August Newsletter

August Newsletter

Category : News

CAMRA BC – Victoria Branch View this email in your browser (
CAMRA BC – Victoria Branch Join us in Support of Craft Beer
August 2018 Monthly Newsletter
** In this Issue: ————————————————————
CAMRA Victoria President’s Message CAMRA Victoria ‘Beer on the Beach’ Letter to Sannich Council CAMRA Victoria President visits Belgium Vancouver Island Beer News Upcoming CAMRA Victoria Events – Members Events Vancouver Island Beer Events – Everyone Welcome
If you would like to join our ranks, we’d love to have you. Individual memberships are only $25/year and joint/family memberships are $40/year. CAMRA Member Events: August 30th: GCBF Booth Pretzel Making Night – Fraternal Order of Eagles Club, Esquimalt
More info above events available later in this newsletter
============================================================ CAMRA Victoria President’s Message By: Greg Garner, President, CAMRA Victoria
Dear Members,
Welcome to the heat of the summer season (quite literally!). What better way to tip our hats to the sun-gods than a ‘Beer on the Beach’ picnic protest in favor of more liberal consumption of alcohol in public places legislation. The inaugural Beer on the Beach event was held by CAMRA Vancouver last year on English Bay and garnered some great media coverage and without any tickets, complaints, instances of any negative nature. So please mark your calendars for August 26^th where members are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice (be it alcoholic or non-alcoholic) to the green space behind the Craigflower Schoolhouse alongside Admirals Road at 1pm. We will hold a respectful, peaceful, family friendly ‘picnic protest’ to shed light on the capability that municipalities hold to allow for the temporary allowance for the law-abiding consumption of alcohol in a public space. This is also to show solidarity to the Vancouver branch and other provincial branches slated to hold similar events on the same day. Please read the attached letter which has been distributed to the Municipality of Saanich as well as the Saanich Police Department. I welcome any questions or concerns and hope to see you at the event. Please also take a minute to review your calendars to see if you can lend a hand with the Great Canadian Beer Festival. Both the festival and the CAMRA booth are looking for a handful of additional volunteers to ensure another great year.
Regards, Greg Garner CAMRA Victoria Letter to Sannich Council regarding proposed ‘Beer on the Beach’
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Society of Victoria. B.C.
Att: Municipality of Saanich Mayor and Council
RE: CAMRA Victoria to hold Picnic on the Beach to Advocate for Responsible Public Drinking Rights
On August 26, 2018, members of The Campaign for Real Ale British Columbia will hold responsible Picnic Protests within each of the four chapter locations: Victoria, Vancouver, Powell River, and South Okanagan. While this type of activity is generally considered an average Sunday in many other cities, in each of the above locations, it’s breaking the law.
Under provincial liquor policies, “a public place, or part of it, may be designated, by a bylaw of the municipality or regional district that has jurisdiction over the public place, as a place where liquor may be consumed” (s 73, Liquor Control and Licensing Act of British Columbia). CAMRA BC President Paddy Treavor states, “For decades, it has been allowable by BC liquor policies for the public consumption of alcohol in the province’s public spaces in certain circumstances. Despite this allowance, few, if any, municipalities or regional districts have taken the necessary steps to allow for controlled liquor consumption in public spaces and we all know that does not mean that liquor is not being covertly and responsibly enjoyed in these same places. CAMRA BC would like to see this change.”
CAMRA Victoria has planned a family friendly event where members are encouraged to bring their kids, beach games, and a lunch – and some members will be bringing a beer to drink responsibly at the event as a form of protest. Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks will be available. We will carry out any and all waste the event creates. It should be noted that this will be a small group of responsible society members. Attendees will be aware this is not a celebration but a brief and responsible protest in picnic form.
We have arrived at Craigflower-Kosapsom Park for its central location and access to washrooms and bus routes (next to the schoolhouse). The municipality of Saanich can grant this area as temporarily available area for people to responsibly consume alcohol so that our peaceful picnic does not cross any bylaws. If the municipality does not wish to grant this area we plan to proceed with our picnic and members may choose to bring an alcoholic beverage to consume on site. We will also provided this letter to the Saanich Police Department. The same courtesy was granted to the Vancouver Police Department and city council during last year’s event.
In 2017 CAMRA Vancouver held a successful picnic protest at the much more populated English Bay. No issues were reported nor tickets written and the media coverage of the event was very favourable and can easily be found online via reputable outlets such as CBC, Vancouver Sun and Global. Please direct any questions/replies to our email: and we hope we can begin a dialogue in advance of August 26th to address any of your concerns.
Thank you for your Attention and Consideration,
Greg Garner
Click this ** link ( to see the article that appeared in the Black Press local newspapers yesterday regarding this Sunday’s event. CAMRA Victoria President visits Belgium By: Greg Garner, President, CAMRA Victoria
Imbibing in Belgium: A Traveller’s Account of De Garre Beer Café, Bruges
Trains in Belgium, as with much of Europe, make travelling easy. A 70 minute train comfortably transported us from the busy capital of Brussels to sleepy medieval Bruges. Our bed and breakfast (B&B Con Ampere) was located about a 15 minute walk from the train station which allowed us to gather some initial impressions of the town and wind our away through the main square to our destination. After settling in and meeting with the welcoming and informative B&B owners we hit the streets once again in search of a particular beer café called De Garre.
I initially stumbled upon De Garre while doing some pre-trip research into what to drink, where to eat, when to drink, where to sleep, what to see, where to…drink, etc. Reviews warned that it was easy to pass by which definitely added a certain mystery to the place. As advertised it is located down a short and narrow dead-end alley just off one of the busier pedestrian streets of Bruges (apparently ‘De Garre’ translates roughly to impasse). There is no signage from the street so you have to look for the “Cookies Tapas Bar” sign advertising a neighbouring restaurant and continue down the uninviting passage to earn your prize – the De Garre house beer. De Garre serves what would become my favourite beer of the trip (and perhaps ever!) and also proved to be one of my favourite cafes of the trip as well. Something to note here: uninviting alleys often lead to reputable beer café’s in Belgium!
The 11% De Garre ‘house beer’ is a delicious tripel served in a paper weight of a goblet glass recognizable by a large snifter style bowl and thick heavy base. To help with the ABV the beer is served with a small complimentary bowl of cheese which I presumed to be Gouda. The beer’s brewing secret is said to be the huge amount of malt added which enables the beer to achieve the high alcohol content while still being dangerously drinkable. So drinkable in fact that visitors are limited to only two house beers per sitting (enough of a reason for Kim and I to return the next day!). Sadly the De Garre house tripel is only available at the café however I did find one website reselling the magnum bottles available on premises for takeaway at a huge markup. If anyone needs a birthday/Christmas gift idea for me this year look no further. The beer itself is made by Brouwerij Van Steenberge who are also responsible for the more widely recognized “Gulden Draak” and “Piraat” which can be found in Canada but are very different in style and taste from the De Garre I tried in Bruges.
The café itself is cramped, dark, and slightly imposing at first in all the best ways. While I could not find much information about the history or exact age of the café or the building the café has reportedly been there since the 1700’s. The nearby Vlissinghe café has been operating as a café continuously since 1515 so a few centuries is well within the realm of Bruges pub normalcy. The interior includes dark timbered rafters, ghostly portraits hanging on the walls, nonstop classical music, and a tightly wound staircase leading up to the cozy second and third sitting rooms where visitors can look back down over the ground floor tables. It is one of those places where you feel a sense of wonder due to the history, a sense of comfort due to the warmth and coziness of the interior and friendly bar staff, and a sense of privilege because of the secrecy of location and the damn near perfection of the amazing house beer you will have sitting atop your table.
A selection of pictures from Greg & Kim’s Belgium trip
Vancouver Island Beer News Various recent event wrap-ups:
Over the last couple months a number of fun beer-related events have occurred that some members of your exec team have attended, such as:
– Hopoxia back on June 9th saw CAMRA Victoria have our booth there, selling our famous pretzel necklaces for the first time there ever, plus trying out a number of wicked hop-forward beers from a great collection of BC breweries. Always a great Saturday afternoon, the weather held out quite well did not disappoint.
– July 28th saw The Drake celebrate their 4th anniversary with The Thirsty Chef, one of my favorite events of the year. Almost two dozen breweries from BC, plus a number from the US came over to pour some incredible beers, paired with excellent food from a number of local restaurants. US breweries such as: Modern Times, Alesmith, Pfreim, Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, plus local favorites Category 12, Phillips, Hoyne, Swans were just some of the selections available. It was my first time trying anything from Modern Times, a San Diego brewery that just 8 months ago opened a Portland location in the site formerly occupied by Commons Brewery. The two beers offered that day were sublime! Critical Band, a hazy tropical IPA, and Fruitlands, a sour tropical Gose were so good that we brought back a 4-pack of each upon our visit to the brewery a few weeks ago during our annual Portland trip.
– Lighthouse Brewery celebrated their 20th birthday back on August 17th, paired with the long awaited opening of their tasting room. The event ran from 3pm-10pm, but I didn’t show up until around 6:30 that evening. The crowd was hopping, a trailer was serving 10 beers on tap, a fake lawn was set up with games available, free tours and prize giveaways were happening, and the tunes were spinning. It was an awesome night, with Lighthouse’s core beers available along with two special casks and the launch of a brand new Imperial Red Ale. The tasting room is cozy but inviting, and should be a fun place to visit going forward. They now join Phillips and Category 12 as local established breweries to add tasting rooms and(or) secure a lounge license to serve more than small samples.
Pics from Hopoxia, The Thirsty Chef and Lighthouse Brewery’s 20th Birthday celebration
Great Canadian Beer Festival beer list now available:
The long awaited beer list for the 26th Annual festival is now available. Once again the selection is unprecedented, with nearly 70 breweries pouring close to 250+ beers in practically every style imaginable. New this year is a larger selection of breweries from outside British Columbia, including an Alberta tent, a higher number of Ontario and Quebec breweries, and even one from the Yukon.
Look for a good number of lagers, pale ales, porters, stouts, sours, and many different variations of IPA’s, including this year’s newest style….. Brut IPA’s. At least two breweries are bring this crisp and dry variation, including Faculty and Ravens. Also expect a large selection of cask-conditioned ales from at least half of the attendees, plus a special collaboration between the festival organizers and Swans Brewpub. The limited-edition Dunkelweizen is sure to be a huge hit, so make sure to get it early!
Click ** here ( to view the list of breweries and beers, and if you wish to get a great recommendation from someone who knows their stuff, click ** here ( to visit the Bring Your Porter to the Slaughter website. Here, local beer guru Edward Kaye created two lists: one geared towards the ‘beer geeks,’ with a nice selection of unique and rare styles you may not find anywhere else, and a second for the crowd that wants to try something familiar but maybe with a slight twist. Both have excellent choices, and are a great read!
Once again, we’ll be having our booth at the festival both days. As in past years, we’ll have contests, merch sales and of course, our famous pretzel necklaces. We’ve sold out each of the last two years, and expect to do the same again this year. Make sure you stop by to get a necklace or two, and try your hand at the beanbag toss for your chance to win some great prizes donated by some great breweries.
Tickets for the festival are still available for both days, which you can get at the above link. Also were are still looking for one more member to volunteer at the CAMRA booth on the Friday. Members that volunteer get the same perks as festival volunteers, which include free admission the following day, and an invite to the wrap-up party Saturday evening. If that sounds like you, click ** here ( to email your VP/Membership Director Cayla and she’ll get you added to the list. Upcoming CAMRA Victoria Events – Members Only
As mentioned above, this Sunday afternoon we’ll be having the peaceful ‘Beer on the Beach’ protest behind the Craigflower School at 1pm. Stop by, bring a bevy, (beer or non-alcoholic,) maybe a snack and a chair, and show your support for responsible consumption in a public place. We hope to have a good turnout, so hope to see you there!
Next Thursday August 30th we’ll be having our annual Pretzel Necklace-making event at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club located at 891 Esquimalt Road. Come help your executive make the necklaces we’ll be selling at GCBF, all while enjoying a beer-themed film and possibly some appies and the club’s great tap selection. The starting time is 7pm, so stop by and show your creative side! If past years are any indication, it should be a fun night!
***And as always, please plan for a safe ride to and from the events. Please don’t drink and drive.***
Also, I invite all members to help contribute to the newsletter. If you have a story and(or) pictures from breweries or pubs you’ve visited while traveling, I’d love to hear from you. Fire me an email and I’ll be sure to include it in a future issue. Cheers! Upcoming Vancouver Island Beer Events – Everyone Welcome
Friday Night Casks – Every Friday evening White Sails Brewery – Nanaimo
Lighthouse Specialty Cask Night – Saturday August 25th 328 Taphouse – Colwood
Feast of the Fields – Sunday August 26th Kildara Farm – North Saanich
Slice of Life/Spinnakers Brewer’s Reserve Launch Party – Thursday September 6th Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub – Vic West
Esquimalt Ribfest – Friday September 7th-Sunday September 9th Bullen Park – Esquimalt
26th Annual Great Canadian Beer Festival – Friday September 9th-Saturday September 10th Royal Athletic Park – Victoria
Great Canadian Beer Festival Roundup – Thursday September 20th Vessel Liquor – Victoria
Longwoodstock 2018 – Saturday September 22nd Longwood Brewery – Nanaimo
Oktoberfest Celebration! – Saturday September 22nd Cowichan Exhibition Park – Duncan
Beer & Cider Fest – Friday September 28th Native Sons Hall – Courtenay
Zwanze Day – Saturday September 29th The Drake Eatery – Victoria
Cider Harvest Festival – Sunday September 30th Merridale Cidery & Distillery – Cobble Hill
More information on these and other events can be found on our Facebook page and on the events calendar. Know of an event you think should be included? Then shoot us an email at
Until then, Cheers!
Have an event you’d like listed? ** Contact us ( .
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