Vancouver Craft Beer Week: May 10-14

Taste the region's best microbrews at first annual event of its kind.

Credit: Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Vancouver celebrates a week of local craft brews, starting Monday, May 10

Believe it or not, there are now 40 craft breweries and brewpubs in BC, altogether producing hundreds of ales, lagers, porters, heifeweizens and more. In many Vancouver restaurants and bars, it’s often easier to drink local than eat local.

But not everyone has become acquainted with the growing local microbrewery scene, which is why the inaugural Vancouver Craft Beer Week (VCBW) aims to raise the profiles of more than 25 local breweries with a week of beer and food events across the city.

Not just the first beer festival of its kind in Vancouver, it’s also the first in the country. And their motto is simple: “No Crap Beer.”

For those still drinking industrially produced brew, craft beer is generally produced in small batches, with quality ingredients, distinct flavour, and without unnecessary additives. (Check out the video “I am a Canadian Craft Brewer” for an introduction to some of the faces behind local breweries.)

The week even has an official VCBW signature beer, an abbey ale created for the festival by Iain Hill, brewer at Yaletown Brewing Co. and Vern Lambourne of Granville Island Brewing (pictured above, left to right). The beer will be available during the week at various local venues.

The sold-out kick-off is Hoppapalooza, 6 p.m. tonight at the Alibi Room, where Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson will open the week by tapping the first keg. The week concludes with the BC Beer Awards Tasting Event at Heritage Hall (also sold out, unfortunately).

Other events still available (they range in price from $30 to $145 and include applicable taxes and gratuities) include Tuesday night’s Cooking with Beer class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School, an eight-course dinner at Hapa Izakaya with beer pairings from Victoria’s Driftwood Brewing Company, and Saturday’s Four Beers and a Funeral Brewpub Crawl, which honours DIX BBQ & Brewery and its impending closure.

Eight local bars, restaurants and breweries around the Lower Mainland will also offer specials on craft beer all week long.

Check the events page for full event listings and to purchase tickets. You can also visit the festival’s Facebook page, where fellow fans may look to sell or swap tickets.