Nanaimo Craft Beer Week is back!
After a two-year hiatus, the sudsy celebration runs Tuesday, Sept. 20 to Saturday, Sept. 24, with events throughout the city.
One event, the Ninkasi Speakeasy at Vancouver Island University beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, is a paid-admission beer tasting for, and inspired by, women, but Marie Hopwood, Nanaimo Craft Beer Society president, hopes women attend other events as well.
“I’m super biased, but for one thing, craft beer is delicious,” Hopwood says. “For women who think they don’t like beer, quite often it’s because as you were growing up … people thought of beer as just being the mass-produced pilsners and lagers that you can get. I’m not trying to slam things like Bud or Coors, but that’s what you thought beer tasted like. That’s not what you’re going to find here. The beers that we have are crushable – they’re different from anything you’ve ever had in the past.”
Special beer available during the week includes an Oktoberfest beer from Cliffside Brewing Co., available Sept. 24 at the Downtown Get Down, at White Sails Brewing and Cliffside Brewing in downtown Nanaimo, Hopwood says. In addition, the ‘Simply Pink’ beer from Longwood Brewery will be available at Ninkasi Speakeasy.
“That was actually brewed for International Women’s Day,” Hopwood says. “It’s no longer available in the brewery – I was able to get the last flat of it. So that will be at the speakeasy … it’s an IPA, but it was generously flavoured with hibiscus blossoms and so it’s bright pink and it’s tart, and incredibly refreshing and crushable. It’s one of the ones I really hope makes their standard rounds now because it’s phenomenal.”
#Nanaimo Craft Beer Week is back: Sept 20-24! Choose from 8 ticketed and free events in Nanaimo in celebration of regional craft beer & camaraderie.
— Nanaimo Craft Beer Society (@NanaimoBeers) August 27, 2022
The paid admission Raise Your Glass to the Past event takes place at VIU on Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., and will include a beer inspired by an ancient Chinese recipe.
“One of the beers we’ll have there is called ‘Jiahu Are You,’ that’s our neolithic Chinese beer and it ends up tasting like a dry cherry sour and it’s magenta,” Hopwood says. “It’s super unique.”
Other events include the paid admission Brewed Right Here home-brewed beer event at German Cultural Centre at 1 p.m. on Sept. 24, and the Tap Secret Craft Fare Tap Takeover, at Craft Fare in downtown Nanaimo from 2 to 9 p.m. Sept. 21. It features some special, top-secret beer, Hopwood says.
With numerous breweries in Nanaimo, the craft beer scene is booming – something that bodes well for suds lovers.
“In the past, maybe you had access to Phillips Blue Buck in restaurants or in pubs,” said Hopwood. “But now you can go into restaurants and pubs, and some of our local liquor stores, and there are so many craft beer offerings. It’s really stunning and so the things you can have access to have changed dramatically even in the last five years.”
Nanaimo Craft Beer Week features free and paid events. For more information, including a schedule or to reserve a ticket, visit nanaimocraftbeersociety.com.