5 Things to Do During Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2014

Raise a glass (and then drink it) at the fifth annual VCBW celebrations

Credit: Flickr / John Biehler 

Vancouverites will be sipping and sampling the finest product from local breweries and beyond at Vancouver Craft Beer Week

On May 30th, the fifth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week kicks off a nine-day celebration of the finest brews available, complete with a hip hop festival theme and special event host Prevail of the Juno-winning group Swollen Members. With nearly two dozen official events, the showcase allows consumers opportunities to taste hundreds of unique craft beers while supporting a good cause. This year’s exclusive brew – smartly deemed the “PrevAle” – will be on tap at official events and sold in liquor stores to benefit Music Heals, the deserving local organization that encourages music therapy and other beneficial health services. Daily “signature” events highlight the calendar, with tastings and parties scattered around the city. Click through for just a few of the most promising.

Credit: Flickr / quinn.anya

The Business of Craft Beer – May 29th

Intrigued by the backstory of the bottle in hand? Check out this special event that explores branding, marketing and product development. Presented by BCBusiness, the event will showcase some of the industry’s leading experts and entrepreneurs (look for Parallel 49, Red Truck, Four Winds and more), among them keynote speaker Jamie Floyd, co-founder of Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company. And, since there’s nothing quite like first-hand knowledge, speakers will be sampling wares from their respective operations between each session. Tickets are $75 each.

When: Thursday, May 29th, 2-6 p.m.
Where: The Imperial (319 Main Street, Vancouver)

Credit: Flickr / Rick Chung

VCBW 2014 Opening Night – May 30

Twenty of the finest craft breweries will be pouring ale as Prevail hosts this kick-off event. DJ Flipout will handle the booth while door prizes for the best hip hop gear will reward partygoers. Not ready to make a fashion commitment? Don’t fret. Your ticket alone – which will set you back $49 – scores you a souvenir tasting glass, aforementioned entertainment and, of course, plenty of beer samples.

When: Friday, May 30th, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Gossip (750 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver)

Credit: Flickr / Dave Shea

Hopapalooza V – June 1

Tickets for this event sold out in seconds (start searching on Craigslist!). Only 140 lucky souls will join the annual party hosted by Nigel Silverthorphe – co-owner of both the event’s location and Main Street’s Brassneck Brewery. Rich Hope provides the night’s soundtrack live.

When: Sunday, June 1st, 5–9 p.m.
Where: Alibi Room (157 Alexander Street, Vancouver)

Credit: Flickr / Víctor BS

Cicerone vs Sommelier – June 4

Push through hump day with a little effervescent help from this food-pairing challenge festival favourite. Champion Cicerone Don Farion of BierCraft and Bomber Brewing will go head-to-head with noted wine expert Michaela Morris of House Wine. The best part? Guests choose the winner after dining on a stunning spread of five courses, each paired with a specially selected beer and wine. Tickets are $115 per diner.

When: Wednesday, June 4th, 6-10 p.m.
Where: ARC Restaurant (900 Canada Place, Vancouver)

Credit: Flickr / Matthew Peoples

The VCBW Beer Festival, presented by Craft Beer Market – June 7

“It’s a wrap,” the VCBW declares for this final event on the docket. Finish the week strong by sampling the wares from over 70 of the best craft breweries, many local and some from lands more far-flung. The $35 ticket cost will gain you access to the festival grounds, a tasting glass and three drink tokens. Not ready to call it a night? You can pick up extra tokens on-site for just $1.25 each.

When: Saturday, June 7th, 2-7 p.m.
Where: Olympic Village