VCBW has won Vancouver's "Best Beer Event" in Georgia Sraight Golden Plates, 2013-2017 and "Social Event of the Year" in 2016 at the Golden Owl Awards. This year marks the 8th annual VCBW Festival. It is Western Canada's biggest and best craft-only beer fest. Again it is held at the historic PNE Fairgrounds. on June 3rd and 4th from 1 pm - 6 pm.
With over 100 craft breweries and cideries pouring 300+ beers and ciders you're bound to find something for any one! In additional to beer and cider in one place, there will be art installations, live music, DJs, food trucks, market stalls, brewing demos, and games area with pinball and foos ball.
As a first time visitor to the event I had much to learn of how to effectively get our drinking game going consistently. I recommend coming early and heading straight for the line to buy extra drink tokens. The ticket price is $39.99 which include admission, 2 drink tokens and a 5 oz souvenir tasting cup. Additional drink tickets can be purchased for $1.50 each.
As you can see from the photos below, we were 30 minutes late from opening and the line is all the line up is really backed up! Even with my media access to skip the line, the extra drink token line was packed! I suggest coming early and gunning for the token sales booth inside. Once you have your tokens it is pretty fast
With so many craft breweries, it can be over whelming as to where to start. Check out their brewery list in advance or just walk around once first! You won't be able to try everything and you don't want to hit your limit and see something else you want to try later! In terms of space, the venue is massive! There are tables all over, and the beer taps are flowing quickly. We never had to wait for long with any of the breweries we visited.
I skipped my favourites, Yellow Dog, Twin Sails, Four Winds and Strange Fellows since I drink their beers religiously. I ended up trying new stuff. The ones that stood out the most were everything from Superflux, Background Country Brewing's IPA and Riot's IPA. I also loved Deschutes but I did a road trip to Portland just to drink everything at their brewery. It's a bit tricky getting their beer on tap here so I tried everything from them at the festival too!
There was an area for art display and live drawing!
Overall Impression of VCBW Festival:
The beer selection at the festival is top notch. My only pet peeve was the 2 drink token thing considering 2 other VCBW events I went to included 15 and 16 tickets. It would be appreciated if we could pre-order more drink tokens that we can get immediately instead of having to wait in another long line when we get in because those 2 drink tokens don't last very long! It was surprising for me that the main event had plastic souvenir tasting cups while 2 other events I went to had the glass one. Although it would have been nice if the souvenir cups were glass, we wouldn't want a bunch of broken glass all over the place if attendees accidentally dropped their cups. All in all, I loved the beer selection here. I got to discover so many new breweries that just opened and ones I've never even heard of! I would come back again next year and recommend it to any craft beer lovers.