With dozens of satellite events, dinners, and tastings, it can be hard to nail down your road map for the 22nd annual Hopscotch Festival of Whisky, Beer and Spirits. Here are a few suggestions to pare down your options.
Grand Tasting Hall
November 24 and 25 at the PNE Forum (2901 East Hastings Street)
Hopscotch’s premier experience, this is a fest within a fest. Alongside live music and plentiful food options, look for hundreds of products to experience, from makers like 4 Mile Brewing Co., Aslan Brewing Co./Maui Brewing Co., Auchentoshan (whisky), Bench 1775 Winery, Bridge Brewing, Forty Creek Distillery, Glendalough, Glenfarclas, Indigenous World Winery, Merridale Cidery and Distillery, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Red Racer, Woodford Reserve (bourbon), and many, many more.
November 20 at the Salty Tongue Café (212 Carrall Street)
Vancouver-based whisky educator Lynn Coulthard heads this ultrapopular event. Certified by the World Masterclass of Whisky, she’ll go over the differences between the main types of whisky (such as rye, bourbon, Scotch single malt, and Scotch blend) and ideas on how to serve and enjoy them—with tastings, natch.
Women and Whisky
November 21 at the Salty Tongue Café
This master class celebrates the women behind such whiskies as Laphroaig, Cardhu, Glen Garioch, and others.
Masters of Whisky
November 22 at the Salty Tongue Café
This session is described as an “upper echelon” tasting, giving attendees the chance to sample some of the best whisky in the world. Specifics are still being finalized, but last year’s session included sips of Glenfarclas 25, Benriach #10300 Tawny Port, Glenlivet 21, and others, with each bottle fetching more than $200 at the liquor store.
The Glenfiddich Dinner
November 23 at Hook Seabar (1210 Denman Street)
Beth Havers, Canadian brand ambassador for Glenfiddich, will host a four-course dinner paired with various Glenfiddich whiskies, including some from its “experimental range”.
Premium Irish Whiskies of Midleton
November 26 at the Salty Tongue Café
East Cork’s Midleton Distillery has been making and safeguarding single-pot still whiskey for almost two centuries. Its varieties include Powers Signature Reserve, Redbreast 15, and Midleton Very Rare, which attendees will get to sip and savour.
The Hopscotch Festival of Whisky, Beer and Spirits takes place November 20 to 26 at various Vancouver venues. Click here to see the full list of satellite events and here for the full list of masterclasses.More