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Vancouver’s Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival

Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival

The Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival at the Westwood Plateau was one of Metro Vancouver’s premier events featuring BC craft breweries and tasty appetizers.

Note: Spring of 2020 was the festival’s final season. It is no longer happening in years that follow.

 

Beer Festival at Westwood Plateau

The Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival was a great event that featured over 50 breweries, dozens of different craft beers, delicious appetizers and lots of people.

The festival had been running for about three years prior to 2019, in both the spring and the fall. In its final years it was held at the Westwood Plateau Golf Club or at the Hard Rock Casino. In the spring of 2020 it was back at the Westwood Plateau.

 

Festival Dates and Prices

In 2020 the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival’s final event took place on March 7th.

There were two sessions at the March festival. In 2020, one was from 2:00 until 4:30 pm and the other was from 7:30 until 10:00 pm. General admission for the afternoon event was $45. Admission in the evening was $55 per person.

In previous years the fall event was in November and cost $59 for the Friday evening and $49 for the Saturday afternoon. In 2019 it was just a one-day event on Saturday, September 28th.

In 2019 there were two sessions on the Saturday in September. One was from noon until 3:00 pm and the other was from 7:00 until 10:00 pm. The cost in 2019 was about $60 for the afternoon session and $70 for the one in the evening.

At the events people were able to enjoy a nearly unlimited selection of craft beers and food samples. No tokens or extra purchases were required, which made this an especially appealing and enjoyable event.

Also at the event each year was a silent auction where participants placed bids on a wide range of gifts and treats for themselves, all while supporting a charitable cause.

 

Howe Sound Brewery at Beer Festival
Howe Sound Brewery

 

What Made it Special?

A number of things made the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival stand out as a “best place to be” for people who like craft beers and hanging out with their friends. Below is a list of some of the event’s features that for us really stood out.

  • The admission price included complimentary food and beverages. You didn’t have to pay extra for each beer sample you tried or every appetizer you wanted to taste. Unlike most Lower Mainland events of its kind, it was all included!
  • The venue was completely indoors so it was warm and not weather dependent!
  • The festival benefited a worthwhile charitable cause. At the event there was a silent auction and raffle where 100% of the proceeds went to the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Tips at the coat check also benefited the charity (or at least they did in 2019).
  • The cost was reasonable. There aren’t many places where you can wander around and sample virtually unlimited beer, cider and food samples!
  • There was plenty of free parking.
  • The event offered a safe ride home program. Arrangements were made in advance with Greater Vancouver Designated Drivers to get both you and your vehicle home afterwards. There was also a complimentary shuttle service to the Braid Skytrain Station at the end of each event. Complimentary transit tickets were also available at the concierge desk on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Craft Beer Festival at Westwood Plateau
Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club

 

Festival Breweries

Over four dozen BC craft breweries participated in the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival. Each brewery offered a selection of brews with over 120 different kinds in total to choose from. There were IPAs, cream ales, lagers, fruit-infused brews and all kinds of seasonal and award-winning ales.

BC breweries that participated most years included Stanley Park Brewery, Andina and Red Truck from Vancouver, Steel & Oak from New Westminster, Bridge Brewing from North Vancouver, and dozens more.

 

Andina Beer at Coquitlam Festival
Andina Beer from Vancouver

Festival Food

The food at the festival was usually really good. When we went there were chicken wings from Wings Restaurant, noodles and poached prawns from the Hard Rock Casino, and deli meat samples, nachos and chili, and upside-down cheesecake. The selection was similar in 2019, although it appeared that all food was offered by the Hard Rock Casino (and so not from a variety of different vendors).

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips that would have helped you make the most of your experience at the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival.

TIP #1: Plan in advance how to get home. There was a complimentary shuttle service to the nearest SkyTrain station at the end, which was good to know.

TIP #2: We recommended going with a good appetite as the food was delicious and there was a fair bit of it. Don’t drink on an empty stomach! Pace yourself!

TIP #3: Was good to go with a group of friends. The more the merrier!

TIP #4: Bid generously at the silent auction. There were some great items up for sale and the proceeds benefited a very worthwhile cause.

TIP #5: Note your favourite beers so you would have been able to remember them for the future. Also, chat with the people around you to learn what they recommend. With over a hundred beers to choose from, you would have wanted to make sure to sample and remember the best!

TIP #6: If you preferred wine to beer, then you could have checked out the TriCity International Wine Festival which may have been taking place at the same venue on a different weekend.

 

Red Truck Brewery Beers Display

 

Other Information

For information about the area, click Coquitlam.

For a list of other Lower Mainland beer-related events, click Vancouver Breweries and Beers and scroll to the middle of the page.

For a list of other major events of various kinds at different times of the year, check out the following: