Sisters of the Tap-18

Of the many new festivals popping up around Vancouver, the Vancouver Craft Beer Week is one that has grown like wildfire in its three short years. The Fourth Annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week returns this year with the theme “We’re Going All In”. This represents Vancity’s new brewery movement and the big gamble these four new brewers have taken to open their doors this year.

Brassneck, Bomber, 33 Acres, and Main Street Brewing will all surface on the Vancouver craft beer scene this year. A fun promotional video features the risks each of the four are taking, with a poker game in full force and cigar smoke looming in the air.

Nine signature events, six feature events, six walk up events, and many special beer-related activities will all capture the hearts of Lower Mainland craft beer lovers.

Vancouver Craft Beer Week launch
[Mayor Gregor Robertson taps the 2011 Collaboration cask]
The opening night gala will be sponsored by the soon-to-open Craft Beer Market. Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre will again serve as opening night venue. On that night, those same new brewery owners will tap the first cask of the official VCBW beer, brewed last month at Parallel 49 Brewing Company.

This year’s Collaboration is an Altbiere; partial proceeds will be donated to Mark Brand’s A Better Life Foundation, which in turn will use the money to fund the Save On Meats Meal Token Program. A great way to enjoy a limited-release beer for a great cause.

Russell Pale Ale served with pulled pork
[Russell Pale Ale served with pulled pork at Memphis Blues]
After the opening gala, look for six days of non-stop beer events, parties, and dinner pairings, culminating in the main event, the VCBW Beer Festival presented by Earls Kitchen & Bar and the Donnelly Group. The craft beer action will move south to Richmond’s glamorous River Rock Casino (keeping with the gambling theme), where a huge patio and two giant beer halls will be filled with no less than 50 tables of the craft beer industry’s finest. This translates to over 50 breweries in attendance, from East Vancouver to Belgium.

Blood Alley Bitter paired with spicy pork ribs
[Blood Alley Bitter]

Enjoy a world tour of craft beer tastings right here at home. Just remember to take the Canada Line home; there’s a convenient stop right near the casino.

Biercraft Belgian Beer Showcase-30
[BierCraft Belgian Beer Showcase event, 2012]

Events are already starting to sell out, so if you’re keen on attending a few, now’s the time to consult the website and pick your favourites—or risk disappointment.

Biercraft Belgian Beer Showcase-19
[Sharing the craft beer love at BierCraft, 2012]

The Vancouver Craft Beer Week festival runs from May 31 to June 8. Visit the website for full event details and to order tickets. Follow the four new players in town on their respective Twitter handles: @bomberbrewing, @Brassneckbrew, @33acres, and @mainstreetbeer

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