Growing up in Metro Vancouver I spent a lot of time at the Abbotsford International Airshow growing up. The rumble of the planes and the aerobatics made for an exciting excursion as a child.
With Canada 150 being celebrated this year though there is a new exciting addition to the Abbotsford International Airshow. This year they launch the Brew North Strong Craft Beer Festival.
The Airshow runs from August 11th – 13th, 2017. The beer fest runs all three days as well. The Airshow goes from 3-9pm Friday (Beerfest 3:30-9pm), 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday (Beerfest 9am-6pm). The Airshow will have a selection of food trucks on hand for a good selection of foods.
The beer festival costs $10 per day with drink tokens costing $1.5 each. To gain access to the beer festival you will also have to have general admission tickets to the Airshow that will run you $26.25. When you think about it $36.25 is a really good price to attend a beer festival in British Columbia.
Here are some promo photos that were provided by the organizers taken by Sequel Photography.
The breweries that are involved at this point are as follows: Old Abbey Ales, Ravens Brewing, Hathi Brewing, Highway 97 Brewing, Chaos & Solace Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Two Wolves Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Dead Frog Brewery, Granville Island Brewing and 4 Mile Brewing.
Here is their promo video that they shot
I would highly recommend that you check out this festival as it not only seems to have some really tasty beer that will be poured but there will also be some really planes preforming in the sky.
On February 25th, 2017 UnTapped Craft Imports and Steel Toad Brewpub in Vancouver hosted the Soirée Dieu Du Ciel. When you hold a party with this epic Quebec brewery and the master brewer Jean Francois in attendance you know you are in for a treat.
The $40 ticket got you entry into the event between 2pm and 5pm and that included a commemorative glass and 4 beer tokens. The real star of the show was the rare beer that have not been seen in British Columbia as of yet. These beers included the following:
Moralité (American IPA)
Ultra Mosaika (Ultra Mosaic Pale Ale)
Hélium (Helles Lager)
L’Austérité (American Barleywine)
Grande Noirceur 2015 (Imperial Stout)
Hérétique Obscura (Funky Black Beer)
Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac (Abbey-Style Brown Ale)
Isseki Nicho Pinot 2015 (Imperial Black Saison aged in Pinot Noir Barrels)
Exorciste Mûres 2015 (Blackberry Sour Whete)
Péché Véniel 2015 (coffee Stout)
This was the ultimate introduction to the beers of Dieu Du Ciel! I have never had a bad beer from this brewery but these are the crème de la crème from them. Why not get to know a brewery with their absolute bests?
My absolute favourites from this event include the Grande Noirceur 2015 (Imperial Stout), Hérétique Obscura (Funky Black Beer) and the absolute winner the Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac (Abbey-Style Brown Ale).
If you are not familiar with this brewery yet it is time to get familiar. Their beer is available at liquor stores on the West Coast and well worth picking up. This is truly one of the best breweries in Canada.
On January 22, 2017 I finally attended the Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am. What a festival it turned out to be.
As beer festivals go this has to be one of the best fests for your buck in the province. With $49 dollars getting you 10 samples, a custom burger and custom poutine you just can not go wrong. I also love that this beer fest is 100 percent casks! Basically every beer that was on offer was a one off creation just for this festival and that seems to be lost in the majority of beer fests these days. When I saw that 577 people would be in attendance for this festival I expected the room at the Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre to be larger. Somehow with even this many people in the space it never seemed super busy. I never had to wait more than a minute to get a sample of a beer I wanted to check out.
Here are the breweries that took part in the cask festival:
Everyone that I talked to at the festival was having a great time and seemed to be really happy with the cask beer that was on offer. I have to say that the burger and the poutine were also awesome!
The following photos are of the different beer that I was able to sample while enjoying the festival. Every beer that I consumed was enjoyable but like all experimentation some were better than others and some were next level.
I had a great time tying out all of the beers that I did try and I wish that I could have tried more. Here are my winners for the ones that I was able to try.
Best Commercial Brewery – Storm Brewing – Vanilla Brandy Black Plague
Now the festival had awards that were voted on by the ticket holders of the festival. All voting was done via a website and near the end of the festival the winners were announced. While one of the awards Lines up with mine the other one did not. Here are the festival winners as per the overall festival goers.
Best Pro – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze
Best of Show – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze
There is no doubt in my mind I will be attending more festivals in the future put on by the Tri-Citires Cask Festival people and you should check one out too! They consist of great beer, food, people and you never have to wait long for a sample like you do at some festivals. Also as the BC government opens up the liquor laws these pro-am events may become even more easy to host.
The next festival they are holding is taking an whole new spin on the festival and making it about the Women in Beer in the Province of British Columbia. Not all of the women involved will be brewers per say but they are all integral in making their brewery awesome and will help make the casks for the event!
Make sure to check out Siris Cask Fest coming up on April 22nd, 2017. An added bonus for the women out there the first hour is only open to Women!
CanCity is the latest annual craft beer festival happening in Vancouver. CanCity is put on by WetApe and West Coast Canning and is a 100% canned craft beer festival held in the Queen Elizabeth Theater Plaza. The tickets cost $25 presale and $30 at the door.
With canned beer being all the rage these days it only made sense that canned craft beer would get its own festival. The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza made for a great location for a beer fest in the heart of downtown near transit and again in the middle of the forest of towers.
The breweries and cideries in attendance were as follows: Barkerville Brewing (Quesnel), BC Tree Fruits Cider (Kelowna), Bomber Brewing (East Vancouver), Category 12 Brewing (Victoria), Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers (North Vancouver), Dogwood Brewing (Vancouver), FieldHouse Brewing (Abbotsford), Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks (Richmond), Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver), Hearthstone Brewing (North Vancouver), Howe Sound Brewing (Squamish), Lonetree Cider (Okanagan Valley), Moody Ales (Port Moody), Old Yale Brewing (Chilliwack), Postmark (Vancouver), Red Truck Beer (Vancouver), Steel & Oak (New Westminster), Twin Sails Brewing (Port Moody) and Whistler Brewing Co. (Whistler).
Trying to help the environment the festival decided to use plastic cups made of compostable material unlike the other beer fests that have non-recyclable glassware. Just like the glassware here the can locally is much more environmentally friendly as it is far easier to recycle than glass. It is especially true as most glass bottles locally in British Columbia are crushed each time they are used to be melted down and remade into bottles.
This festival was a ton of fun especially on this hot sunny summer day (one that seems to be rare this year). I look forward to what this beer festival brings next year as they will have one more year to plan and learn from this year.
Last September I attended what turned out to be one of my favourite beer festivals in BC in the Whistler Village Beer Festival. The weather was beautiful and the beer was amazing! Here is last years official festival video.
Last year was such a success that this year Gibbons Events Co decided to make the Main Festival happen over two days with many satellite events that ran over 5 days. The main Festivals took place on September 19th and 20th 2015.
While last year had epic weather this year we did not get so lucky! But hey this is BC and we all own rain jackets so a little rain didn’t stop an epic party! I was only able to attend the Saturday Main Event which was lucky for me as the rain was not quite as bad. The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village once again. The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45). I got into the grounds before the festival opened to the public and gate crashers and was to take lots of photos of the booths as they set up.
This year the Resort Municipality of Whistler gave the green light to increase the festival grounds by 40% to increase the amount of breweries to around 80. This is impressive as 2013’s event was half the size of 2014!
Breweries involved included the following (Ordered by booth Number)
Muskoka Brewing, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steamworks Brewin, Persephone Brewing, Big Rock Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Moody Ales, Russell Brewing, Red Truck Beer Company, Glutenberg, Bomber Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, R&B Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, Shacksbury, Lagunitas, Deschutes Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Scuttlebut, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Strongbow, Maui Brewing, North Coast Brewing, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Czechvar, High Mountain Brewhouse, Yaletown Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Parallel 49 Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Prohibition Brewing, Rider Cider Company, Whistler Brewing, LoneTree Cider, Stanley Park Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Goose Island, Okanagan Springs, Unibroue, Tofino Brewing, Black Kettle Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Scandal Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Yellow Dog, Dead Frog Brewery, Strange Fellows Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Beverage Concepts, Pilsner Urquell, Spinnakers, Coal Harbour, Main Street Brewing, BC Tree Fruits Cider, Four Winds Brewing, Off the Rail Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing.
Last years attendance came in around 3,500 for the festival and this year even with bad weather beat that with around 3,000 people on Saturday and 1,300 on Sunday with a total over the five day of around 5000 people (numbers from here). Craft Beer fans are tough (and own rain gear) and we don’t stop for rain. I could only imagine how big Sundays numbers would have been on a sunny day.
Yes that is me
Like at all festivals I attend I took photos of many of the samples I drank while enjoying the event.
Even with awful weather this year everyone in attendance had a great time! I still think this is one of the best festivals I have attended (even this year) as even though there are tons of people there are little to no lines and everyone is just having a great time! The only issue was a lack of washrooms probably made worse with all the rain.
I am excited to see what Gibbons Events has in store for us next September!
This years top three breweries as voted by Festival Goers won 1 year tap or bottle contracts at multiple pubs in Whistler Village which is a very lucrative prize!
Parallel 49 Brewing – Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Garibaldi Lift Co
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Tapley’s Pub, Merlins Bar & Grill, Amsterdam Pub
Whistler Brewing Co – FireRock Lounge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill