There’s the Vancouver International Wine Festival, the Vancouver Craft Beer Week festival, and spirit-specific events such as B.C. Distilled, but few fetes combine wine, beer, and spirits in a way that encompasses the province’s entire small-batch beverage industry.
The inaugural the Grape & the Grain, however, is set to change that this September.
Billed as B.C.’s only spirit, wine, and beer festival, the two-day event will feature alcohol samplings from over 50 micro-distilleries, wineries, and breweries from across the province.
Vendors include established names such as Phillips Brewing & Malting Co., Ampersand Distilling Company, Four Winds Brewing Company, and Old Order Distilling Co., plus relative newcomers like Dragon Mist Distillery.
The event’s founders came up with the concept when they noticed intersecting tastes among imbibers after years of working at local beer and wine festivals.
“We said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could come in and taste all three of them at the same place?’ ” Paulette Garneau, coproducer of the Grape & the Grain, tells the Straight by phone. “And then it kind of hit us—why isn’t there a festival where you can do that?”
The Grape & the Grain will offer guests tastes of made-in-B.C. gins, vodkas, beers, wines, ciders, whiskeys, and everything in between. Garneau is also working with Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Brewing and Brewery Operations program to have student-made suds available at the festival.
And while she is still working on the vendor list, Garneau ultimately hopes to have 100 different pours available—one-third each of spirits, wines, and beer.
If guests like what they taste, they can proceed to an onsite liquor store to bring their own bottle home.
“This is a way for you to come in and sample all the different varieties, especially with the spirits,” says Garneau. “If you’re not sure what is, you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of it and find out that you don’t enjoy that particular gin or vodka. This way, you can taste several of them and find out which one matches your flavour palette.”
A number of food trucks will also be onsite and live music will be provided by local DJ She and five-piece band Mai Tai Friday.
The Grape & the Grain takes place on September 24 and 25 at the Plaza of Nations (750 Pacific Boulevard).
For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, click here.