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 7-8, 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. Bamfield Fungus Festival
September 20-22, 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 email@example.com.
3. Victoria International Wine Festival
September 20-21, 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.
4. 8th Annual Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour
September 23, 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.
5. Rotary Club of Courtenay Beer & Cider Fest
September 28, 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.
6. Cider Harvest Festival at Merridale
September 30th, Cobble Hill
This annual event is lauded among the cider aficionados of the island. A total of 15 cideries will be at the farm, ready to share their latest presses. Cideries representing the Vancouver Island region include the host cidery Merridale, as well as Tod Creek, Twin Island, Salt Spring Wild, Sea Cider, Gabbie’s, Raven’s Moon and Valley Cider.
7. Bite of Nanaimo
October 19, 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.