Every year Vancouver Craft Beer Week (VCBW) culminates with a two-day grand finale at the PNE; with over 300 tasty brews for festival goers to sample. And luck for us, our lovely Steamworks rep Kat provided us with two tickets to go and join in on the fun!
To try as many new beers as possible to see what we should bring into the store.
What actually happened:
After about eight or nine beers we started to just really like them all.
Despite our enthusiasm to try as many beers as possible, alas, we did not get to all 300. However, we did sample some really awesome BC beers, and here are our highlights:
Firehall Brewing - Holy Smoke Stout
Backcountry Brewing - Is that you Dad? Raspberry Sour
Coast Mountain Brewing - Day Dreamer Hazy IPA
Parkside Brewing - Dreamboat Hazy IPA
Superflux - Rainbow Machine IPA
Coast Mountain Brewing - Sastrugi Sour
1) You DO NOT have to pre-drink before the festival... I repeat... YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PRE-DRINK. There was so many beers to try in a matter of five hours that if you are wanting to REMEMBER the beers you've tried then you do not need to pre-drink. Did you hear me? DO NOT PRE-DRINK!
2) If you are a craft beer lover like ourselves, then this festival should be on your list! It had a HUGE selection of breweries, the tokens were fairly cheap, the atmosphere was awesome, there were many foodtrucks, and the outhouses were surprisingly clean! HIT UP VCBW!
3) While we were waiting in line we noticed that people were wearing string necklaces around their necks with pretzels strung through. We thought that was a cool idea...you know, in case if you get HANGRY (VCBW allows outside food). I'm not sure if this is a normal thing with beer festivals and maybe perhaps we didn't get the memo but seriously... wear a pretzel necklace. There were many times where I was sipping on a beer and I was thinking "hmmm a nice crunchy pretzel would be nice". BRING SNACKS!
1) SO MANY HAZY BEERS. I mean, I'm not complaining, it was just noticeably the trendy style of the festival, as well as the hottest style the last year or so. Hazy IPAs are great for those of us (like us) who love fruity beer AND hoppy beer! Mmm juicy...........
2) Craft cider is really making a push in a big way. While we didn't try much of it (because our focus was on beer and because we enjoyed ourselves a little TOO much) VCBW did have a massive craft cider section!
3) Tart brews are the trend for summer! Steamworks is back with Tropical Tart Ale, Yellow Dog is back with their DELICIOUS Ginger-Lime Gose AND a tart IPA with tangerine in their "Sports Day" collab with Ravens... and there is SO many more. Tasty tart beers add a new crushable dimension to sours.
Until next year, VCBW!