This Saturday I’m attending the Harrison Beer Fest and I’m genuinely excited about it. It’s been a year since I first attended the festival. Last year, I could only get tickets to the cask event and not the whole weekend. It was also my first event since having started the Craft Beer Vancouver project in earnest, so in some ways this is a bit of an anniversary for me, albeit an unofficial one.
What a year
The year overall has been incredible in this industry. The number of new breweries that have opened in the city, let alone the province since that time boggles the mind. Each of these breweries brings something new to the table, whether it’s Strange Fellows’ gallery space, or Callister’s cooperative brewing model, everyone stamps their beer and their brewery with their own distinct personality.
Cooperation makes it happen
As I familiarize myself with the industry I’m blown away by the interest in cooperation and collaboration that permeates our brewery scene. Brewers seem eager to work together and share their skills with their counterparts from other breweries, and the results are often phenomenal. This is in stark contrast to many other industries (technology, or finance for example) that are very silo-ed between companies, that don’t encourage cross-pollination or sharing of ideas in the same way. It’s refreshing to see people working together rather than against one another, even while being technical competitors. The idea that we succeed and fail collectively seems to be strong here.
As I get ready to attend the fest this weekend it’ll be as someone who is far less shy about my love of beer, and much more willing to share that with others. I’ve finally begun overcoming my shyness and reluctance in telling people about Craft Beer Vancouver. It may sound strange, but for a long time it felt awkward for me to say during a conversation about beer, “I run a beer blog, you should check it out.” That is finally starting to change as I gain confidence, get feedback from you, and have conversations with people online, at breweries, or at events like Harrison. For me it is simply refreshing to experience the growing love for craft beer in this province and that helps me in my own growth.
Sharing the love
Finally, this year I get to finally share my love of beer with my dad. He’ll be joining me at the Harrison fest and for me that’s a big step. A wine drinker at heart, my dad has never scoffed at beer by any means, but his interests were often restricted to Corona in the summer and Guinness in the winter. My interest in beer is now starting to rub off on him, and his wine palate is now opening up to the wild world of beer. I can’t wait to go through the fest and discuss the different styles of beer with my dad; talk about what he likes and why. It’ll be a fitting anniversary celebration for me and Craft Beer Vancouver.