Persephone Brewing welcomed nearly 400 people to a quiet greenhouse outside of Gibsons, BC for a memorable beer festival on February 6th, and personally the best part was being able to finally visit a brewery I’ve never been to.
It’s been ages since I’ve been to the Sunshine Coast and the draw of a beer festival over there was too enticing an opportunity to pass up. Staying overnight was not in the cards but that was no matter. Between a well organized festival and good transportation options, a day trip over to Gibsons for the fest was well within reach.
I haven’t actually been to visit Persephone Brewing since they opened and it’s been bugging me. Luckily we were able to stop in for a quick visit to the brewery on our way to the beer festival. The brewery was a convenient cab ride from the ferry terminal (though next time I will definitely be bringing my bike) and there was even a shuttle service from the brewery to the event. We were even treated with a shuttle from the festival back to the ferry terminal after the festival so nearly all of our transportation was accounted for by the festival organizers.
Since the festival was happening on the day we visited I expected the brewery to be packed so it wouldn’t be a good time for a proper visit – for that I’ll come back a little bit later in the year. This was rather an opportunity to come in as a regular patron, a time to grab a flight, sample the beer, and experience the atmosphere that Persephone is known for. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
When we arrived, the parking lot was full, the tasting room was packed to the gills, music was playing, and the tables outside were being enjoyed by beer lovers in spite of the chill in the air. We muscled our way through the crowd to find our place at the back of the queue and tried to decide what to order, tapping our feet to the music being played mere metres from where we stood.
I’ve heard that on any given day you can go into Persephone and there’s typically someone playing the piano and entertaining the crowd. On this particular day we were instead treated to a four piece band whose name I’ll admit I forgot to write down. Some people listened intently. Others enjoyed glasses of brew while playing chess or crokinole. This definitely had a different atmosphere to any other brewery I’ve been to recently; it was welcoming, more familial.
We grabbed our flights and went outside to enjoy what was left of the Saturday sun. The paddles of beer didn’t last long and we continued to add layers as the sun dipped behind the trees. We were thankful that we’d heeded the warnings of the festival organizers to bring warm clothing. I was a big fan of the nitro bitter on offer, and naturally the Dry Stout is always delicious.
Persephone’s venue sets it apart from any other brewery I’ve been to and while having a brewery attached to a hop farm is not unusual, it’s certainly uncommon in the lower mainland. I was excited to get over to the Sunshine Coast for their beer festival, and it was a good festival make no mistake. But the cherry on top for me was taking that little bit of extra time to visit one of the unique breweries in BC to see for myself that the hype was more than justified.