chemainus.
Pricing was a key consideration in planning the event. To meet that requirement, tickets are offered at $27.99 for general admission.
Tickets are not expected to be available at the event, with a sell-out anticipated. Each ticket allows for entry into the festival as well as live music on the festival grounds, five tasting tokens, a commemorative keepsake tasting glass and the opportunity to win a valuable door prize.
VIP tickets are also being again this year for early entry with an additional hour of tasting time, double the tokens and other perks.
Adams added volunteers are still being sought for the event in exchange for tickets. There’s also some paid positions remaining, with no experience necessary.