Blood, sweat, tears and beers as Beer Wars returns this Sunday

Faculty Brewing sales and supply chain manager Kelli Sturkenboom competes in last year’s Beer Wars event at the Croatian Cultural Centre. This year’s event takes place this Sunday at 2pm. Contributed photo

One of my favourite beer events of the year is happening this Sunday, and if you haven’t snagged tickets yet, you really need to get on that.

Beer Wars is the craft beer version of Aprons for Gloves, a boxing fundraiser benefitting the Eastside Boxing Club so it can run its free after school programs for at-risk youth and free self defense classes for women and members of the LGBTQ community. The gym offers a safe space for more than 130 kids, five days a week, providing them with nutritious food, clothing, tutors and access to the gym, all for free. It’s an easy cause to get behind.

“We’ve got kids who’ve been here for the last year, and they’ve seen improvements in their grades and their health, of course,” says Eastside coach Dave Schuck. “A lot of kids, the only healthy meal they get is when they come here.”

But you know what really makes Beer Wars so great? Whereas most beer events are all about drinking as much delicious craft beer in the allotted time as possible, Beer Wars is all about drinking as much delicious craft beer in the allotted time as possible AND watching people get punched in the face!


Eastside Boxing Club coach Dave Schuck addresses the new recruits for this year’s Beer Wars charity boxing event earlier this year. The main event takes place this Sunday at the Croatian Cultural Centre. Rob Mangelsdorf photo


Anyone working in the craft beer industry, or even tangentially associated with it, is eligible to fight in the event, and experience is definitely not necessary. The person getting punched in the face could even be the person who made that delicious craft beer you’re drinking!

This motley crew of brewers, sales reps, managers and bartenders have been training three days a week at Eastside since January. Schuck definitely had his work cut out for him, but he’s managed to mold these beer-swilling amateurs into beer-swilling fighting machines.

There are 17 three-round bouts scheduled on the fight card, so you can expect blood, sweat, tears and lots of craft beers, thanks to the many craft breweries taking part in the event. In fact, more than 15 breweries will be on hand serving up their beers at Beer Wars.

Doors open at 2pm and the fights start at 3pm and go until 10:30pm. Ringside tables are already sold out, but general admission tickets are still available for $45 each. For tickets and more info, visit


You may also like