Whistler Village Beer Festival 2015 (Saturday Festival) – Whistler BC


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.

 

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!

First Place
Parallel 49 Brewing – Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Garibaldi Lift Co

Second Place
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Tapley’s Pub, Merlins Bar & Grill, Amsterdam Pub

Third Place
Whistler Brewing Co – FireRock Lounge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill

Full sized photos here
Whistler Village Beer Festival

 

Great Okanagan Beer Festival 2015 – Kelowna


Will drive for beer!  The only headline that could be in front of the Great Okanagan Beer Festival for me.  To be a little more exact will drive 780km round trip for beer.

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Logo taken from the official Great Okanagan Beer Festival website

I can admit I did not know what to expect from this beer festival.  It was the first annual event in a city that has not hosted a big beer festival like this to my knowledge.  Now I never doubted Gibbons Events would put on a great event as they hit it out of the park with the  Whistler Village Beer Festival but who would have guessed they would find a venue that could rival Whistler Village and its amazing peaks?  Waterfront Park & Concession Plaza in downtown Kelowna rivals many of the destination waterfronts  that I have visited on holiday.  Sometimes I wonder why we fly so far to take holidays when our own province is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  To boot it was around 25C for the entire festival.  The festival was held on May 9th 2015 from 1pm-5pm.

The breweries that poured at the festival included the following (Booth order not alphabetical):

1 Big Surf
2 Prohibition Brewing
3 Riders Cider
4 Cannery Brewing
5 Bad Tattoo Brewing
6 Firehall Brewery
7 Phillips Brewing
8 Lighthouse Brewing
9 Wolf Brewing Co
10 Mt. Begbie Brewing
11 Scandal Brewing
12 Glutenburg Beer
13 Steam Whistle Brewing
14 Erdinger, Steigl
15 Stone Brewing
15 New Belgian
16 Worthy Brewing
16 Coronado Brewing
17 Whistler Brewing
18 Bowen Island Brewing
19 Lonetree Cider
20 Howe Sound Brewing
21 Red Truck Beer Company
22 Moody Ales
23 Bomber Brewing
24 Four Winds Brewing
25 Steamworks Brewing
26 Coal harbor Brewing
27 Parallel 49 Brewing
28 Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers
29 Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
30 Bridge Brewing Company
31 Central City Brewers & Distillers
32 Stanley Park Brewing
33 Okanagan Springs Brewing
34 Fernie Brewing
35 Barkerville Brewing
36 Old Yale Brewing
37 Big Rock Brewery (Alberta)
38 Mill Street Brewery
39 Waterloo Brewing Co

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With the brewery booths being located around a gorgeous lagoon and Okanagan Lake just over the hill from the beer venders you would not ask for a better place to sample beers from all over the province and some from around the world.  If you wanted an unimpeded view of the lake all you had to do was to head over to the plaza that had all of the food carts!

Like always I took a bunch of pictures of the beer that I was sampling although I did not remember to take photos of over half of my samples.  I know so many people in the industry and I made so many new friends at the festival so I was distracted more often than not.

On the beer side this beer festival held its own with all other beer fests in BC.  Where this festival really held its own though is its location.  This is the best location that I have ever been to for a beer festival in the province and really any beer fest I have been to!  I look forward to next years event and what they have to offer!

Full sized photos can be found here.

Whistler Village Beer Festival (Main Festival) – Whistler BC


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On Saturday September 13th, 2014 the Second Annual Whistler Village Beer Festival was held.  The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village.  The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45).  The event cost $35 or $45 for gatecrashers and included a branded 4oz mug, 5 beer tokens and a $5 off-site food voucher.  extra tokens cost $1.5 with a maximum of 10 tokens purchased at a time.

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Breweries involved included the following

British Columbia
Red Racer (Central City Brewers & Distillers), Whistler Brewing Co, Dead Frog Brewery, Lighthouse Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Parallel 49 Brewing, Driftwood Brewery, Old Yale Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Canuck Empire, Howe Sound Brewing, Four Winds Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing, Cariboo, Okanagan Springs, Scandal Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Fernie Brewing, Vancouver Island Brewery, Prohibition Brewing, Big Surf Beer Co, Red Truck Beer, Bomber Brewing, Russell Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Stanley Park, Brewhouse Whislter, Steamworks Brewing

Canada
Unibroue, Glutenberg, LTM, Alexander Keith’s Hop Series, Big Rock Brewery, Creemore Springs Brewery, Mad & Noisy Brewing, Steam Whistle

America
Ninkasi Brewing, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada, Pyramid Breweries, Hub, Lakefront Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Samuel Adams, Double Mountain, Scuttlebutt Brewing, Worthy Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Magic Hat, Deschutes Brewery, Gigantic Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery

World
Watsteiner, Konig Ludwig Weissbier, Ankerbrau, Grolsch, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, Brouwerij Vansteenberge

Importers
TruCraft Beverages, Bravo Beer Corp, Copper & Theory, Untapped, Beverage Concepts Int’l Network Agency

The second annual Whistler Village Beer Festival seemed to be a big success with over 3500 attendees.  People from the biggest craft beer aficionados to people that like Macro beer but wanted to try something new were in attendance.  Having this festival in the middle of this mountain paradise made for one of the looking craft beer festivals that I have ever attended.  This festival may be smaller than the Victoria event but I would say that it is giving it a run for its money!

Like all craft beer festivals the people at the festival were very friendly and loved to chat!  I had all kinds of great conversations while walking around and taking photos.  I had even better encounters when I was at breweries tents.  Here are some of my more candid photos taken with my phone.

 

If I could only pick one Beer Festival per year I would have to say that it would be hard not to pick this event!  Between the amazing selection of breweries almost all being craft beer to the great food and the event better location nestled in the mountain resort town of Whistler.  I would not hesitate to recommend this festival to any craft beer fan or anyone that is interested in expanding their palate.  With all of the extra events that happen around this festival I would recommend coming up on the Thursday and staying until Sunday.  It may be a pricy weekend but you will not regret it!

Fool sized photos can be seen here.

Whistler Village Beer Festival

Steveston Beer Fest 2013 – October 5th 2013


On October 5th, 2013 O’hare’s Gastropub and Liquor Store held the first annual Steveston Beer Fest an event raising money for the Richmond Christmas Fund.  Tickets cost $40 and included all beer, one German Sausage on a bun and lots of other food samples.  There was also a 50/50 draw and lots of merchandise for sale.

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Steveston may not seem like the most likely place for a beer festival being a small village in Richmond but a location like the Gulf of Georgia Cannery a National Historic Site built in 1894 turned out to be an amazing location!  It does not hurt that transit from Vancouver to Steveston is very easy taking the Canada line and then one of two buses.  The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is a really interesting Museum that displays the history of fisheries in the area.  The layout of the museum was great for having beer booths and food booths spread out over the large 55,000 square foot area.

There were many breweries involved in the event mostly from British Columbia but also from Washington, Oregon, Ontario, Quebec and around the world.  Here is a partial List.

Beer Agents and Breweries:

AFIC Group
Beerthirst
Beverage Concepts
Big Surf Beer Co
Bravo Beer Co
Cannery Brewing
Central City Brewing
Copper and Theory
Driftwood Brewery
Fernie Brewing Co
Four Winds Brewing
Granville Island Brewing
Horizon Beers
Howe Sound Brewing
Hoyne Brewing
Just Here for the Beer
McClelland Beers
Mill St. Brewery
Modern Malt
Ninkasi Brewing
Parallel 49 Brewery
Peacock & Martin
Prohibition Brewing
Shock Top
Skagit River Brewing
Stanley Park Brewery
Steam Whistle Brewing
Steamworks Brewing
Tree Brewing
Tin Whistle Brewing
Unibroue

Other Venders Involved:

Bean & Beyond Cafe
Bell’s Bake Shop
Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant
D Original Sausage Haus
Happy Water
Hog Shack Cook House
Mandalay Lounge & Steakhouse
O’hare’s Gastropub
Paho’s Fish and Chips
Richmond Christmas Fund
Steveston Pizza Co
Tapenade Bistro

Enough with words for a second.  Here are the photos from the event.

The event was full of amazing beer and amazing people but then if you are into the craft beer scene you would come to expect this already.  I am a sucker for Craft Beer events and I am always happy to help raise money for a Charity so this event was the best of both worlds!  I would like to thank O’hare’s Gastropub for putting on this amazing event and I can not wait until next year to see what you have in store for us!

Full sized photos can be found here.