The 10th annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week has officially wrapped, but that doesn’t mean you can’t search out the best beers on offer.
The event was once again a whirlwind of a week. With events all across the city, there was something for everyone. But of course the main affair is the two day festival at the PNE Forum, and with over 300 beers and ciders on tap, it’s getting harder every year to pick the best of the bunch.
That being said, there were a few standout offerings this year, both from veteran breweries and those making their first appearance at the show. Here’s out best of the VCBW festival:
The official beer for this year, and our Beer of the Month. Ten is inspired by historic Belgium classics but brewed with New World hops, creating a very modern tasting beer. Brewed with tangy Sacch Trois yeast to accentuate the tropical, citrus and stone fruit flavours derived from Sabro and Enigma hops, Ten is a refreshing and fruit-forward beer.
House of Funk- Funk Juice Sour Slush
North Vancouver’s newest brewery, House of Funk is already producing some interesting beers, and they were single handedly the largest attraction at this year’s festival. What was drawing the long lines? A raspberry sour slushy of course. While it could be written off as a gimmick, the beer base is actually quite good, so the overall experience was something totally different than all the other tents.
KPU Brew Lab- 50/50 Hefe
Kwantlen is producing the next generation of brewmasters, and if their Hefe is any indication of the skills being learned, then the future of craft brewing is looking bright. This award winning hefeweizen may not be sexy, but it’s a great representation of the classic style and a multi award winner.
Brassneck- You’re Amazing, No You’re Amazing
Collaborations were all the rage this year, and Brassneck chose wisely by partnering with Luppolo to brew this tart wild ale with passion fruit. One of the best tart/sour beers of the show for sure.
Beere Brewing- Party Platter
Another collaboration beer, this time with…Brassneck again! Beere Brewing already makes some of the best beers on the North Shore, add in Brassneck and you get a double dry hopped multigrain IPA that is simply divine.
Backcountry Brewing- Trail is Guava
Backcountry Brewing was pouring some solid options, but the best had to be the “staff pick”, a combination of their new guava tart and the traditional trail breaker pale ale. Honestly great, and quite possibly the best beer of the show.
Melvin Brewing- Cloudy 5000
There was around a dozen or so breweries from our neighbours to the south, but one of the best had to be San Diego based Melvin Brewing’s NE IPA. It was juicy without being overly powerful and still had some nice hop aroma.
Honourable Mention: Coal Harbour- Dino Sour Candy Beer
Coal Harbour gets an honourable mention for some of the best marketing of the show. Not only did they have a huge chalk board pointing towards “candy beer” they were also handing out real dino candies with the beer, or tiny umbrellas to go with their Tiny Umbrella DIPA. Everyone we bumped into wanted to know where the little umbrellas came from. Simple marketing goes a long way.
That’s a wrap on the VCBW’s 10th anniversary. Did we miss any beers that you thought were truly outstanding? Let us know in the comments.