Last year, an event debuted in Victoria’s downtown industrial district that shook the very core of our usually “gentile” foodie nature. Victoria food festivals (not including the tourist-y fests that are catered largely by food trucks) are usually awash in sophisticated dishes, well-dressed folks holding napkins and tiny portions, and jazzy music. This festival was hands-on, rugged, raw and yet not in any way unrefined. Sure, there were people holding gigantic slabs of beef on huge rib bones called “Tomahawk” steaks, slobbery hands digging into food sans cutlery, fountains of barbecue sauce to dip your protein in, and whole animals roasting on spits in the open air. In a word, it was awesome.
Although vegans, animal rights groups and the sometimes squeamish might shake their heads at a festival wholly devoted to meat, they might actually be surprised to note that every ounce of flesh being served at Brewery and the Beast is locally-sourced, hormone and antibiotic free, and ethically-raised.. Some can even be what is called “pastured” or “grass-fed”. There are cuts some have never seen and animals some have never even thought to try for fear of the unknown. Quail, bison, elk, duck, lamb, beef, pork, chicken…it’s all there for you to try.
More than just a stuff-your-face food fest, Brewery and the Beast is also there to teach us. “In addition to the diverse selection of premium meats at Brewery & The Beast, it’s important to emphasize food education,” said event mastermind Scott Gurney, an 18-year veteran of the food and beverage industry in BC. “We want people who come to this event to embrace the restaurants and quality of food they are serving, as well as a greater understanding of the food they consume and where it comes from.”
Considering how popular this festival was during its premiere, it was only appropriate that they should expand to our neighbours on the mainland. This year the festival debuted in Vancouver to sold out crowds at Concord Pacific Place in June and will again herald your arrival here in Victoria on September 22nd from 1-4pm in the Phillips Brewery Backyard (2010 Government Street).
When you start to get full of all that the festival has to offer meat-wise, fear not, there are also beverages to relieve your overexerted tongue. Craft beers and homemade sodas provided by the award-winning Phillips Brewing Company along with Merridale Cider, specialty coffees, and traditionally brewed iced tea are all there to wash away your fullness so you can get back to the main event. Sit back and relax at the open air stage, catch some tunes from some live entertainment (TBA) or just wander around letting all the great food digest. Maybe drink some H20 while you wait it out.
While you sit, ponder and revel in all the glorious food Victoria’s finest have to offer, remember too that you are also helping those who need us most. Brewery & The Beast is proud to support The BC Hospitality Foundation with partial proceeds from this year’s event. The BCHF provides financial assistance to workers in the industry unable to earn income due to long-term illness or injury.
Tickets for this event are SOLD OUT!! See you there, I’ll be the one with the man-sized bib on.