Since BC Craft Beer Month was launched in 2011, the number of BC craft breweries has grown by almost twenty per year. With that growth and the popularity of craft beer in BC, having an entire month to dedicate to BC craft beer allows breweries, restaurants, pubs and other venues to showcase an endless supply of BC craft beer.
Lundy Dale, Director, BC Craft Beer Month and Certified Cicerone®, is passionate about craft beer and supporting our local BC breweries. In its fourth year, Lundy has run BC Craft Beer Month with assistance from local representatives in the Okanagan and on the Island. As this is a non-profit organization and coordinated with minimal volunteers, it’s quite the feat to put this together in her spare time.
In 2013, forty-eight venues across BC participated in over seventy events. This year should prove to be even larger and more wide-spread as they have partnered with the BC Craft Beer Guild. BC Craft Beer Month and the Guild have a common theme – support local, work together as one in the brewing community and use this month as a way to thank the breweries for making such good beer. In this transition year, expect to see a unique collaboration beer between Four Winds Brewing and Central City Brewing hit the BCLDB stores at the beginning of October.
The premise of this celebratory month is not to make the breweries work harder to supply and support events, it’s merely a way to showcase BC beers. Restaurants, bars and pubs are encouraged to promote local craft breweries through tap takeovers, beer specials, casks, beer dinners – large or small events, it all supports the local breweries. Getting involved is as simple as emailing Lundy@craftbeermonth.ca. Lundy and her volunteers are there to help guide venues with their events from something as simple as putting them in contact with a brewery to arrange a cask to planning a beer festival. For instance, the Harrison Beer Festival was launched in 2012 during BC Craft Beer Month and Lundy directed them through the process. The festival has been a huge success selling out each year.
Given the new partnership with the Guild, BC Craft Beer Month has plans to expand their reach in 2015 and beyond by providing educational seminars, food pairings and other fun and unique events. There will be more exposure and promotion of the industry and the Guild is keen to create BC craft beer standards similar to VQA in the wine industry.
As craft beer loving consumers, October is a chance for us to support our local breweries and the venues that host the events. Get involved by hosting an event or drinking at one of these establishments and let’s all raise our pint to toast the fantastic beers that BC breweries makes.