Evans, Greg

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Evans, Greg

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Greg Evans (1951-2018) was a British Columbia heritage professional and historian of beer and brewing in BC.

Evans was born on January 31, 1951 in Nanaimo BC to parents Vera and Frank Evans. The family moved shortly afterwards to Victoria, where Evans attended Oak Bay Senior Secondary School. He completed high school in 1969, then studied at the University of Victoria (UVic), graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1973. In Victoria, he began working in the heritage sector at the Maritime Museum of BC. For several years in the mid 1970s Evans moved to London (UK), working in public relations for the firm Radiomobile. Returning to Victoria, he joined the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) in 1978. Evans met and married fellow historian Linda Eversole in the 1980s, and they had a daughter, Machala. Evans and Eversole separated in 2003. Evans later married Susan Woods in 2005.

In 1985, while continuing to work at RBCM, Evans entered the Master's program in History at UVic. His Master's thesis, The Vancouver Island Brewing Industry: 1858-1917, was completed in 1991. Following his MA, Evans continued to work in the heritage field. He left RBCM in 1992, moving over to Vancouver around 1994 to become Executive Director of the Vancouver Museum. He returned to Victoria in 2002 as Executive Director of the Maritime Museum of BC, and in 2011 he went on to serve as the Municipal Archivist of Esquimalt.

Post-thesis, Evans continue to actively pursue research on the history of beer and brewing, accumulating research materials and sharing his knowledge. He published articles and gave numerous public talks, presentations, and media interviews. He consulted on a number of history-themed projects for breweries and brewpubs, and he was historical interpretive consultant for the Arbutus Greenway Residential Project in Vancouver that redeveloped the old Vancouver Breweries site on Arbutus Street in 1999. In the early 2000s, Evans joined his wife Eversole in Legacy Heritage Consultants. Their projects included Brewer's Gold, a travelling exhibit created for the Chilliwack Museum and Archives that examined the history of the hops industry in BC and won the BC Museums Association's Award of Merit in 2005.

Evans was an active participant in the Victoria and British Columbia chapters of the Campaign for Real Ale Society (CAMRA), and he was an organizer of Victoria's Great Canadian Beer Festival in its early years (1993-1996). He promoted brewing history education, developing courses through UVic and UBC's continuing education programs. He delivered guest lectures and keynote addresses, conducted the annual Beer School classes during Victoria's Beer Week, and from 2006 created and led an annual Tall Sails and Ales Cruise with Maple Leaf Adventures, a six-day sailing tour of the Gulf Islands focussing on BC breweries and brewing history.

In 2011 Evans reached agreement with RBCM to produce a multi-volume book, The History of Beer Brewing in British Columbia, that would update his thesis and expand its focus to the entire province. He continued to work on the project until his death, but it was not completed. No manuscript (paper or digital) survives, though outlines and fragments can be found throughout his files.

Evans passed away on December 3, 2018. He was remembered for his humour, story-telling, vast knowledge of and passion for the history of beer and brewing. He was once asked, in an email exchange with fellow beer writer Joe Wiebe, what they should put as his job title for a piece he was preparing. "My title?" Evans replied, "Besides 'a fabulous guy' just say brewing historian if you like. I guess that's what I am."


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