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11 Food & Drink Festivals for Harvest on Vancouver Island

In a shaded rainforest, a seasoned forager spots curled edges of the delicate chanterelle; amid the wafting smells of brewing yeast, a brewmaster sifts his hands through a bag of barley; the last of the summer sun beating on their shoulders, local growers gather the grain and gourds that mark the start of harvest season. It’s time to feast on Vancouver Island, and the regions have a cornucopia of events for you to reap the benefits of autumn.

1. Great Canadian Beer Festival

September 8-9

  • Victoria

At the Great Canadian Beer Festival, brewers from across the Island will tap their best casks, and with your custom taster glass in hand, you’ll be set to sample them all (responsibly, of course).

2. Chef on a Bike: Routebeer

September 9

  • Comox Valley

Combining the Comox Valley’s passion for homegrown food and cycling, this tour by Island Joy Rides will take you to producers of local craft brews.

3. Twin Island Cider Harvest Tour

September 10

  • Pender Island

Pender Island’s Twin Island Cider will be hosting pressing demos and cider samples at the heart of their orchard, not to mention chatting honey bees! There’s limited space for this event, so make sure to get your ticket soon.

4. Bamfield Fungus Festival

September 15-18

  • Bamfield

Walk with a mushroom hunting pro, learn how to cook fungus, and meet a whole new community. Bamfield’s ecology makes it the perfect home for fungus, and the town is excited to celebrate with you. RSVP to bamfieldfungusfestival@gmail.com.

Sunset on the Street

September 17

  • Courtenay

Partnering with Westcoast Gourmet Provisions, the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association invites you to take a seat at their harvest table at this outdoor dining event, and to tuck into the best food the region has to offer.

Victoria International Wine Festival

September 22-23

  • Victoria

Seminars and samples await the wine fiends of the Island, at the Victoria International Wine Festival, and when you’ve found the perfect pairing, you can even bring bottles home.

Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour

September 24

  • Comox Valley

At your leisure, coast down country roads from farmer to grower across the Comox Valley. It’s open to all ages and abilities, and there’s even a shopping shuttle to carry your goodies.

Rotary Club of Courtenay Beer & Cider Fest

September 29

  • Courtenay

A community event worth travelling for, this beer & cider fest is an open tasting of some of the best brews and ciders. Tickets include a total of 12 3oz pours.

Savour Cowichan

Septmeber 29-October 7

  • Cowichan Valley

Ten days of noshing for the locavores out there, Savour Cowichan’s shindigs are not to be missed. You can pick and choose between attending all of the events, simply “Barging on In” on the signature event or visiting the little town that can throw a big party (did we mention that Cowichan folks are pun pros?).

Cider Harvest Festival at Merridale

October 1

  • Cobble Hill

This annual event is lauded among the cider aficionados of the island. A total of 12 cideries will be at the farm, ready to share their latest presses.

Bite of Nanaimo

October 20

  • Nanaimo

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the signature Central Vancouver Island event, Bite of Nanaimo. Sample the staple Nanaimo Bar, and discover new brews, and feast on local fare.