Vancouver Craft Beer Week is underway and its three-day festival to end the week started today. This year’s iteration of the festival aims to be “bigger and better than ever, with more beer, more food, more days, and for the first time ever, three stages and a full music line up!”
At first, I wasn’t too sure how to feel about this year’s VCBW Festival becoming a Donnelly event, but the more I click around the event’s site, learn about some of the breweries, and listen to Jesse Roper, the more excited I get for the weekend.
I’ve been chatting with Chris, and aside from the forecast (27 degrees on Saturday!) and overall beer festival atmosphere, we’re especially stoked to taste the suds and meet the people from a handful of new breweries. Below, Chris and I have listed some new breweries we’re excited to try out this weekend.
VANCOUVER CRAFT BEER WEEK FESTIVAL ALL-ROOKIE LINEUP
Strathcona Beer Company
East Vancouver, BC
Naming your beer company after Strathcona – one of Vancouver’s most storied and historic neighbourhoods – is a bold move, so I would anticipate some very good beer coming from this spot. I guess we’ll find what sort of concoctions Strathcona will have in store for us this weekend.
According to Viva Lifestyle and Travel, “the 12,000 square foot brewery will feature a 67 seat tasting room, gourmet pizza kitchen (with chef Alex Carswell, formerly of Pizzeria Barbarella at the helm), a shop, and, of course, a brewery.”
Stoked. I love pizza. And beer.
Luppolo Brewing Company
East Vancouver, BC
Luppolo is another not-yet-open brewery that will be present to introduce their beer to a thirsty crowd this weekend at the VCBW Festival. Embracing Italian lineage as well as culture, Luppolo plans to open a location on the edge of Strathcona in the near future that goes beyond the beer. Expect a comfortable lounge space with quality food and an inviting atmosphere to open its doors on Venables Street within 2016. Earlier this spring, participants of East Van’s Hop Circuit Open House event were treated to samples of a few of their brews, so VCBW is the next big step in introducing themselves to Vancouver craft beer fanatics.
If you want to learn more about about how Luppolo came to call Yeast Van their home, check out Volume 2 Issue 1 of The Growler. In the issue’s Brewer vs. Brewer article, readers are treated to some industry insight from Luppolo’s head brewer, Ryan Parfitt.
Field House Brewing
East Abby, BC
Boasting a truly unique tasting room experience with a dog-friendly grass patio that hosts live acoustic concerts, this recently-opened brewery in East Abbotsford is a fantastic addition to the Lower Mainland’s craft beer scene. According to Field House’s Instagram page, they’re also the only brewery in Canada using a copper coolship as part of their brewing process. If this peaks your interest, head over to their brewery for a tour!
Although I haven’t tasted any of their offerings to date, if their branding, photography, site design, and merch are any indication, they’re sure to be very well done. Field House Brewing has also teamed up with Left Field Cider to create a VCBW collaboration. This mix of their Wild Saison and Left Field’s Wild Cider has been dubbed “Wild Fields”, and is currently on tap at their brewery. Finger’s crossed that it’ll be on tap at the festival as well…
Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.
Pitt Meadows, BC
I have never tried anything from these cats before, but from what I can tell their focus is on making and serving lots of good beer. The brewery features 20 taps…
Here are a couple Foamers’ Folly I don’t plan on missing this weekend:
Railspike | Black IPA | 7% ABVl | IBU 110
The Parkside Brewery
Port Moody, BC
Just when you thought Port Moody had enough breweries…wham! Vern Lambourne, the former long-time brewmaster of Granville Island Brewing, is set to open his new brewery on Murray Street in early June alongside Sam Payne. Port Moody brewery tours just got a little longer…and I’m not complaining!
A few of their beers have been released just in time for the VCBW festivities:
Dusk Pale Ale | hoppy pale ale | 5.3% ABV
Dawn Pilsner | crisp and refreshing |4.9 % ABVs
Graffiti IPA | true Pacific Northwest style IPA | 6.9 ABV
Opening this spring, Faculty Brewing is spearheaded by the husband and wife duo of Mauricio, the head brewer, and Alicia, the brewery designer. As per their website, “Faculty Brewing Co. was created to be an inclusive and open environment for beer drinkers of any level. We believe that increasing craft beer education will increase craft beer consumption.”
Combining the relaxing atmosphere of enjoying delicious local brews with some education about what goes into making them is sure to create a unique tasting room experience. Hopefully it will get even more Vancouverites stoked on drinking local products over their macro-produced counterparts.
They currently have four beers listed on their website, each accompanied with a list of ingredients used and the mash steps. This further perpetuates their mission to be open about their brewing process – very cool! I’m most excited to try their 710 Oaked Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU. Notes of coffee? Yes please.
Riot Brewing Co.
Having grown up on Vancouver Island, I definitely still have some Islander in me that I can’t (and don’t want to) shake, which is why I’m extra thrilled to see what’s in store from Riot Brewing Co. out of Chemainus in the Cowichan Valley.
Judging from Riot’s Instagram account, it appears as though the company is yet to open up shop. None of their beers are listed online and I definitely only found out about this brand yesterday. Riot will be my mystery stop of the VCBW Festival this weekend and I’m not mad about it – Vancouver Island rarely disappoints.
PS – Maybe we’ll even some mural-inspired artwork Riot’s labels and packaging (Chemainus is world famous for its many murals).
See you tomorrow, Vancouver.
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