Vancouver Goes Craft Brew Crazy

Our picks from the 60+ craft beer events brewing around town for Vancouver Craft Beer Week.

Credit: Flickr / Paul Joseph

Driftwood beer and food pairings Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Driftwood beer and food pairings at Vancouver Craft Beer Week.

Vancouver has gone craft beer mad and things are about to get a little crazier with Vancouver Craft Beer Week on the horizon


Not sure what a cicerone is? Curious what happens when beer and burlesque are combined? Think “Krieks” and “Geuze” is the German title for the short-lived 1990s coming-of-age dramedy featuring Seth Rogan’s first foray into acting?


Bone up on your craft brew know-how at this month’s Vancouver Craft Beer Week (VCBW), and get to the bottom of all things beer—including your glass.


Running Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 14, the second annual festival of sorts features more than 60 craft beer events, including pairings, tastings, pub crawls and even baking courses.


Vancouver Craft Beer Week

May 6–14, 2011


Various events & locations around Vancouver


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Growing this year over last, VCBW’s events are larger, more breweries are included and more special guests have come on board from the both the local brewing industry and abroad, for one beer-friendly mathematical equation: 55 breweries + 70 venues = 9 days of beer.


To help you start building your drinking schedule for early May, Granville Online highlights our favourites among VCBW’s very long, intriguing list of events.


Top picks for Vancouver Craft Beer Week


Cicerone vs Sommelier - Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Wine and beer go head-to-head at Vancouver Craft Beer Week’s

Cicerone vs. Sommelier event.

Cicerone vs. Sommelier

Your in-laws are coming over for a three-course meal of asparagus soup; lamb, new potatoes and kale; and rhubarb tart, so you orchestrate a dinner and drink pairing with… wine… no beer… oh, I don’t know. Put the wine-versus-beer battle to rest with this little face-off at Gastown’s Boneta Restaurant. Owner and wine aficionado Neil Ingram goes toe-to-toe with malt-loving Chester Carey of Brewery Creek Liquor Store in this five-course battle. Each course is paired with one wine and one beer. You get to be the judge!


Tickets to this grape-malt showdown on Monday, May 9 are $95. Event runs 7 p.m. to midnight.


Beerlesque at Hyde

A throw-back to Prohibition era, beer and burlesque, two old and fabulous forms of entertainment, promise to be a titillating good time. Local beer will be on tap, and local girls may end up in your lap. Vancouver’s best burlesque performers will on stage, with a little live jazz to kick things back to the 1920s.


Pencil Beerlesque into your calendar on Monday, May 9 from 9-11 p.m. at Hyde Restaurant on Main Street. Tickets are $12 and include entertainment and a pint of local beer.


Brooklyn Crawl

Pub crawling becomes high brow when done in Vancouver’s gastro ‘hood of Gastown. This “neighbourhood crawl” is more fine-drinking-establishment than pub, but you get the drift. Starting with a reception at the Shebeen Whiskey House, followed by a Long Table Series tasting dinner at the Irish Heather and ending with a cheese and beer pairing course at the Salt Tasting Room, all foods will be paired with varieties from Brooklyn Brewing.


Tickets are $57 and include a meal of slow-roasted pork shoulder with potato and mustard terrine and braised cabbage, followed by a cheese course with local condiments. VCBW is offering the Brooklyn Crawl on two different nights: Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11, both 7–10 p.m.


The Whip’s Ferkin Fetish Night with Storm Brewing

Look what the storm blew in. A night for the brave, the bold and the kinky, this costume-optional affair encourages guests to strut their fetish wear. Burlesque servers and fetish fanatics will decorate the Main Street establishment on Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m. til late.


Tickets cost $50 and include three courses and three beers including a special one-off cask from East Van’s Storm Brewing. It’s a perfect way to spend a hump day.


Taste, test, pair and judge at Vancouver’s Craft Beer Week.


Cocktail Kitchen: Driftwood Brewery vs. Thailand

Think you know a thing or two about beer? Or just love to share your opinion? Check out this participatory event where you get to be the judge of a beer cocktail and food pairing competition. Award-winning mixologist Lauren Mote will pair Driftwood beer cocktails with a delicious (vegetarian-friendly) Thai menu by chef Ben de Champlain. One lucky guest might also stumble home with a trip to Nicaragua.


The Cocktail Kitchen event takes place on Wednesday, May 11, 7–9:15 p.m. at The Refinery on Granville Street. Tickets are $45.  


Women and Beer II

At this event, some of the local beer industry’s finest females turn this traditional boys’ beer club on its head (get it? head…) with a scrumptious five small-plate course paired with beers from R&B, Howe Sound, Mt Begbie, Crannog, Saltspring Island Ales and Spinnakers, as well as a special ladies-only beer brewed especially for this event. In addition to food and drink, each gal will get a bag-o-swag and a chance to win some great door prizes.


The Women and Beer event is on Thursday, May 12, 6 p.m. to late, at Republic on Granville St. Tickets $55.


Lucky 13 Hip Hops Party!

This launch party will have you craving summer (as if you weren’t already!). Howe Sound Brewing will release its new grapefruit-spiced Indian Pale Ale, with subtle hints of coriander and ginger at Central Bistro on Denman St, downtown.


Tickets include free canapés and two pints of this 7 percent IPA. The party kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 13 and goes until 2 a.m.