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Ten years in, Vancouver Craft Beer Week has taken its grassroots brewer-to-customer exchange and turned it into one of the biggest and widely beloved award-winning beer festivals in Western Canada. What started as a humble 15-brewery event, is now a festival that spans 10 days and runs a smorgasbord of city events dedicated to bringing the best of local craft beer to the thirsty public, with the time and space to do it justice. There will be music, food, art, and of course, craft beer, at events starting May 31, with Vancouver Craft Beer “Week” ending in a big two-day event, June 8 and 9, at the historic PNE fairgrounds. Here is your detailed itinerary:
This is a special kickoff for VCBW because it also just so happens to be the festival’s 10-year anniversary, and they are going all out, y’all. This massive celebration is happening at Beaumont Studios, just northwest of East Van’s Brewery Creek area, where the party will be embracing its 10-year status with the traditional 10th anniversary wedding gift theme, aluminum. So expect to see all beverages served in cans and party patrons are strongly encouraged to don their best silvery and glittery outfits (or whatever wonderfully outrageous looks you can fashion out of tinfoil).
The Party Deets: Tickets are $25 (you can buy them here) and they include one beer (each can after that is $6). The official party starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. Festival favourite Mark Woodyard will be bringing the dance party in the Big Room at Beaumont, while DJ K-Tel and Coach Fernley (not a real coach) will be throwing out the jazzy Jungle-esque beats in the Gallery section. There will be local food offerings from The DownLow Chicken Shack (known for their legendary Nashville fried chicken and o-mazing onion rings) in Beaumont’s backyard, right next to all the beer. Speaking of beer, we know you want to know who’s invited to the big kickoff party:
33 Acres, Andina, Backcountry, Bomber, Bridge, Callister, Category 12, Collective Arts, Dageraad, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Driftwood, East Van, Fernie, Four Winds, Fuggles & Warlock, Hoyne, Loudmouth, Main Street, Mariner, Monkey 9, Northpaw, Old Yale, Parallel 49, Persephone, Phillips, Powell, Red Racer, Red Truck, Russell, Slow Hand, Smugglers’ Trail, Steamworks, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Strathcona, Superflux, Taylight, Twa Dogs, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Wildeye and Yellow Dog.
But that’s not all, staff will be circulating with non-hop libations ranging from Odd Society Spirits Ginger, Nude Vodka Soda, Coco Frio, and (for designated drivers) buzz-free Cocos Pure.
Tickets: On sale now, get ‘em while they’re hot.
Prices: Single day $39, weekendpass $65. VIP tix $85 per day, $140 for the weekend.
The Token System: Tokens are $2each; all beers are one token per 4 oz sample.
Grab your favourite friends and sport SPF 30 and head to thesprawling PNE fairgrounds for the Vancouver Craft Beer Week finalhurrah/weekend festival! After grabbing your tokens you can let loose on morethan 100 craft breweries and cideries from all over B.C. and North America,many poured by the brewers themselves. The hardest part is going to be choosingyour brews, as even your old faithfuls will be debuting new seasonal favouritesand experiments you haven’t tried before. But sipping craft beer on the lawn inthe sunshine at VCBW is one of the best decisions you’ll make this summer.
Food: There are always an obsceneamount of food truck offerings to choose from at VCBW, and rolling in for theweekend will be Bandidas Food Truck, Big Red’s Poutine, DownLow Chicken Shack,Big Day BBQ, Old Country Pierogi, Waffles with Benefits, Triple O’s, HoliMasala, Greek on the Street and more.
And music? OH there will be muchmusic. Saturday’s lineup is: Eleven Twelves, The Carnival Band, Spillionaires,The Tanglers, et plus. Sunday: BB, Dead Soft, Hip Hop Tricycle, Rain City,Woodhead, et plus.
Ciderfans, rejoice. This year the B.C. Farm Crafted Cider Association’sCider Row returns! There will be 10 cideries pouring 16 different tart, fruityand lip-smacking ciders. And as if that weren’t enough hydration, the UnitedStates Brewers Association will be presenting their wares exclusively at VCBWto showcase America’s best 20-plus breweries with 40-plus beers, many of whichare totally brand new to Canada. And finally, the BC Ale Trail-er is parking atthe festival to serve up eight-plus independent craft breweries from B.C.’s VancouverIsland-to-Kootenays Ale Trail.
Vancouver Craft Beer Week: May 31 – June 9
Check the website for the most-up-to-date listings of events at vcbw.ca.