In most cultures, social gatherings commonly involve three elements – food, alcohol, and music. With Vancouver Craft Beer Week I & II, the connection between beer and food, beyond the typical burgers and pizza, was well-established. Now, VCBW III turns the spotlight on music with our craft brewers featured as rock stars.
Music is represented by a range of genres further broken down into a variety of styles, each of which can be quite distinct. While rock began as a fusion of country and blues, it was only the beginning of a movement that has continuously evolved, pushing the boundaries of music. Craft brewing is similar in that we have stepped beyond the “historical period” that delivered predictable melodies (Reinheitsgebot), and entered the 20th century with new variations and styles emerging at a growing pace.
With that in mind, here’s a sample pairing of VCBW craft beer and rock to break down Vancouver’s notorious social barriers. Get friendly, and be sure to complete your “frat bat” with a Cascadian Brown Ale produced by the VCBW Collaboration Beer jam session our brewer rock stars played at Russell Brewing on March 30. No recordings were made. Dio died. That’s it.
^ Portage and Main (Leigh Eldridge photo)
Folk rockers, Portage and Main, describe their songs as “honest and genuine”, as if they had ridden “the timeless rails like tramps”. When they play at the Biltmore on May 22, eight Phillips Brewing beers will be on special. Choose the clean, refreshing Analogue 78 to pair with the clear vocal harmonies emanating from the stage. The soft, rounded palate, crisp mouthfeel, and slightly sweet finish will nicely compliment a sound P&M characterize as “reminiscent of the lighter side of [Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young]’s Déjà Vu”.
^ Rich Hope
Hoppapalooza III at the Alibi Room on May 20, sees trouble once again with Rich Hope bringing his infective brand of electric blues to shake the joint around. A heavier sound calls for a hopped-up brew to match Hope’s amped-up blues. Try the cask-conditioned Barnacle Wheat IPA from Lighthouse Brewing for a double-punch pick-me-up that will send your melancholy packing. If your foot isn’t tapping, you may be suffering from a Total Eclipse of the Hop.
^ Dave Varga, Red Truck Beer brewmaster, as “The Iron Man” (Brian K. Smith photo)
Heavy metal emerged in 1969 when the English band, Black Sabbath, took the blues-rock sound of the day, slowed the tempo, tuned down the guitars, accentuated the bass, and composed songs confronting the contemporary hard-edged social and political issues. They struck a chord with the public, releasing multiple albums that went platinum. Local tribute band, Sack Blabbath, take us to the dark side on May 19 at the Hop-Headbanger’s Ball. Don’t expect any light and happy fruit or wheat ales. Something more ominous is needed, like Red Truck Beer’s Limited Release English Strong Ale aged on oak. While the mood may be black, don’t overlook the underlying message, “Show the world that love is still alive; you must be brave.”
Vancouver Craft Beer Week Music Lineup
May 19, 4:00 – 9:00pm
Hop-Headbanger’s Ball with Sack Blabbath
485 Commercial Drive
May 20, 4:00 – 10:00pm
Hoppapalooza III with Rich Hope
157 Alexander Street
May 21, 2:00 – 6:00pm
Steam Whistle Rock Show & Patio Party
928 Main Street
May 22, 7:00pm – CLOSING
Belgium on the Canvas with guests Casa Rosa
1046 Hamilton Street
May 22, 9:00pm – CLOSING
The Biltmore Presents Portage and Main with guests The Sumner Brothers
May 24, 5:00pm – CLOSING
Beer Flights and Rock n’ Roll with The Butterfield Review
4210 Main Street