Thousands poured into Starlight Stadium to enjoy some of B.C.’s best craft brews at the first-ever Langford Beer Festival.
Saturday’s event was a sellout, with 2,500 tickets sold well in advance. Just over 40 craft breweries were on site pouring nearly 100 different beers.
Admission lines started forming about an hour before the gates opened and ran more than the entire length of the stadium’s field. Barely an hour into the event, Victoria Beer Society executive director Ryan Malcolm was all smiles and ready to call it a success.
“I’m over the moon with the response from the people of Langford,” said Malcolm. “We didn’t know what exactly to expect, but we knew there was going to be plenty of demand, and it is awesome to see today.”
Malcolm said the festival was three years in the making in order to make sure the society had the right partners to put it on, and the right breweries on hand. It is also the society’s first event held with live musical performances, which made for a more energetic and party-like atmosphere than some of the other events they have hosted, according to Malcolm.
For Ian Conn, CEO of Millstream Beverage Company and the only Langford-based brewery at the festival, the festival is nothing but a good thing for his company and for the West Shore community.
“We are really happy to have local support and to have a local beer festival. This is actually our first-ever beer festival we are attending,” said Conn. “I think it is important we support local. It brings awareness. The biggest thing when you are trying to run a business like this is building a brand, and having all these breweries out here with all of us showcasing our art form, it’s great.”
While the inaugural festival was a sellout, those who weren’t able to grab a ticket this year shouldn’t worry too much. The organizers say with confidence it will be returning as an annual event.