For the past few years, by presenting new and changing themes on a regular basis, the semi-annual Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival has been making a name for itself as an event that is not shy to innovate. At recent events CCBF has featured concepts such as: showcasing the ladies of craft with a Women Of Beer section; setting up a Cask Room; and a establishing a Quirky Brews motif spotlighting their beer ambassador, Paul Pyne of DrinkSmarter.ca. In a crowded field of annual beer events, all of this has helped Coquitlam Fest keep things interesting every six months.
Mind you, the Festival is already differentiated from most other large beer gatherings simply by its format. Coquitlam Fest is a tokenless beer and food event, meaning that guests get a variety of both beverage and culinary options included with their admission, and they don’t have to keep replenishing their tokens in order to sample all the beers they’d like. The layout of the event, the fact that it’s biannual and its strong Ride To Conquer Cancer fundraising tie-in all help make it unique.
Despite all that, the Fall 2019 instance of CCBF may actually hold the most surprises of any episode yet. That’s because Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival is making moves in a literal sense, departing the cozy confines of the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club for the upbeat vibe at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam. To find out more about what we can expect at this September’s event, we contacted CCBF’s Director of Events Carolyn Ahrendt.
What’s New for CCBF Fall 2019?
More Time. Coquitlam Fest is making a fundamental change to their format by extending the time of their event by a half hour going forward.
Similar to the event this past Spring, the Fall event will be held in two sessions on the same Saturday. The Matinee will run from Noon to 3 PM, and the evening session from 7pm to 10pm.
More Beer & Beverages. That extra time will come in handy because there’s going to be a lot more beer and craft liquor to sample. Carolyn reports, “We’ve added vendors and will now feature over 50 pouring stations, including BC cideries and craft distilleries”. That sounds like a lot of booths for an indoor event!
What’s not changing is that it’s still tokenless; there will still also be a Cask Corner. So far, these breweries have committed to bring delicious cask brews:
East Van Brewing
Monkey 9 Brewing
Old Yale Brewing
Red Racer/Central City Brewing
Silver Valley Brewing
Here’s the full list of breweries and vendors so far. →
New international food format. CCBF is now operating six international food stations during the Festival. Carolyn explains, “Hard Rock Casino is our food sponsor, and the menu items will all be beer-friendly. Guests will receive 6 mini vouchers upon entry that they can redeem at the food stations.”
More central, and more ways to avoid driving. Anyone who’s been to the festival’s regular location knows that it’s a bit of a hike to get there. If that’s put you off in the past, then you’re in luck: this Fall’s event at the Casino represents your big chance because it’s going to be way easier to get there by transit. As Carolyn shares, “We have added a free shuttle both to and from the Hard Rock, picking up at the Braid Street Skytrain Station. Any guests that purchase tickets will receive direct emails with updates on the shuttle.”
More post-event and accomodation options. Carolyn says, “For the evening festival, guests are more than welcome to stay on site and enjoy the casino. Hard Rock has the shuttle to Braid Street running until 1am.”
Not to mention that the Casino offers overnight packages thanks to its partnership with the Executive Plaza Hotel.
To sum up what’s changed this round:
- More vendors, and more pouring stations!
- More craft beverages, including cider and spirits!
- More time to try them all!
- New international food format!
- More fun, more accessible venue!
- More Skytrain shuttles, and a hotel shuttle to boot. More options to avoid driving home!
As of next Spring, CCBF will return to the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club. But on September 28th 2019, there’s no gamble; picking up tickets to the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is a safe bet.
Photos by Brian K. Smith/What’s Brewing