The 10th Vancouver Craft Beer festival comes to a close and what a fantastic event it was again this year! I find that every year is an opportunity to discover new beers to add to my repertoire and simply enjoy the atmosphere.
Not only will you find different types of beer and cider, you’ll also get the chance to watch some artists create murals via the Vancouver Mural Festival, plenty of chances to check out some good eats (DownLow chicken was there!) or relax, listen to some live music and play some games.
I found this year was more organized with token station lineups being not bad at all and a better flow throughout the space. There was a VIP area that included executive washrooms, food, and beers you wouldn’t find outside the VIP gated off area.
What was also new this year was Evo drop off – which made it super easy for Nathalie and I to grab one and take it down to the fest, drop it off at the designated area where someone would park it for us and then return to a bunch of them afterwards without having to scramble looking for a way to get back home.
Last year, we found that sours were becoming more and more popular and this year it seemed almost every booth had a sour on tap. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening!
Here are some of the highlights from what we tasted this year.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Apocolocynposis – this delicious sour ale was memorable – particularly for the name we couldn’t pronounced. This ale is aged in oak for 7 months and in the remaining 2 months, blackberry puree and limes were dded which gives it this sweet popsicle-like flavour that’s perfect to enjoy on a patio.
Mariner Venture Blueberry Sour – the first brewery out of Coquitlam, Mariner’s branding is aesthetically pleasing. Their beer is just as tastefully pleasing – particularly the Venture Blueberry Sour we enjoyed – it was packed with a sweet, slightly tart flavour without being too sour.
Maui Brewing Co. – Coconut Hiwa Porter – We’re a big fan of anything Hawaiian (partly because it brings back fond memories we’ve had there) and sipping this brought us back to warm, hazy nights spent on the lanai. Their Coconut Hiwa Porter is lightly flavoured coconut and a nice, not too bitter porter.
Old Yale Brewing Co. – Moon Dance Mango Wheat Ale – Mango is one of my favourite fruits, and to be able to enjoy it in a beer makes this a highlight of the fest. Each batch is made with 900 fresh and ripe mangoes – you get the mango flavour that balances well with the ale.
Coal Harbour Brewing Tiny Umbrella Pineapple and Passionfruit IPA – We love that this double brewed IPA is just chockfull of pineapple and passionfruit. It’s easy to drink and fun to enjoy with friends.
Coast Mountain Brewing Juice Box Sour Wit – This is a great mix of pilsner and wheat malt sour that basically feels like you’re drinking orange juice (but not too sweet of course). I’d imagine this being perfect with a nice, fruity dessert.
Glutenberg Blonde – Yes, you’re reading this right – 100% gluten free beer. You wouldn’t even notice it, it’s so darn good. This particular one is easy to drink – dry but a nice slight lemon/herbally flavour to it.
Mt. Begbie High Country Kölsch – German-style beers are one of our favourites and this Kölsch is perfect. It’s got that nice, light flavour that’s perfect for a summer time cook out.
You can find these beers at the breweries, BC Liquor Stores and privately owned liquor stores – just check out their websites!
For more information on Vancouver Craft Beer Week, check out their website here: https://vancouvercraftbeerweek.com/