The Three Most Popular Booths at the Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival

More than 100 breweries and cideries poured drinks this weekend—which were the most coveted?  

More than 100 breweries and cideries poured drinks this weekend—which were the most coveted?  

It’s hard to say who really “won” the festival at Vancouver Craft Beer Week—other than the people who ate and drank themselves silly at the two-day affair on Saturday and Sunday, we suppose.

So while I’d love to wax on about Luppolo Brewing’s tart wild ale, or the Beere/Brassneck Party Platter collab (a big, flavourful double dry-hopped IPA), these events are best judged by the will of the many.

And what really moves the needle at these kind of events? That should be obvious. It’s LINES. We all hate them, but there’s something attractive to a massive line at a festival like this. What do these people know that we don’t?

After all, with more than 100 different options for drinks and over 15 food options, it’s not easy to make people wait extremely long for one product.

Here were the three stands at the festival that commanded massive, unrelenting lines of people.

Credit: Collective Arts Brewing on Twitter

3. Collective Arts Brewing

There were a selection of out-of-province breweries that made the cut for the festival, and it’s no surprise that this Hamilton, Ontario-based establishment was among them. Collective has been working with B.C. brewers for some time now and is available in select stores across the Lower Mainland.

What drew the massive lines Collective’s booth enjoyed throughout the day? Well, the beer is excellent, as evidenced by a real nice guava gose on tap at the festival. But perhaps equally as enticing is the branding. Cans are designed by artists around the world and it was hard not to be drawn (excuse the pun) to Collective Arts’ colourful booth.

2. DownLow Chicken Shack

This probably shouldn’t be a surprise. But since food obviously takes much longer to deliver to needy consumers, the queue of 50 or so for the Commercial Drive haunt was impressive. Anyone lining up had to come to peace with the fact that they’d be without food for at least 45 minutes. Not an easy pill to swallow when you’ve been drinking all day and (presumably) haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast.

Of course, it’s completely worth it for the chicken sandwiches and fries that were being handed out. Top notch.

1. House of Funk Brewing

The number one winner of the “What the hell is this for?” line that curls around the entire festival was this North Vancouver hangout that opened last month. And, for a summer event they were hitting all the right notes.

All three are fruit-forward beers that garner a little extra attention this time of year. But c’mon. You’re intrigued by the words “sour slush”, right?

Unfortunately, the people I was with showed no patience for the monstrous line for House of Funk, so I can’t report back on the taste. However, I did ask a few people who managed to survive the experience. They didn’t trust me enough to let me have a taste (fair enough, it’s only a four ounce pour after all), but the main takeaway was “really good.”

Not to mention the brewery set up a church style booth and was offering people chances to “repent at Saturday and Sunday service.”

Guess I have to go to North Van now.