It’s like Hot Wheels for Adults: first Beer Can Derby set for Vancouver

Photo courtesy of Beer Can Derby

Photo courtesy of Beer Can Derby

Take an empty beer can. Put wheels on it. Kit it out so it looks super-cool and runs like an aerodynamic machine. Now you’ve got a beer-can racer–and all you need is a track and a bit of liquid courage.

For everyone who has dreamed of racing beer cans–or has never heard of racing beer cans but now can’t envision their life without it–Vancouver’s first Beer Can Derby is set for November 8.

“It’s the only kind of racing you can do if you’ve had a beer,” says John Moroney, laughing. He’s co-organizing the event with Derek Furtney, with help from Bomber Brewing’s Rachaal Steele. “It’s hysterical to watch,” he adds.

The craft beer enthusiasts are holding the Sunday afternoon event at WISE Hall as a fundraiser for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Contestants can bring their own cars or make them on-site, and then race them on a 64-foot-long track, which has an 8 to 12 foot drop at the start to get things zooming.

As the derby’s website puts it, it’s “kind of like Hot Wheels, but for adults”.

Photo courtesy of Beer Can Derby

Photo courtesy of Beer Can Derby

Prizes will be given to both the fastest and best-looking cars. Attendees are encouraged to make their cars beforehand, but parts will also be available to make them at the event.

Ten Metro Vancouver craft breweries are sponsoring the derby, along with West Coast Canning. Beer will be sold as the races progress, and 100-percent of the proceeds from the day go the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

If you want to make your car in advance, the derby’s website lists all the rules. “Cars must be made using at least one recognizable beer can,” reads one. “Cutting and shaping is allowed, stomping on it and taping it to your car is not.”

There are three classes of cars, depending on the size and weight of the base cans. No beer bottle are allowed. “We had a terrible, terrible accident once,” Moroney says laughing.

Photo courtesy of Beer Can Derby

Photo courtesy of Beer Can Derby

On September 26, there will be a car-making session and trial run on the track at Strange Fellows Brewing (1345 Clark Drive) from noon to 3 p.m. The free, family-friendly event will offer parts and advice on how to make the speediest car.

The main event on November 8 is open to adults only (19+). It takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. at  WISE Hall (1882 Adanac Street); tickets cost $20 each (plus fees) to watch or race the cars. Each includes one beer token.

May the best beer can win!

You can follow Carolyn Ali on Twitter @carolynali

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2 Responses to It’s like Hot Wheels for Adults: first Beer Can Derby set for Vancouver

  1. Haha….this is the funniest event I have seen in a while! I will make sure not to miss it, as I can’t envision my life without this anymore! :)

  2. Carolyn Ali

    I’ve just received an update on the September 26 trial run: it will no longer be held at Strange Fellows brewing and another location is in the works: check Beer Can Derby on Facebook for updates.