Craft beer and food festival on tap in Chemainus Aug. 13

Event coordinator Michelle Williams and executive director Krystal Adams toast to the Cowichan Craft Beer & Food Festival, Aug. 13. Don Bodger photo

Excitement is building in small-town Chemainus over a big festival.

The Chemainus Business Improvement Association is hosting the Cowichan Craft Beer & Food Festival in Chemainus for the third time – first since 2019 before the pandemic shut most everything down.

Coming up Saturday, Aug. 13, the festival will feature 33 Vancouver Island and B.C. regional breweries plus a selection of artisan food outlets from within the Cowichan region and merchandise vendors.

Organizers are thrilled about the event’s return.

“An event of this magnitude is typically held in a larger market like Victoria or Vancouver and we are so excited to see it return to our wonderful little town,” said CBIA executive director Krystal Adams.

“As long as we have a place to host it, with beer to serve, and people wanting to come, we are willing to find a way to make it safe for people to attend in whatever capacity is safest,” she added. “People are aching to return to events such as these and it’s exciting to be welcoming them back into the Cowichan region and Chemainus.”

The festival is unique in its focus exclusively on the craft beer movement. It’s one of only a few BC Craft Brewers Guild-sanctioned festivals. Just like the last event pre-COVID, it remains the second largest craft beer event – by variety of beer – on the Island.

The last festival sold out well before the event with hundreds on the wait list.

“The event was so popular and well-received that we were still fielding requests years later to see its return,” noted Adams. “We will not disappoint and we will be enhancing the experience with additional live music, seating areas and big games for a little extra fun.”

Michelle Williams was hired as event coordinator to work alongside Adams to manage the details.

“This event is so much more than just a beer, it’s a community of vendors, volunteers and people that make this event what it is,” Williams adds. “I am extremely grateful to be a part of the excitement this year.”

Organizers are working with multiple transportation companies to provide shuttles running to and from Victoria, Langford, Duncan, Crofton, Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Chemainus. Transportation is being arranged from parking areas in Duncan and Chemainus to the festival at the Chemainus Ball Park, 9740 Elm St.

Supporting partners such as Riot Brewing Co. as the hometown brewery are also being confirmed.

Tickets are for sale online at and around the island at locations in Victoria, Langford, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and multiple key locations throughout Duncan, Crofton and Chemainus.

Pricing was a key consideration in planning, with general admission tickets offered at $27.99.

A sell-out anticipated, so tickets are not expected to be available at the event. Each ticket allows for festival entry, live music, five tasting tokens, a commemorative keepsake tasting glass and the opportunity to win a valuable door prize.

VIP tickets are also being sold again this year for early entry with an additional hour of tasting time, double the tokens and other perks.

Volunteers are still being sought for the event in exchange for tickets. Some paid positions are also available, with no experience necessary.

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