Vancouver welcomes Western Canada’s biggest celebration of craft beer culture.
The ninth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 25 to June 3 is back, better than ever and kicking off with a new event format. VCBW’s signature opening night party and outdoor craft beer festival return along with the addition of citywide events. A variety of venues such as restaurants, pubs and breweries around the city are hosting their own events in celebration of Vancouver Craft Beer Week. From tap takeovers to trivia nights to beer pairing dinners, there’s something for everyone and you can find them all listed under Citywide Events on the VCBW website.
VCBW begins with its “unorthodox” opening night party, Kickoff: East Van Crusher, on Friday May 25 at the Maritime Labour Centre, which will serve up a selection of canned beer from over 25 breweries. It also includes special guest Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio fame who will open the celebration with the cracking of the first can of the VCBW Sea-to-Sky Collaboration Double Dry Hopped Pilsner. The addition of the ever-popular Copper & Theory’s Feats of Strength competition between breweries and emceed by local Comedian Jonny Paul promises high jinks and hilarity. Imagine brewers, tasting room and production staff going thumb to thumb in quirky competitions like planking with beer, one-handed bar stool hoisting, dry cracker eating and more. To round out the night, guests will enjoy live music from Alex Maher and DJ Hebegebe.
In the week between Kickoff and VCBW Festival, venues around Vancouver will be showcasing the Citywide Events, some which are ticketed, however many are not. Highlights include:
Sunday May 27, 7-11pm: The Guitar Cabaret with Paul Pigat & Steve Pineo at The Anza Club. Co-presented by Driftwood Brewery, the Guitar Cabaret pairs the internationally-renowned singer songwriter, guitarist, and host Paul Pigat with a wide range of guitar-slinging guests. (Tickets $15)
Monday May 28, 8-10pm: Craft Beer Trivia presented by Parallel 49 Brewing and The Portside Pub. Hosted by Kaboom Atomic and featuring common knowledge trivia plus bonus round just for the craft beer fans. $5 Parallel 49 beers all night and beer swag prizes. (not ticketed)
Tuesday May 29, 6.30-10pm: ChiCha and Strange Fellows Brewing 5 Course Beer Dinner. Chef Shelome Bouvette and Brewmaster Iain Hill have designed a five-course beer-pairing menu. Menu is available in advance. (Tickets $85)
Wednesday May 30, 5pm: Yeast Van Tap Takeover at BierCraft on Commercial Drive. All 15 of Yeast Van’s breweries will be on tap as well the latest collaboration brew – a Gin Barrel-Aged Double Pale Ale. (not ticketed)
Thursday May 31, 6 – 11pm: A Tapaffair to Remember, collaboration between Cabrito Tapas and Main Street Brewing. Featuring six unique tapas created for this event by Chef Alex Carriere and Chef Dereck Johnson, perfectly paired with beers created by Jack Bensley from Main Street Brewing including some special brews that Cabrito and Main Street will develop together. (Tickets $65)
May 25, 26, 27, 31 and June 1, 2, 3: Odd Society and Friends Tap Takeover. Odd Society Spirits has partnered with three B.C. craft breweries to offer three distinct collaboration beers available on draught throughout Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Enjoy collaborations with Doans, Ravens and Coal Harbour breweries at the distillery’s cocktail lounge and bottle shop. (not ticketed)
Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival
The celebration culminates with the Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival on Saturday June 2, and Sunday June 3rd at the PNE Fairgrounds. One of Western Canada’s largest outdoors festivals with over 100 breweries from B.C. and the U.S. pouring more than 300 craft beers and ciders, and outdoor entertainment including live music, games, food trucks and more. New additions to the festival this year include Cider Row, curated by BC Farmed Craft Cider association and pouring cider from 10 B.C. cideries, along with our own BC Ale Trail-er. We’ve invited breweries from around the province to participate and showcase their brews, some which might not otherwise make it to the lower mainland for distribution and tasting. The festival offers single-day, weekend and VIP passes starting from $39, which are available to purchase online.
While you may find events that you’d like to partake in most days, there’s still plenty of time to explore all that Vancouver offers. One of the most cosmopolitan cities on the continent, bordered by sea, forest and mountain peaks: Vancouver really has it all.
Visiting from out of town and looking to visit some breweries while you’re here and explore the city? Let BC Ale Trail be your guide. The Vancouver Ale Trail with 15 breweries on board offers a variety of walking trips through Vancouver’s iconic brewery districts. Not up for walking? The city provides convenient public transportation options as well. Hop on the Aquabus or False Creek ferry and take the scenic route from Yaletown to Granville Island or False Creek. Enjoy a beer and meal on one of the incredible waterfront patios around town or walk the famous Stanley Park Seawall. Explore historic Gastown and Chinatown, followed by late night beers at the Alibi Room, Vancouver’s original taphouse that is still one of the best places to drink beer in the city. The options are endless.