The Beer Brief is a round-up of all the local beer news and events we think you should know about. Got cool things brewing? Send it to thalia [at] scoutmagazine.ca and we’ll do our best to include it!
RARE BREWS | Kits’ beloved neighbourhood pub, Darby’s, is hosting their 8th annual Rare Brews event this weekend, and tickets are still available! Attendees can expect rarities from over 30 BC breweries, hailing everywhere from Angry Hen in Kaslo, to Yellow Dog in Port Moody. Admission to one of the event’s two three-hour-long sessions (11am to 2pm and 3pm to 6pm) aren’t cheap, but they are inclusive of all your elusive beer tastes, plus a special food menu to enjoy with it. Check out the full list of participating breweries and book your time slot here.
BLOOMIN’ B-DAY BEERS | New West’s Another Beer Co. is turning three years old! Due to the pandemic, though, their third anniversary will actually be their first anniversary celebration… Appropriately, they are celebrating in triplicate. The first of three planned anniversary festivals is an outdoors IPA-focussed event, featuring the release of a brand new three-way collab with Twin Sails and Yakima Chief Hops, along with beers from some of their other friends (including Boom Box Brewing, Superflux Beer Company, Beere Brewing Co, and Backcountry Brewing). Vinyl will be spinning as well as for sale from the pop-up record store, and there will be promos aplenty, plus some surprises. Entry to the In Bloom IPA Fest (Noon to 9pm, or until the beer runs out) is free but space is limited. Find out more. Stay tuned for more info about the next two themed b-day fests – Sours in the Suburbs (June 25th) and Cool, A Lager Fest (July 30th).
SHOP | Looks like this weekend is going to be a grey one. Here’s one way you can add some colour to it: Storm Brewing’s second RATS arts market is going down at the brewery this Sunday afternoon, featuring a new line-up of specially selected local makers. This time around expect whimsical printed things, colourful crocheted accessories, bright ceramics and wacky painted things – basically, everything you didn’t know you ‘needed’ in your life until you’d downed a bunch of Hurricane IPA tasters, or any assortment of ‘Brainstorms’ available on the Storm menu this Sunday. In all seriousness, though: have fun, support local and shop responsibly, folks!
LAUGH | After a short week, the ensuing one can feel especially long. Scheduling in some midweek beers and laughs to break it up is probably a good call…and it just so happens that Strange Fellows Brewing is hosting their final Comedy Night of the season this Wednesday evening! Know a buddy who could also use a pick-me-up? Invite them along to split a pitcher of SF beer (on special for the event) and enjoy a couple of hours of local comedy. Find out more.
DON’T BE A DICK | In beer-adjacent, fashion-related news: The American has whipped up some cool new merch designs featuring their “Don’t be a dick” slogan, including this t-shirt. It seems like only a small run of these was produced, though, and considering their awesomeness, they’ll probably get snagged up quickly… So if the vibe is clicking with you, then you should probably hit up the Main Street bar to scoop one up for yourself ASAP!
PARK BEERS | Although park-drinking conditions don’t get much better than the May long weekend we just experienced, according to the City of Vancouver the season for consuming alcohol in public doesn’t ‘officially’ begin until next Friday, June 3rd (through Sunday, October 16th). Whether you’re a stickler for the rules around public consumption, or just want to be informed on the updated Alcohol in Parks Pilot relaunch, you can get informed here.
TO MARKET | Speaking of park beers: a great place to pick up some local brews for your next picnic or outdoors hang is the Vancouver Farmers Market. The summer weekend markets are in full swing (Trout Lake, Riley Park, West End, Kits and Mount Pleasant locations are all now open) and the Downtown weekday market kicks off its season on Wednesday, June 1st. Some brewery vendors to keep on the lookout for over the next few weeks: Luppolo (June 4th – West End; June 5th – Mt Pleasant; June 8th – Downtown; June 12th – Kits), Dageraad (June 11th – Riley Park), Studio Brewing (June 12th – Mt Pleasant; June 15th – Downtown), and Mariner (June 18th – West End).
BEER FESTS | If you’ve been keeping tabs and/or reading this column regularly, then you know that there’s a LOT on the beer festival calendar for BC in the spring and summer months ahead…And if you haven’t already got your tickets and schedule sorted out, here’s a recap of some upcoming fests on our radar: Four Winds Brewing is hosting a beer and music shindig, Cheers for Children, on June 17th; followed by more live music and beer a la ‘Foodstock‘ on June 27th; a newly made over VCBW main event is taking over the PNE Fairgrounds on July 9th and 10th; although Brewhalla’s Fort Langley edition went down last weekend, some details and ticket sales for the follow-up Port Moody iteration (August 5th) are now available (stay tuned for more info about the September 30th North Van event); GA tickets for the return of BC’s funkiest beer festival, Farmhouse Fest, (August 6th) are now on sale; and there’s still a bit of time remaining (until May 30th) to take advantage of early bird pricing for BC’s fruitiest beer festival, Fruit Beer Fest, which goes down on August 13th.
GCBF | Another beer big event to factor into your near-future plans: the Great Canadian Beer Festival is returning for its 28th run this September! This year’s fest is slated for the weekend of September 9th and 10th, at the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria. If you haven’t been to the GCBF before, you can expect about 100 different breweries from across the nation to be in attendance and pouring their brews for attendees to enjoy. Tickets are available for a single day ($45) or the full weekend ($80). Sales for the general public open on June 20th and, in my opinion, are definitely worth setting a reminder for. Find out more.
WHISTLER | The Whistler Village Beer Festival is happening the week of September 13th, culminating in the Main Event on the weekend of September 17th and 18th. Although there’s still plenty of time, places to stay in Whistler during the six-day-long fest will get booked up quickly, so if you already know that you want to go, you might as well secure your tickets and get the big pieces figured out now! Here is a good place to start.
BCBA | Okay, I know it’s super preemptive (and a bit depressing) to be thinking ahead to the wintertime already, but if ever there was an antidote to the inevitable dreary winter months ahead, the return of the BC Beer Awards & Festival is probably a contender. This year’s celebration of BC’s best craft beer will be taking over the Croatian Cultural Centre the first Saturday of November, offering up a “new full-service format, serving tall cans across a variety of style-focused bars across the venue”. Tickets still won’t be made available until a TBA date in July, but in the meantime make sure to regularly check in on the BCBA’s Instagram account for important festival-related announcements.