From left, Qualicum Beach Rotary president Dave Bartram, Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co. co-owner Dan Farrington and festival chair Jim Grant are preparing for Qualicum Beach Rotary’s first Craft Beer and Spirits Festival next Friday, June 30, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

Qualicum Beach Rotary to pour a pint

Service organization to host debut craft beer festival June 30

The Qualicum Beach Rotary Club has plenty of experience running its annual Wine Festival to raise money for club projects in the community.

On June 30, it will break new ground with its inaugural Raise a Glass for Canada Craft Beer and Spirits Festival, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

The festival, to be held on the eve of Canada Day, has been granted inclusion by the Qualicum Beach Canada 150 committee in its lineup of activities to commemorate the nation’s 150th birthday.

“The event will also help celebrate the 70th anniversary of our own club’s founding in Qualicum Beach,” said Dave Bartram, president of Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach.

“There’s a new craft brewery opened up the area, and we thought it would be a good time to try this,” organizer Jim Bennett said, referring to Parksville’s Arrowsmith Brewing Company (ABC), which opened in April. “Arrowsmith Brewing is helping us to put this together.”

Craft breweries scheduled to attend include such brewers as Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company, Arbutus Distillery, Gladstone Brewing Company, Howe Sound Brewing, Hoyne Brewing Company, Love Shack Libations, R&B Brewing Company, Riot Brewing Company, Russell Brewing Company, Sea Cider Farm and Cider House, Shelter Point Distillery, The Shady Rest Liquor Store, Twa Dogs, Twin City Brewing, Wayward Distillation House, and White Sails Brewing.

Tickets are $40 and may be acquired in Qualicum Beach at the Shady Rest Liquor Store, from Jim Grant at Raymond James, at Mulberry Bush Book Store and Memorial Compounding Medicine Centre. In Parksville tickets are available at Lady’s Mantle, Island Cleaning Supplies, and Mulberry Bush Book Store.

The evening will feature tastings from 7 to 9 p.m. Live music will follow at 9 p.m. with a beer, wine and cider cash bar including festival selections. When the music concludes at 11 p.m., Bennett said, pizza will be available.

All proceeds will go to support local Rotary causes. Bartram said such events will help Rotary raise roughly $40,000 for community projects this year, including help for service organizations like Salvation Army, Manna Homeless Society, Qualicum Family Resource Centre and SOS. Rotary also contributes to projects like Fire Camp, organized by Qualicum Beach Fire Department; scholarships at KSS; food programs at elementary schools; and youth support for the Rotary International Student Exchange Program.

— NEWS Staff/QB Rotary submission