Queers & Beers: An LGBTQ+ Hang-Out for the Rest of Us, Sep. 18


By Casey Stepaniuk

Remember that Gandhi saying about being the change you want to see in the world? You might not think it at first, but Vancouver’s Queers and Beers is inspired by just that sort of logic. It’s a seasonal event held every 3-4 months and just like the awesome name implies, it’s a hang-out party for LGBTQ+ folks focused on local craft beer tasting.

Queers and Beers came about when the event’s creator, Ryn Broz, found herself and her friends frustrated with the “white straight bearded masculinity” that dominated so many of the local craft breweries they wanted to visit. In its first reincarnation, Queers and Beers was more of a pop-up, queers take over straight spaces kind of thing. They’d pick a local brewery and a time, and gather there to enjoy craft beer and the safety and comfort that LGBTQ+ numbers bring. But pretty quickly Queers and Beers ran into the best kind of problem an event can have: there were so many queers showing up for beers that entire breweries—some of the biggest ones in Vancouver—were getting totally full. Broz realized they needed a bigger venue.

These days, Queers and Beers has secured a home at the Cobalt on Main street. At every event, they have a remarkably diverse list of craft Pacific Northwest beers on tap, as well as other fun stuff on the “menu”: video games, pool, food trucks, and vintage music. They’ve also joined forces with Man Up’s regular drag amateur hour, which starts at 10pm after Queers and Beers ends. One of the things regular attendees value about Queers and Beers is its great chill vibe. Not only does it fill the gap Broz noticed about making space for folks other than cis straight white dudes to enjoy craft beer, it also fulfills a need in East Van for a queer party that doesn’t centre around dancing and performance.

Broz explained to me that the feel of Queers and Beers is like a house party. It’s the kind of space where you can hang out with friends and maybe make some new ones. The need for a queer space like this in East Van must have been great; so great that Broz has noticed people who aren’t even really that into beer have become regulars, because of how awesome the atmosphere is.

Beer!  / Image by Quinn Dombrowski

Beer!  / Image by Quinn Dombrowski

The next installment of Queers and Beers is a special one: the cider edition. Riding on the tail of the success of the Pride event (over 400 people attended), the cider edition boasts a list of over a dozen local craft ciders in addition to the regular 24 taps of craft beer. For a detailed list of everything that’ll be on tap, check out the Facebook event. It’s all happening this Sunday September 18th, starting at 5pm.

There’s really nothing not to love about Queers and Beers. In addition to the chill queer vibe and rad beer assortment, they’re committed to donating a portion of profits from each event to Indigenous self-determination work. Admission is always sliding scale, with the cheapest advance tickets going for only five bucks. Broz emphasizes that Queers and Beers very much has a “come as you are” mentality, another thing that makes it stand out. It’s not aimed at one demographic of queers; in fact, it’s their mission to make it an event for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community who’s interested: trans and cis folks, all genders, and a variety of ages.

See you there!

Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and librarian-in-training who runs the website Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, where you can find LGBTQ+ Canadian book reviews and a queer book advice column. She also writes for Book Riot. Find her on Twitter: @canlesbrarian 

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