Like Whisky? Like Beer? Hopscotch Festival Rolls into Vancouver, Nov 16-22

Photo credit: morberg | Wikipedia

Photo credit: morberg | Wikipedia

Whether you know your Laphroaig from your Glenmorangie or you’re still sipping Crown Royal, this is the event for you.

Hopscotch, the biggest whisky and beer festival in Canada, is returning to Vancouver, Nov. 16-Nov. 22. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the festival has expanded from a simple tasting event to a whole week of whisky-paired dinners, master classes, cigar smokes and more.

The main event for fine booze lovers is the Grand Tasting Hall, Nov. 20-Nov. 21, in the cavernous PNE Forum. During the four-hour tasting, more than 100 exhibitors will be pouring more than 300 products, from premium whiskies to craft beer, vodka, gin, rum, tequila and more. Admission price ($48-$53) gets you five tasting tokens, and additional tokens can be purchased for $1.10 each. This year, there’s also a special beer-only tasting ($30) on Nov. 21. Several local restaurants will be serving food, while live entertainment is sure to put you in the drinking mood. 

Photo credit: Ryan Hyde | Flickr

Photo credit: Ryan Hyde | Flickr

In the week leading up to the big tasting, the festival hosts dozens of master classes, where whisky pros go in-depth, offering plenty of samples to keep the audience engaged. For beginners, there’s the ever-popular Whisky 101 (Nov. 16, $69), a non-snooty intro where you can taste the whisky rainbow, from rye and bourbon to single malts. Meanwhile, Johnnie Walker, Glenlivet, Highland, Laphroaig and other top distilleries are all offering seminars on their distinguished spirits. There’s even a pair of unique classes that match fine whiskies with fine chocolates (Nov. 22, $30).

Need some sustenance with your scotch? Nearly a half-dozen dinners and satellite events are held throughout the city during the week. Fancy themed dinners – like the Glenlivet Dinner at the Fairmont Pacific Rim (Nov. 16, $139) and the Classic Malts Dinner at Mamie Taylors (Nov. 19, $110) – pair some of the world’s most esteemed whiskies with multi-course meals at the city’s best restaurants. For cigar aficionados, the Great Whisky Smoke (Nov. 21, $135) offers an afternoon of live music, catered food, whisky and premium cigars.

Photo credit: VegaSpica | Flickr

Photo credit: VegaSpica | Flickr

Hopscotch rolls into town Nov. 16-Nov. 22, but tickets for many events are already sold out. Check out the website for the full lineup of events and to get tickets.

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