Vancouver Craft Beer Week is back for its fourth year with a poker-related “We’re Going All In” theme that reflects the excitement of the boom in new breweries opening in Vancouver, as well as the location of the two-day VCBW Beer Festival, which will take place at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.
This year, VCBW features nightly signature, feature and walk-up events that cover the spectrum of the craft beer scene in Vancouver. The signature events and some of the featured ones require tickets, which are on sale now, but the walk-up events are all unticketed, so if you prefer not to plan too far ahead, those are for you. Also, there are VCBW specials at Donnelly Group public houses, Dockside Brewing, Romer’s Burger Bars, the Regal Beagle and Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse.
The VCBW Opening Night Gala on May 31 is all about what’s new in the craft beer scene. Held at the Roundhouse Community Centre, the event will launch the VCBW Collaboration Beer, an Alt-style beer that is a tribute to Storm Brewing’s Red Sky Alt, which was a prominent part of the city’s craft beer scene back in the 1990s.
The most popular signature event every year, Hoppapalooza at the Albi Room, was split into two separate sessions on Sunday, June 2, but it still sold out quickly. Other prime events to check out include the Hillbilly BBQ at Commercial Drive’s Woodland Smokehouse (Saturday, June 1), Cicerone vs Sommelier at Legacy Liquor Store (Wednesday, June 5), and Brothers in Hops at the Butcher and Bullock (Thursday, June 6).
Some new events worth checking out this year are Junetoberfest, a walk-up event at Tap & Barrel that features lagers (June 1), and PDX Beer Week in Vancouver (June 5 at Portland Craft). My favourite event from last year, the Biercraft Belgian Showcase, returns on June 3—it features some of the best beer from Belgian, as well as Belgian style beers produced by breweries here in BC and in the U.S.
The beer festival that caps off VCBW will feature more than 50 breweries “from as near as East Van and as far as Belgium.” The $35 ticket (per night) includes a commemorative taster glass and three drink tokens. Additional tokens cost $1.25. Some of Vancouver’s best food carts will be on site to help you soak up all that beer you’re tasting.
And here’s a plug for my own event: Join the Revolution! on Monday, June 3 at Yaletown Brewing. This is the Vancouver launch for my brand new book, Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to BC Breweries, which comes out in mid-May. It’s a free event, open to the public, and will feature some exclusive revolution-themed cask beers created by Yaletown’s brewmaster Iain Hill and some special guest brewers. (If you don’t happen to live in Vancouver, the Victoria launch will be at Spinnakers on Wednesday, May 29, and I will also be touring around the province in June and July holding local launches with breweries all over B.C.)
Visit www.vancouvercraftbeerweek.com for more information and to buy tickets.
Quench your thirst at www.thirstywriter.com. Follow along on twitter @thirstywriter and @craftbeerrevolu.