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 is one of a number of alcohol-related events in the Lower Mainland. One of the most prestigious is the Vancouver International Wine Festival which also takes place in the spring. Other events include Whisky Global and the Hopscotch Festival, which are also good, but smaller.
Dates and details about the event in 2024 are to be confirmed. What we do know though is that it’ll be at a new venue (as the Croatian Cultural Centre has closed).
To learn about the BC Distilled event, continue reading.
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 started in 2014 and the 2023 event features over 40 BC distilleries.
This year’s headline event is a pair of large tasting sessions on May 13th, 2023, but there are other events in the days leading up to then as well. The first of the earlier events is a whisky tasting on May 7th. There is also a gin tasting event on May 10th, and then another whisky tasting on May 11th.
As of late March in 2023, the cost for each of these events ranges from around $50 to $60 per person. While they are all part of the same festival there isn’t any sort of general pass where you can purchase access to all three at once for a reduced price. It’s all one festival, but made up of individual events.
The Festival’s Events
In 2022 the festival took place between April 6th and 9th. In 2023 the events run from May 7th to 13th. Below are details about each of the three events at the 2023 BC Distilled Festival.
There are two whisky tasting sessions happening before this year’s headliner event. They take place from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday, May 7th, and from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Thursday, May 11th. Both sessions are held at Legacy Liquor, located at 1633 Manitoba Street in Vancouver.
The two sessions feature the same whiskies. Attendees receive eight or nine samples from local distilleries. Some of the whiskies are unavailable to the public, while some are scheduled to be released during or after the festival. Tickets start at about $50 each.
There is one gin tasting session to enjoy before the main event of the festival. It takes place on Wednesday, May 10th, from 6:00 until 9:00 pm. The event is held at the same venue as the two whisky tasting sessions, so at Legacy Liquor at 1633 Manitoba Street in Vancouver.
Guests get to sample up to nine gins made in BC. A few of the gins have unique flavour profiles. There are also newer gins that you probably haven’t tried before. Admission starts at about $50 per person.
The Main Festival Events
The main events of BC Distilled are the back-to-back tasting sessions on Saturday, May 13th in 2023. They both take place at the Croatian Cultural Centre at 3250 Commercial Drive. The first event runs from 2:00 to 4:30 pm and the second runs from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Tickets start at around $60.
There are over forty 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 usually a 50/50 draw and a silent auction to take part in. These activities are done in partnership with the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society. Representatives from the non-profit organization are at the event most years along with puppies that participants can interact with.
For more information about the event, 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