Best of the Fest: What to drink at Vancouver Craft Beer Week (according to us)

The Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival returns to the PNE Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday (June 2 and 3). Photo by Two Peas Photography

The weekend is fast approaching, and with it the glorious conclusion to Vancouver Craft Beer Week: the annual VCBW Fest at the PNE Fairgrounds. This Saturday and Sunday (June 2 and 3), more than 100 breweries and cideries will be pouring 300-plus different beers and ciders at the event, and if you’re not careful, you might just get overwhelmed by all that deliciousness.

Lucky for you, we’re here to guide you to the best beers VCBW has to offer, so you can make the most of your time. Hooray for efficiency!

So here are our picks for the top beers to check out this weekend at VCBW (in no particular order). As always, drink responsibly, wear sunscreen and don’t be a goof.


Coast Life Lager, Persephone Brewing (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU)

Sometimes you just want a cold, crisp lager, y’know? Well, this cold, crisp lager just won a gold medal at the recent Canadian Brewing Awards and is made with hops grown on Persephone’s idyllic 11-acre farm, so you should probably check it out.


Tickity Boo British Pale Ale, Twin City Brewing (5.5% ABV, 29 IBU)

One of the many great things about VCBW is being able to try all the out-of-town breweries. The toffee and caramel flavours of the delicious British malts are the star of this exceptionally well-balanced beer. If you’ve never stopped in at Twin City in Port Alberni, then it’s time for a road trip.


Blackberry Lemoncello Sour Ale, Foamer’s Folly Brewing (6.7% ABV, 15 IBU)

Another great, innovative beer from this great, innovative brewery. This collaboration between Foamers’ Folly and Squamish’s Gillespie’s Fine Spirits is a celebration of all things sour, with addition of Gillespie’s award-winning lemoncello complementing the sour blackberry ale.


Mental Floss Double Dry Hopped IPA, Beere Brewing Company (7.9% ABV)

Dank, fruity and juicy, it’s no wonder this hazy imperial IPA won bronze at the CBAs.


First Mate White IPA, Wheelhouse Brewing Co. (6.7% ABV, 50 IBU)

Juicy citrus-forward hops combine with Belgian yeast and sweet orange peel to create this spicy, fruity treat. Is it a witbier? Is it an IPA? Who cares, it’s delicious! The Wheelhouse folks came down all the way from Prince Rupert to pour their beer for you this weekend, so make them feel welcome, OK?


Roxanne Sour Raspberry Grisette, Strange Fellows Brewing (4.5%)

Prepare to be bewitched. This delightful kettle soured saison is refreshingly light-bodied, bursting with tart raspberry flavour and complex yeast character.


Ginormous Imperial IPA, Gigantic Brewing (8% ABV, 100 IBU)

There’s no way to sugar coat it: this beer is going to fuck you up. Seven different hop varieties combine for more IBUs then you are physically capable of tasting. Strictly for the hop heads.


Salted Black Porter, Field House Brewing Co. (6.5% ABV, 24 IBU)

Who’s got a gold medal from the Canadian Brewing Awards and tastes like Dutch salted licorice and coffee? This beer, that’s who!


Malahop, Tod Creek Cider (7% ABV)

Cider’s cool, too. And when it’s a triple-hopped blend of wild, bittersweet and dessert cider aged for six months with a touch of maple syrup, it’s even cooler.


Rob Mangelsdorf photo

Weiss Weiss Baby, The Growler’s B.C. Brewers Collaboration Series by Doan’s Craft Brewing Co. + Kettle River Brewing Co. (5% ABV, 20 IBU)

We might be biased (we are definitely biased), but we think this dry-hopped wheat ale is pretty swell. Copious amounts of Mandarina Bavaria and Hallertau Blanc hops help give this hazy weissbier a fruity, citrusy kick. Come by The Growler booth and say Hi!


VCBW 2018 Festival

• Saturday, June 2 from 2p.m. to 7p.m., and Sunday, June 3 from 12p.m. to 5p.m. at the PNE Fairgrounds, Vancouver. Single day, weekend passes and VIP tickets still available at starting at $39.


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