A celebration of spirits and craft distilleries, Vancouver’s BC Distilled features events that centre around enjoying local spirits and having a good time.
In 2023 the event celebrates its eighth year and happens on Saturday, May 13th.
BC Distilled in Vancouver
BC Distilled returned for the first time in 2022 since the pandemic began. The event is the biggest local distillery spirits festival in the country. It began in 2014 and although the 2022 edition was a little smaller than usual there were still around 30 BC distilleries taking part.
The headline event was a pair of large tasting sessions on April 9th, 2022, but there were two other events in the days leading up to then as well. The first of the earlier events was a whisky tasting led by Davin de Kergommeaux who is the founder of the Canadian Whisky Awards. There was also the Distillers Dinner at Forge Restaurant which included a cocktail reception and a five-course meal along with spirit samples.
The cost for each of these events ranged from around $60 to $190. While they were all part of the same festival there wasn’t any sort of general pass where you could purchase access to all three at once and for a reduced price. It was all one festival, but made up of individual events.
The Festival’s Events
In 2022 the event took place between April 6th and 9th. BC Distilled’s headliner tasting opportunities happened on Saturday, April 9th. Interestingly, this was the same day as another major alcohol-tasting event. Whisky Global also occurred in Vancouver on the weekend of April 8th and 9th in 2022.
Below are details about each of the three events at the 2022 BC Distilled Festival in chronological order.
If you want to learn more about whisky, there aren’t many people more qualified to learn from than Davin de Kergommeaux who is a world-renowned expert on Canadian spirits. In 2022 he hosted a whisky tasting at the Copperpenny Distilling Company at 288 East Esplanade Avenue in North Vancouver on April 6th. The event began at 6:00 pm and ended at 9:00 pm.
Tickets for this tasting cost around $60. Attendees got eight samples of whisky from local distilleries as well as one surprise sample from an unnamed source. As well, admission included a signed copy of de Kergommeaux’s book The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries which he co-wrote.
There were some snacks on hand at the event, but the focus was primarily on the drinks themselves.
The Distillers Dinner
This annual event took place in 2022 on the night before the main festival on April 8th. Beginning at 7:00 pm there was a five-course meal served at Forage Restaurant for all attendees. Each course was paired both with a spirit sample and a cocktail.
Forage is located inside the Listel Hotel at 1300 Robson Street in downtown Vancouver. The restaurant is committed to only using local ingredients for all of its dishes, sourcing its menu options from producers within BC.
At this event there was also an optional cocktail reception that took place before the main dinner. The reception began at 5:30 pm and included more drinks as well as canapés made by Forage. Tickets for the main dinner cost around $145. The cocktail reception cost another $40 or so.
For more information click Distillers Dinner.
The Main Festival Events
The main events of BC Distilled were the back-to-back tasting sessions on April 9th. They both took place at the Croatian Cultural Centre at 3250 Commercial Drive. The first took place from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm and the second is from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Tickets started at around $65.
Typically there are over two dozen different distilleries taking part in the festival so there are plenty of spirits to try. There is just one blanket admission price so once you’re in then you can partake in as much sampling as you’d like!
On top of the drinks, there is also a 50/50 draw and a silent auction to take part in. Those activities are done in partnership with the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society. Representatives from the non-profit organization are at the event along with puppies that participants can interact with.
For more information visit the BC Distilled Festival website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Whisky Global Vancouver
- Vancouver’s Hopscotch Festival
- Vancouver International Wine Festival
- Best Places to Eat and Drink in Vancouver