300 Kinds of Whisky (and other spirits), 1 Room: Hopscotch Vancouver returns Nov. 17-23

Photo credit: Ryan Hyde | Flickr

Photo credit: Ryan Hyde | Flickr

Do you enjoy an occasional single malt? Then this is the event for you.

Hopscotch – the festival devoted entirely to whisky, with some beer and other spirits thrown in – returns to Vancouver, Nov. 17-Nov. 23.  Now in its 19th year, the festival has expanded from a simple tasting event to an entire week of whisky-paired dinners, master classes, cigar smokes, music parties and more.

The main event is the aptly named Grand Tasting Hall, Nov. 21-Nov. 22, in the cavernous PNE Forum. Continue reading:
300 Kinds of Whisky (and other spirits), 1 Room: Hopscotch Vancouver returns Nov. 17-23

First Impressions, Part 4: Vancouver’s Beer

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Hello again, Vancouver.

In case you missed the last installment of this series, my name is Tom. I’m new in Town.

I just moved here from my hometown of Ottawa. It was a bit of leap of faith because I’d never been to BC before, but it’s all paid off. You see, I’ve already fallen in love with your city.

Vancouver has a lot going for it: Stanley Park, the SkyTrain, Science World, and more. But as I clumsily learn my way through its neighbourhoods—all unfamiliar to me—I’m learning that there is so much more to this city than the obvious. As a Vancouver newbie, I’m finding that even the city’s ordinary is excellent. Even the mundane is thrilling. Yes, Vancouver, with my fresh set of eyes, I’m here to remind you to appreciate the little things—the lovely little things—because your city is full of them.

Case in point? Your beer.

Continue reading:
First Impressions, Part 4: Vancouver’s Beer

The Session Beer Craze Hits Vancouver

Photo credit: J R | Flickr

Photo credit: J R | Flickr

Among beer drinkers, Vancouver – in fact, the entire Pacific Northwest – has earned a reputation for making incredible West Coast-style IPAs (i.e. India Pale Ales).  These tend to be full-bodied beers, with a higher-than-average alcohol content and an unmistakable hoppiness.

But the thing is IPAs aren’t for everyone.  The bitter taste of the hops turns off lots of drinkers.  Not to mention that the beers can be so heavy – and so strong – that it can be hard to drink more than one or two at a time, especially in the summer heat.

The solution? Session beers.  Facing an IPA backlash, Vancouver microbrewers have turned their attention this summer to producing a crisper, more drinkable style of beer.  I’m not talking about anonymous light beers or the fruit-flavoured suds favoured by the university crowd.  Session beers are rich and flavourful without being overly heavy.  They’re crisp and balanced and – most importantly – you can drink more than one at a time because the alcohol content rarely exceeds five percent.

But I’ll let the pros at Beeradvocate.com describe: Continue reading:
The Session Beer Craze Hits Vancouver

Tickets on sale for BC Beer Awards and Festival, beer education classes

Last year's BC Beer Awards. Mike Victory photo.

Last year’s BC Beer Awards. Mike Victory photo.

Early bird tickets to the 5th Annual BC Beer Awards and Festival go on sale today (Tuesday, Aug. 19). Craft brewing across the province will be celebrated at the Oct. 25 event, which takes place at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive) in Vancouver. Besides tastings and awards, there will also be four education classes to help you become a more discerning beer drinker.

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Tickets on sale for BC Beer Awards and Festival, beer education classes

Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

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Photo from the 33 Acres website

With a comprehensive offering of local ingredients, a notable desire to support local, and evolving provincial liquor laws, Greater Vancouver has seen a surge in microbreweries that shows no sign of slowing down.

Recent government announcements have unveiled plans to phase in the sale of beer, wine and spirits in British Columbia grocery stores and farmers markets, as well as new regulations around happy hour and larger site licenses at music festivals. These developments have seen provincial market shares for artisanal beer double over the past four years, with industry experts forecasting a count of more than 80 active breweries by the end of 2014.

With this, visitors and residents of Vancouver have an inspiring selection of local suds, with many incorporating tasting rooms, growler shops and the inclusion of local food trucks offerings.

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Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries