The eighth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival returns to the PNE Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, and it’s looking like the weather is going to cooperate.
If you’ve never been, imagine what heaven looks like to a beer nerd, and you’re not too far off. There’s food trucks, live music, DJs, an outdoor games area, and, as always, tons of rad people. Then there’s the beer: more than 100 breweries and cideries will be on hand, pouring more beer and cider then you’ll ever possibly sample in one weekend. With that in mind, we here at Growler HQ would like to encourage quality over quantity, so here’s a run-down of the top five beers and ciders we are looking forward to trying this weekend.
Twin Sails Brewing (Port Moody, BC), Street Legal NE IPA
Twin Sails has been knocking it out of the park lately with their juicy, hazy Northeast IPAs. Street Legal is big on tropical fruit flavours, thanks to gobs of late-addition Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial hops.
Cumberland Brewing (Cumberland, BC), Forest Fog
Usually, if you want to try Cumberland’s excellent beers, your only option is to go to the source. While they are definitely worth the trip, you can save yourself the ferry fare this weekend at VCBW. This American wheat ale is full of sweet citrus and will be in high demand when the sun comes out.
Maui Brewing Co. (Hawaii, USA), Coconut Hiwa Porter
Obviously we’re a little biased towards our incredible B.C. craft breweries, but one of the many awesome things about VCBW is that it brings together breweries from across the continent, giving us a chance to try beers that we would otherwise never get a chance to try. Case in point, Maui Brewing, all the way from Kihei, Hawaii. This coconut porter is brewed with seven different kinds of malted barley and 400 pounds of toasted coconut, resulting in rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavours.
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company (Vankleek Hill, ON), Buenos Dias Gruit Ale
Beau’s is all anyone can talk about back east, which make sense, because they’ve been making pretty fantastic all-organic beers for the more than a decade now. This zesty little number is brewed with organic lime juice, orange and lime peel, and a kiss of sea salt.
Dominion Cider Co. (Summerland, BC), Collab Ginger
Cider is not just for the gluten-free crowd anymore. Cideries across the province, like Summerland’s Dominion, are doing some super cool, delicious things, so we suggest you check them out. This collaboration with Dickie’s Ginger combines the crispness of a traditional dry apple cider with fresh ginger for a complex aroma and a hint of spice.
• For tickets and info, visit vancouvercraftbeerweek.com.