For the second straight year, the first weekend in October will see Powell River host a major craft beer festival, and the buzz is starting to grow in Pow Town.
Last year, CAMRA Powell River’s President, Paddy Treavor, took it upon himself to organize PR’s first large scale craft beer festival, talking many of his brewery friends into coming up to take part. In total there were seven breweries, one cidery and one distillery pouring. Many were offering their products for the first time in Powell River.
The Inaugural CAMRA Powell River Craft Beer Festival was a huge hit with locals and those who braved the ferries to attend. Treavor was surprised when the 150 tickets for the event sold out in 10 days.
“I had people literally knocking on my front door the week before the festival asking me if I had any more tickets,” stated Treavor. “It took me by total surprise.”
CAMRA Vancouver even sent a bus of merry makers to last year’s event and, from all accounts, it was a bus trip of epic proportions.
This year’s event, which takes place October 3rd, 3-7 PM, at Powell River’s Beach Gardens Resort, is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year’s. The lineup (below) is set; in total there will be 15 breweries, two cideries and two distilleries in attendance. Treavor hopes that all 225 tickets will sell out.
“Beach Gardens is a great venue,” says Treavor. “We have two large, connecting rooms with a beautiful view of the ocean as a venue. There is a hotel on site and a very good restaurant and bar downstairs. The night before our festival, the Savoury Bight Pub (located at the venue) is having a mini-cask tap takeover event with some of the festival breweries supplying the casks and kegs.
“CAMRA Powell River has expanded this year’s festival due to last year’s demand. I had a great response when I sent out my first round of invitations this year and every participant from last year, save one, is coming back, which tells me it was a good time for those pouring as well. If things go as well as they did last year, I may have to make this a two day festival next year.”
Craft beer is fairly new to Powell River, arriving in town with the opening of Townsite Brewery a little over three years ago. Townsite took Pow Town by storm and played a huge role in changing the drinking habits of many beer consumers there. Now, beers from other breweries are starting to make their way into the local Powell River market.CAMRA itself has been well accepted with a paid membership of just over 100 in fewer than two years of existence. CAMRA-organized events have been regularly selling out and many craft beer “newbies” have been discovering craft beer for the first time. CAMRA’s great relationship with Townsite Brewery has really helped both expand the craft beer culture in Powell River.
If things continue, Powell River Tourism may have to change their slogan from “Coastal by Nature” to “Craft by Nature”.
For more information about the festival, check out www.camrapowellriver.ca, or go to CAMRA Powell River on Facebook.
2015 Festival confirmed participants include:
(Breweries) Townsite*, Persephone*, Cumberland, Gladstone, Driftwood*, Dageraad, Real Cask Ales, Red Truck, Howe Sound*, Bomber, Four Winds, Wolf, Cannery, Parallel 49*, Tofino* (Cideries) Merridale*, Sea Cider (Distilleries) Longtable*, Shelter Point
* Participated last year