The Great Canadian Beer Festival returns with 200-plus sips to savour

Great Canadian Beer Festival - YAM magazine Aug 2023
Great Canadian Beer Festival. Photo By: Johann Vincent.

If you love ales and lagers, porters and hefeweizens, sours and ultra-hoppy IPAS, you’ll love hearing that Canada’s oldest and best beer festival is back at Royal Athletic Park September 8 and 9. Produced by the Victoria Beer Society, the 29th annual Great Canadian Beer Festival is more fun than you can shake a sack of barley at, offering two days of food, music and, of course, plenty of great beer. 

The event, which has been produced by the Victoria Beer Society since 1993, will feature more than 90 Canadian craft breweries from coast to coast to coast. They’ll be pouring some 200-plus beers, ciders and meads, many of which you would not be able to try anywhere else. 

But there are also plenty of zero-proof beer and other no- and low-alc sips for those who want to skip the booze but not the fun. After all, GCBF offers loads of activities beyond the tastings — you can tackle the 100-foot-long obstacle course, dance to the DJ’s tunes, marvel at the skills of the hula hoop girl and visit the food vendors for corn dogs, satays, burgers, tacos and more.

The event runs 4 to 9 p.m. on September 8 and from noon to 5 p.m on September 9. Single-day tickets come in two options: one for entry only (ideal for designated drivers or those who are unsure if they want to try a lot of different beers) and token inclusive, which includes 10 tokens. (More tokens are available on the grounds.) There is also a weekend pass available, which offers access to both days plus 10 tokens each day.

Note that anyone under the age of 19 is not allowed into GCBF, including babies.