Last year's VCBW Collaborative Ale raised $1,294 for Japanese Tsunami Relief

Calling all hopheads: Tickets go on sale at midnight tonight for Vancouver Craft Beer Week (May 18-26)

Can it really be a year already since the last VCBW?

Already, VCBW has quickly become one of the town’s hottest tickets. Last year many events sold out faster than you can say ‘cheers!’

What’s driving this interest? Likely a whole bunch of things, from endless sources of creativity behind labels such as Howe Sound Brewing’s Three Beavers Imperial Red Ale (which of course was nothing to do with ‘those’ games, see below**) to just downright great beers like Crannog Back Hand of God or Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA.

Stir in a dose of healthy respect for beer and food pairing and you’ll see why the numerous dinners—not to mention the calibre of presenters they offer—are also much in demand.

We also like the organisers’ penchant for staging easily accessible neighbourhood events—which you can walk to or take transit.

This year Mayor Gregor will again kick it all off by tapping the first keg of Collaborative Beer on May 18. It all wraps up with the big show, May 25 and 26, at The Salt Building in The Village on False Creek.

But if you want to grab tix to any of the (awesome) special events in between, better get on it first thing tomorrow. Or, even tonight.

Hop to it…!!!


** Revisiting the Three Beavers (from our North Shore News column at the time)

Howe Sound Brewing's very sporting Three Beavers, image supplied

You’d have to be a real curmudgeon not to get a chuckle out of Howe Sound’s Three Beavers Imperial Red Ale. Its label alone is worth the price of admission.

In quite the best games friendly finesse we’ve seen to date, there are the three beavers, cute and cuddly, all lined up on their suitably arranged ‘podium’ (each on a log of appropriate height), displaying their gold, silver and bronze medals.

And, just in case you should mistakenly suspect this has anything to do with the unmentionable events taking place in Vancouver in 2010, accompanying the celebratory scene is an explanation detailing how the medals around each rodent’s neck represent the brewery’s significant wins at the North American Beer Awards: Bronze in 07 for Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout; Silver for Bailout Bitter (’09); and gold for Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale (’07).

Accompanying this not remotely sporting display of uncharacteristic Canadian bragging rights is a touching potted history of our most potent national symbol.  And as for what’s in the bottle, we’re thinking this surprisingly smooth, gently hopped, well balanced, richly malted (but not too sweet) quaffer is a shoo-in for some metal of its own at the 2010 NAB awards.