Alright lets talk local festivals!
The first event occurred last week at the Burrard Public house. Put on by the Tri-City Cask Festival Team it included one-off casks from breweries that have yet to even open! Unfortunately, although I fully intended to go I couldn’t make it. Despite that the buzz from this event was strong, just look at the day the Silver Valley Brewing guys had at their first event! Beyond on that i heard positive things about the Parkside’s first beer a hot chocolate beer I believe. More importantly (that’s tongue in cheek) if you attended you might have seen these little tidbits:
So thank you very much to those at the Festival, I was pleased to be a small part!
Full disclosure, I was given a free ticket to this. The festival was unlike some others in that it was for lack of a better term “all you can drink” and “all you can eat” during the short period it was open (2 hours), there was a large range of beers available from the tiny Maple Meadows Brewery to the crafty beers such as Stanley Park Brewing (Their sun setter ale is just god-awful). It should also be said that the food available was top notch. I had never been to Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club but it was a great venue for an event like this. All in all it was a great first beer festival (non-cask) for the area however after speaking to some vendors I fear their might be less local influence next year.Whereas at many festival breweries are either asked to make a donation (often equal to the cost of beer) or provide staff to pour, this festival asked brewers to provide both. This means brewers are putting up around a couple hundred bucks in Beer and paying for their staff to pour. For a brewery trying to expand their reach such as Bad Tattoo that might be a totally reasonable cost to expose your beer, but for local breweries with a strong foothold in the area it might be seen as a festival with limited utility (BACK TO MILL!)
So as we sometimes like to do at this blog we might be able to look at these events in terms of culture. Pedanticism aside, I think its clear that the festival that is building community is the Tri-City cask festival. This is event which often gives the breweries extra tickets so people from the breweries are there to interact with patrons. That said the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival does put on a great event sure to please most people with great beer and delicious food. However i have to ask where does the money go? 35 dollar tickets x 500 tickets x 2 nights = $35,000. I’m sure the venue cost a pretty penny but its an interesting comparison to the Cask Festival, and its up to you to decide if its important.