Third Annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week Features More than 60 Breweries

Highlights of some of the more than 60 events at which beer lovers will tipple May 18-26

Credit: Flickr / Liliang

Vancouver Craft Beer Week is back to tempt your taste buds for a third year

Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of beer at Vancouver’s Third Annual Craft Beer Week May 18-26

If you haven’t started drinking craft beer, here’s a word of advice: don’t.

Because if you do, you might find yourself sniffing the air at bars and informing people, “The tap selection here isn’t fit for swine.” Party invitations will stop coming because you can’t stop talking about hoppiness and barley notes. You’ll find yourself standing in front of the beer fridge at specialty liquor stores, looking for that perfect magical elixir among the selection of newly arrived small-craft brews that seems to grow every week.

However, if you’re already at this point – or if you don’t mind ostracizing yourself from your circle of PBR-swilling friends – then welcome to third annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week.

What to Expect at Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Bigger and better than ever, this year’s VCBW (May 18 – 26, various venues) features more than 60 breweries, from local newcomers to centuries-old Trappist monasteries, serving beers that run the gamut from light and refreshing to heavy and debilitating – and all flavours in between.

Whether you’re new to craft beer or Delirium Tremens runs in your veins, VCBW has an event for you. Here are just a few of the highlights that caught our eye. (Note: as of this writing, tickets for the following were still available; events have been selling out, though, so get your tickets fast.) Visit the VCBW website for more event and ticket info.

Craft Beer Week Highlights

Friday, May 18

Opening night at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (5 10 p.m., $55): Mayor Gregor Robertson taps the first keg and ticketholders make the rounds of stations offering previews of what’s to come during Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Happy Planet indeed!

Saturday, May 19

Central City Brewing Brewmasters Lunch (Darby’s Pub, 1 – 4 p.m., tix $35 at Darby’s before or on the day of event): Eat and drink locally in this beer-and-food pairing event.

Beerlesque at Hyde (7 p.m. ’til closing, $20 + HST & tip at the door): Burlesque, live jazz and local pints combine at this “Tim Burton-inspired” (according to its website) Main Street room.

Russell Brewing & North Coast Brewing Tap Takeover (O’Hares, 5031 Steveston Highway, 6 p.m. to closing, no reservations or tickets required): Four selections each from Russell (Surrey) and North Coast (Fort Bragg, CA) ensure a great variety to go with what is billed as “Samy’s Famous Curry.” Famous at O’Hares, at any rate.

Sunday, May 20

Earls Gets Crafty (4 – 6, V Lounge by Earls Restaurants, 1095 Mainland, $25): Brewmasters from Phillips, Howe Sound and Whistler Brewing help celebrate Earls’ new local craft beer program. Tickets include samples of all eight BC craft beers available as well as appetizers from the new spring menu.

Monday, May 21

Waffles, Tipels, and Wits – Oh My! (10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Biercraft on Commercial Drive, reservations recommended): Get hosed at lunch on a holiday Monday!

Steam Whistle Rock Show & Patio Party (2 – 6 p.m., Electric Owl, $15 at the door): One of the city’s premiere music venues presents what the VCBW website is calling “a live show that will knock your Chuck Taylor’s off” to go with your Steam Whistle (the first one’s included with cover charge).

Biercraft Belgian Showcase (6 p.m. to closing, both Biercraft locations, $75): All the Belgian beer you can drink and then some, plus poutine. Not recommended if you’re on a spring cleanse.

Tuesday, May 22

Clough Club Presents 1st Annual Battle of the Bartender Beer Cocktail Competition (6 – 10 p.m., Clough Club and Lamplighter, $60 and $20 respectively): At the Clough Club, 15 of Vancouver’s top bartenders square off in a cocktail competition using one of Rogue Brewery’s limited release beers as an ingredient. Next door, the Lampligher taps casks of craft beer from all over the Pacific Northwest.

St. Augustine’s Presents “Dueling Paddles” (5 p.m. – closing, no reservations required): The Commercial Drive establishment pairs its four-beer sampler “paddles” with equivalent tapas food paddles. No spanking involved, at least not before dark.

Wednesday, May 23

Howe Sound on the Edge of Town (6 – midnight, Vancouver Urban Winery, $25): Classic rock cover band Johnny and the Walkers roll out the tunes while beer lovers enjoy eight different craft beers, including two one-off casks specially brewed by Howe Sound for this event.

Portland Craft Grand Opening (5 p.m. – closing, 3835 Main, no reservations/tickets required): Be the first on your block to welcome a little bit of the Rose City to Vancouver as a new beverage room celebrates its grand opening. Portland Craft features Oregon brews on tap and hopefully some artisanal pickles.

Thursday, May 24

Movie Double Bill: Strange Brew and Slapshot (7 p.m., Rio Theatre, $10): Craft beer? Movies? Did we die and wake up in Portland? Surely the end is at hand when the province’s Jurassic liquor laws to loosen up enough for adult humans to enjoy a beer while watching two classic comedies. Might be time to write out your last will and testament.

Friday, May 25

VCBW Beer Festival Presented by Legacy Liquor Store & BierCraft (5 – 10 p.m., Salt Building 85 W. 1st Avenue, $35): The best of the craft brewing industry in one room divided into three sections – Canadian, American and Belgian. Sorry, Australia.

Saturday, May 26

VCBW Beer Festival Presented by Legacy Liquor Store & BierCraft (2 – 7 p.m., Salt Building 85 W. 1st Avenue, $35): A repeat of Friday’s event but – even better – in the afternoon.

Read more about BC’s best microbreweries.