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Craft Year, Craft Beer our fundraiser is coming up! If you love beer, the handmade and artisanal then you’ll love this beer tasting and competition. The event will be held on October 22ND, 2015 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM at VanDusen Botanical Garden and the money raised will support the CCBC and VanDusen.

During the event guests can sample craft beers from 16 local breweries and participate in a silent auction of hand-crafted beer-related items by local artists. The public tasting will determine the People’s Choice Award and we will also announce the pre-juried winner of Craft Year, Craft Beer 2015!

Why a craft beer to celebrate Craft Year 2015? Our shared values! We believe the craft beer movement is one of authenticity and innovation, which is in the vanguard of the burgeoning market that values the physical hand of an artist. Get to know the superstar judges of Craft Year, Craft Beer 2015!


Rebecca Whyman

Rebecca Whyman

What do you love the most about beer?

Beer is delicious, nutritious and a great way to meet people.

What are you looking for when judging a beer?

Drinkability – a flawless beer that begs me to have another.

2015 is Craft Year nationwide and October has been proclaimed as Craft Month in Vancouver! What does craft mean to you?
Craft to me means lovingly made.
For those who are just developing a taste for craft beer how can they learn more?
Bottle share with friends. Compare, contrast, debate and share. When you’re having fun, learning happens naturally and sticks with you.
What are you most looking forward to at the Craft Year Craft Beer event?
Seeing all the beer related crafted goods that people have dreamed up.
Chad McCarthy

Chad McCarthy 

National rank BJCP Beer Judge, Certified Cicerone® (beer sommelier certification), Secretary of VanBrewers homebrew club

What do you love the most about beer?

Probably its versatility; the astonishing breadth of flavour combinations that can and do appear in beer. You can always find a beverage that is perfect for a given context, from a friendly gathering at the pub, to a cozy winter fireside, to sublime pairings with any food, to a bright summer beach.  There’s really nothing like it, especially when you consider that both the beer itself and the craft beer community are eminently approachable.

What are you looking for when judging a beer?

I have done a lot of formal, structured judging, where you analyze in great detail the aroma, appearance, flavour, mouthfeel, flaws and other aspects of each beer.  But when you get down to picking the very best beer in a competition, it usually ends up a question of your overall impression of it.  How much would you enjoy drinking this beer in the appropriate context?  (Context is important; you wouldn’t order an intense, sticky-sweet, warming 12% ABV barleywine during a day at the beach.)  Would you order a 2nd or 3rd glass, or move on to something different?  Of course you always have to stay objective and set apart your personal preferences while considering these questions.

2015 is Craft Year nationwide and October has been proclaimed as Craft Month in Vancouver! What does craft mean to you?
To me, craft means people who put the art and science of what they do first. Craftspeople are engaged in a higher calling.  They prioritize what is right and what has intrinsic value, as opposed to more worldly concerns such as business success, profit, fame or power.  In the craft beer context, craft brewers always put the beer and the beer consumer first, whereas non-craft brewers are marketing companies who pursue brand names, advertisements, promotions, market share and stock price.
For those who are just developing a taste for craft beer how can they learn more?
 1) Taste widely and often, and try as many different styles as you can. Beer tourism, as well as local exploration, can be a lot of fun.
2) Attend pubs and liquor stores with knowledgeable staff who care about proper beer service. It’s easy to ruin beer by not maintaining serving equipment or not storing it properly. And properly-trained professional servers are a good source of knowledge – use them!
3) Read a book! It’s hard to imagine a more interesting subject than beer. “Tasting Beer” by Randy Mosher is a good place to start.
What are you most looking forward to at the Craft Year Craft Beer event?
 Trying all of the craft beer entries, which I’m conveniently required to do as a judge of the event!  I also love the tidbits provided by the wonderful EastSide Beer Food people.
Beattie Headshot

Ken Beattie

British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild

What do you love the most about beer?

Drinking it and sharing my opinions with others while learning why they chose a certain beer or style over another and experiencing the sheer variety that is out there these days

What are you looking for when judging a beer?

Balance for me is the key for a great beer. I do not want one ingredient to overpower everything else that is going on in the beer.

2015 is Craft Year nationwide and October has been proclaimed as Craft Month in Vancouver! What does craft mean to you?
Craft for me is innovation , imagination and a passion to continue to push yourself with each new beer you make. It is taking the traditional recipes and putting your own unique stamp on them.
For those who are just developing a taste for craft beer how can they learn more?
The most important advice I can give someone is to try and try again different beers, different breweries  and styles. We are in a time of unprecedented growth so experience as many of these local beers as you can when it comes to beer, you need to continually keep an open mind and try everything.
What are you most looking forward to at the Craft Year Craft Beer event?

I am looking forward to drinking the beers that have been nominated for the awards and seeing who won the top prize.


You can also be a judge at Craft Year, Craft Beer: a celebration of the handmade and artisanal! We need your help picking the People’s Choice.

When: October 22, 2015, 7:00 – 10:00 PM

Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden, BMO Great Hall
5151 Oak Street (at West 37th Avenue)
Vancouver, British Columbia

The event will raise money to support the programming of the Craft Council of BC and VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Get your tickets here!

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