Festival fans soak up the sun and all the great beer and food at last year’s event under the Artisan Village arches. A new site will be determined for the event’s return next year. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cowichan Craft Beer and Food Festival postponed in Chemainus this year

But planning is already in the works for a triumphant return in 2019 with a new site

Don’t fear, Cowichan Craft Beer and Food Festival fans, the enormously-popular Chemainus-based event will be back next year.

The festival is on hiatus this year with the previous site behind the Artisan Village archway being developed, but planning is already in the works for 2019.

With an average of 2,500 people brought in during its first two years, the event quickly evolved into a true Cowichan Valley staple. By way of the number of breweries in attendance, it’s become the second largest craft beer event on the Island.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been pushed ahead a full year so the proper arrangements can be made. The temporary setback will not affect a successful return, but is simply a factor of ensuring the Cowichan Valley event continues with a forever home in Chemainus.

“It is imperative the right location is selected,” noted Krystal Adams, the executive director of the organizing group from the Chemainus Business Improvement Association.

“This year was simply a location challenge combined with a few other unforeseen challenges causing the postponement. All is now addressed and we simply need to select the right mix of the beautiful atmosphere of Chemainus combined with a flat and workable terrain close to town. We are confident a location will be secured before the summer’s end.”

The exact location is still to be determined, but three sites are under consideration for 2019. Breweries and booth attendees are already wanting advance information for 2019, some from as far away as Ontario.

Next year, patrons can expect a return of the same format with a few more breweries from B.C. and a larger number of Valley food vendors. Admission price is expected to remain around the $20 mark for general entry to keep it affordable.

The non-profit organizations running the event emphasize it is not the intention to make money, leaving the majority of the revenue generated from ticket sales with vendors and suppliers. Any extra goes to support Chemainus non-profit or charity-based causes.

“This past year the small profit generated allowed us to support the summer programming for the non-profit organization Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society,” Adams indicated. “Next year we hope to be focusing on a few charities and causes in town to further aid where we can. With such past successes, we are excited for this event’s return and the ability to bring Chemainus into centre stage, once again showcasing our partners and the town for such a great event.”

Needless to say, many are excited for the quick arrival of 2019 to welcome this event back into Chemainus, Adams surmised.

“We can only anticipate it will gain in momentum and stature over the oncoming years.”

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