What a busy summer it’s been! I almost feel as though I’ve not had an opportunity to enjoy some of the amazing beer our BC breweries have been offering to us over the past couple of months, but my increasing waistline is evidence that this sentiment is certainly untrue! I find myself eager for September to roll around so we can hop right back onto the next leg of BC beer festival season.
So what is upcoming? Well quite a lot actually, and things are sure to be picking up as we get closer to BC Craft Beer Month in October.
This year I won’t be going to every event but here are a few notable ones I will be attending:
Great Canadian Beer Festival, Victoria BC – September 9th & 10th
Last year I went to GCBW as a member of the media for the first time and I developed a greater appreciation for the festival than I’d had before. Sure I had a great time in the past, and everyone typically raves about GCBW, but I actually found myself enjoying the festival more and really taking in all of what it has to offer. It’s big, but doesn’t really feel like it. There’s lots of people attending, but it generally doesn’t feel crowded. The volunteers are outstanding and genuinely interested in the beers and the event. To top it off there’s more than enough beer to keep everyone happy!
Tickets are still available so be sure to get yours soon as this event tends to sell out weeks in advance.
Grape and Grain, Vancouver BC – September 24th & 25th
This is the first year for the Grape and Grain festival, being held at the Plaza of Nations on False Creek in Vancouver. It should be a particularly interesting event since they will be bringing in beer, wine, and spirits. This will also be the first festival I’ve attended where they are dispensing with tokens entirely, relying instead upon a tap-to pay wristband that you can pre-load with cash before the festival and reload as needed throughout the event. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of queueing for tokens at festivals and that carrying around tokens – and fumbling with them when you’ve had a few – can be quite troublesome. I’m curious to see how this cashless system turns out. We may see it at more events in the future.
Early bird tickets are still available until August 22nd, so check it out to see if the event is for you.
BC Hop Fest, Abbotsford BC – October 1st
Last year was a big year for fresh hopped beers in BC. The sheer volume of fresh hopped beers being produced was head-and-shoulders above previous years as all the new breweries tried their hand at producing beer with the freshest hops possible. The BC Hop Fest was a great way to bring attention to the practice while also getting to drink these beers on the site where some of the hops actually grew. Needless to say, I’m eager to discover which breweries do what this year as there were actually some folks pushing beyond the normal fresh hopped IPA or Pale Ale that is typical of the season.
Tickets are quite reasonable for BC Hop Fest so get yours today. If you’re uncertain about getting out to Abbotsford, Vine & Hops is offering a shuttle service that includes your ticket and a lift to and from the festival