I hardly consider myself a beer connoisseur, but I know what I like the taste of, and I know that I like Belgian stuff—and that’s a good enough place to start, right? Back for its fourth year, Vancouver Craft Beer Week kicks off this Friday, May 31 and runs until Saturday, June 8. That’s nine days, over 60 breweries, and over 30 venues. Overwhelmed? Salivating? Both?
There are a series of Signature and Feature events that require tickets, as well as a slew of Walk-Up events, some of which require no premeditation whatsoever (except choosing which one you want to hit up). There are also week-long specials at bars and restaurants across the city. With a lot to choose from, here are five spectacular options:
Walk-Up event: Junetoberfest. Celebrate the classic traditions of Germany’s Oktoberfest…except in June, and in Canada. Take what you can get, though? Hang at Tap & Barrel’s long beer hall tables—or you choose to sit on their awesome patio that overlooks the water—while sipping pints of German-style beer and munching on their German food specials. Plus, there are no reservations needed, and best of all, no entrance fee. Saturday, June 1, 11am to 11pm, Tap & Barrel in Vancouver (1 Athletes Wy.).
Feature event: Canadian Comforts. Presented by Edible Canada, this $89 event is all about celebrating Canadian eats. Aside from live music and a collection of Vancouver Island breweries like Spinnakers and Hoyne, the evening also boasts delicious edibles like duck fat donuts, Fiore Farms pork, and fresh spot prawns. You guys, I’m actually drooling. Sunday, June 2, 7pm to 11pm, Granville Island in Vancouver (1596 Johnston St.).
Signature event: Biercraft Belgian Showcase. Sample over 50 Belgian-made and Belgian-style beers to your heart’s content at this event that I’m pretty sure was made with me in mind. Aside from classics like Delirium, you can also try local and American craft breweries like Commons and Driftwood. Plus there will be poutine (seriously, was this event made JUST FOR ME?) and croquettes, as well as prize giveaways. Tickets are $75 but include errrrrthang. Monday, June 3, 6:30pm to 11pm, Biercraft in Vancouver (3305 Cambie St.).
Walk-Up event: Peckinpah Goes Whole Hog. For the third year, Peckinpah BBQ will be roasting a pig. A. Whole. Pig. There will be beer pairings from R&B, Red Truck, and Russell Brewing. It’s first come first served, so show up early to make sure you get some—and don’t hog all the hog (lolz). No reservations needed! Thursday, June 6, 12pm until the pig is gone, Peckinpah in Vancouver (2 Water St.).
Signature event: Earls Kitchen + Bar and The Donnelly Group present the VCBW Beer Festival. The $35 ticket gets you a commemorative taster glass and three beer tokens (additional tokens are just $1.25). Cross your fingers that it’s sunny out because they’re building a huge patio and two large beer halls with 50 tables, featuring beer from over 50 breweries. Participating breweries include Mill Street Brewing, Stanley Park Brewing, Tin Whistle, and Beerthirst. Plus there will be a DJ for beats and food trucks for treats. Friday, June 7, 5pm to 10pm, River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond (8811 River Rd.).
And drink responsibly, please!