The next month and a half is absolutely bonkers for people whose social lives are propped up by beer events. Last week was Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria, and BC Beer Month is coming up in October, with a slew of events capped off with the mega-drunk fest that is the BC Beer Awards.
But my personal favourite in all this is happening this weekend: the Whistler Village Beer Festival, running this Thursday through Sunday. It’s still quite small, and because it’s held in Whistler Olympic Plaza – a venue with serious space constraints – there’s an intimacy here that bigger beer festivals have had to sacrifice in order to draw more people.
Last year’s festival was some of the most fun I had all year. Architecturally, Whistler Village is made for an event like this, what with the abundance of public spaces and such. And because Whistler is a hub for transients, the people here thrive on partying with strangers and making new friends. Same goes for the beer culture in general, so when you fuse the two, you have the makings for a great party. Throw in 65 breweries from across BC and the US, a multitude of booze-y events and you’re in good stead, friend.
All this to say, if you’re not already heading up this weekend, you should. If you do, here’s what you absolutely have to check out:
Best in Fest / The Veterans Cask
Five of BC’s best breweries compete in a cask contest. Tickets include five tasting tokens, sampling mug and a ballot for you to vote for the winner.
Thursday, 7pm, Westin Whistler Resort
BC Craft Brewers Guild Welcome BBQ
Want to meet the people behind the craft beer industry? Here’s your chance. The casual meet and greet includes beer samples and a plate of barbecue.
Friday, 3pm, Longhorn Saloon
An expert panel of BC and American craft brewing superstars, hosted by Joe Wiebe, author of Craft Beer Revolution. Panel includes Sean Hoyne (Hoyne Brewing), Brent Mills (Four Winds Co.), Iain Hill (Strange Fellows Brewing Co.), Jamie Floyd (Ninkasi Brewing), Kim Jordan (New Belgium) and Dick Cantwell (formerly of Elysian Brewing).
Friday, 8pm, Westin Whistler Resort
The Main Event
This is what it’s all about, folks. Dozens of the best craft breweries from across North America huddled together in Whistler Olympic Plaza. Try new beer, indulge in old favourites, and make some new friends – what else is there to do?
Saturday / Sunday, 1pm, Whistler Olympic Plaza
Best in Fest Awards
The winner of the Best in Fest awards will be announced. Expect much consumption and merriment, particularly from the winner, who’ll earn a yearlong draught contract throughout Whistler Village. Will Parallel 49 win for the second year in a row? We shall see, folks. We shall see.
Sunday, 8pm, The Longhorn Saloon
All tickets are available here. Drop by The Growler tent and say hi. Better yet, buy some merch.
Or you can visit our freshly launched online store, and buy merch there. It’s up to you.