The past decade has seen some truly remarkable changes in the Vancouver craft beer scene, and one of the driving forces behind that has been Vancouver Craft Beer Week. From its humble beginnings with barely more than a dozen breweries and a handful of guests, VCBW has grown into a cultural phenomenon, expanding beyond craft beer to encompass all manner of food, music, art and everything that makes life worth living. If nothing else, VCBW is a triumphant middle finger to the notion of Vancouver as a “No Fun City.”
This year marks VCBW’s 10th anniversary, and the lineup promises to be the best yet, with more than 20 events planned across the city between May 31 and June 9. Here are some of the events we’re looking forward to this year (for the full lineup and online ticket sales, visit VancouverCraftBeerWeek.com). See you there!
Friday, May 31
VCBW kickoff party @ Beaumont Studios (316 W. 5th Ave.)
Vancouver Craft Beer Week’s 10th annual celebration starts in sparkly style with a massive sequined kickoff party at the Beaumont Studio. More than 40 breweries will be taking part, along with food trucks, live music and DJs, as well as interactive visual and performing arts. Since the traditional 10th anniversary gift is aluminum, all the beers will be canned, the décor will be shiny and partygoers are encouraged to get down with their sparkly selves. 6–10pm, tickets are $25 (includes first beer and entry). VancouverCraftBeerWeek.com
Saturday, June 1
Sommelier Vs Cicerone @ Sutton Place Hotel (845 Burrard St.)
Come out and vote for your favourite food/drink pairing as Dianne “Super Somm” Fisher battles Paul “Brew Paul” Pyne for the chance at taking home the Best of B.C. Championship belt. One night, one ring, a four-course plated dinner paired with wine and beer by two of the best in the business. 6:30–9:30pm, tickets are $120 (includes dinner and drinks).
Sunday, June 2
Hoppapalooza 10 Year Reunion @ The Alibi Room (157 Alexander St.)
Not only is it the 10th anniversary (and triumphant return) of the Alibi’s legendary Hoppapalooza event, it’s also the Alibi’s 13th birthday and will be its 1,000th beer list. Needless to say, the crew is going all out for this one. Expect exclusive beers, new collabs, live music and rampant beer nerdom. 11am–3pm or 6–10pm, tickets are $50 (includes welcome beer, two drink tickets and a bowl of chili).
Monday, June 3
Strange Fellows Tap Takeover / Simpsons Trivia Night @ The American (926 Main St.)
Strange Fellows is taking over the taps at the American with a special night of ridiculous Simpsons trivia. Doors at 5pm, trivia starts at 7pm, tickets $15.
Tuesday, June 4
Beer Trivia @ Luppolo Brewing
Trivis Tuesday at Luppolo gets a craft beer twist. This beer-themed trivia night will feature questions related to all things beer. Bring your team of six down to compete in this battle of wits for bragging rights and some special prizes. Seats are on a first come, first serve basis so come early to ensure you get a spot.
Wednesday, June 5
Sour Beer Session @ Strange Fellows Brewing
Strange Fellows founder and brewmaster Iain Hill leads an entertaining and informative night devoted to all things sour. Includes exclusive tastings, snacks and a bottle of Strange Fellows’ 2019 Little Red One black currant barrel-aged sour. 6:30-8:30pm, tickets are $55.
Thursday, June 6
6X6 Langley VCBW Cask Festival @ Dead Frog Brewery (#105-8860 201st St., Langley)
Cask ale lovers rejoice, Dead Frog is hosting a cask night featuring Fraser Valley breweries, including Five Roads, Foamers’ Folly, Old Abbey, Old Yale and Trading Post. 2-10pm, tickets $24 (includes a sample of all six cask ales and souvenir tasting glass).
Thursday, June 6
Brewery Creek IPA Tap Takeover @ Big Rock Brewery
10 breweries, 10 IPAs, and one winner that you decide. The brewers of the Brewery Creek Beer District have joined forces to celebrate the IPA. Tickets include a Beer Passport with 10 four-ounce samples of each of the IPAs on tap, as well as a pint of your choice and plenty of snacks. Doors at 6pm, tickets $15.
Thursday, June 6
Flower Power Beers & Burlesque @ The Cascade Room
The Cascade Room welcomes its very own cast of cheeky performers, The Ladybirds, with a variety show featuring cabaret, burlesque and comedy pieces in an intimate setting. Featuring Portia Favro, Monica Gutierrez, Chelsea Hart and Ava Lure. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm, tickets $25.
Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9
VCBW Festival @ PNE Fairgrounds
Capping off Vancouver Craft Beer Week, the VCBW Festival at the PNE Fairgrounds celebrates music, food and beer, hosting 100 craft breweries and cideries pouring more than 300 beers and ciders, plus live music and art performances and 20+ food trucks serving up delicious local eats. The biggest beer festival in the province and the most fun you can have with your clothes on (please keep your clothes on). 2–7pm (June 8) and 12–5pm (June 9), tickets start at $39 for single day passes. VancouverCraftBeerWeek.com