Vancouver Island’s craft beer lovers are getting hopped up, so to speak, at the prospect of raising a pint or two during Nanaimo Craft Beer Week.
This is the Nanaimo Craft Beer Society’s fifth annual celebration and members of Nanaimo’s craft beer brewing community haven’t just united, but have been in cahoots to come up with a beer for the week of events starting Sunday, April 30, and continuing through May 7.
The society describes Nanaimo Craft Beer Week as “a multi-event and multi-venue celebration of craft beer culture in Nanaimo” and local craft brewers took that to heart this year, getting together to conjure up a collaboration beer that will be revealed at a launch event Monday, May 1, at the Firehouse Grill.
“To our knowledge, we don’t think there’s ever been a collaboration beer done between all of the Nanaimo breweries before. There’s been a couple smaller ones here and there,” said Matt Carter, director with the Nanaimo Craft Beer Society.
The beer is from a recipe concocted by brew masters from Longwood Brewery, Longwood Brew Pub, White Sails Brewing and Wolf Brewing Company.
“The brewers and the brew teams all got together at Longwood Brewery a couple weeks ago and put everything in motion and decided on a recipe, decided on ingredients and were all on site to do the actual brewing and, let me tell you, there was definitely smoked chicken wings and some good stories shared while the brewing was going on,” Carter said.
He won’t spill the goods about the brew they came up with, which will be revealed at the launch event, but said it will be great for the warmer months.
“It’s meant to be lighter, but very much full of flavour and something to sort of celebrate not only the camaraderie here in Nanaimo, but that move toward summer time and patio time,” he said.
Craft Fare will host another event, Tap Secret, on Tuesday, May 2, with beers specially curated for craft beer week.
“Some cool and interesting things you can’t really find in Nanaimo,” Carter said. “Even though it’s listed as a one-day event, everything they bring in will be on tap until they’re gone.”
Also on Tuesday is Wine, Women and Well-Beering a ladies-only beer-tasting event in collaboration with Wine, Women and Well-Being, hosted at Vancouver Island University. The event will draw women in the craft brewing industry from the central Island.
“They’re going to talk about what it’s like to be women in the brewing industry and share some samples,” Carter said.
White Sails Brewing has been gathering beer flavour ideas from the public over the past month. Four will be selected and brewed for the White Sails Infyousion Takeover on May 4-5.
Craft Beer Week also includes a Make Your Own Beer Mug event at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery, a Raise Your Glass to the Past tasting of ancient beers at VIU’s Royal Arbutus Room, a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Wolf Brewing, and a Benny and the Beers breakfast event at Top Notch Burgers.
To learn more about Nanaimo Craft Beer Week events and times, visit www.nanaimocraftbeersociety.com.