Sometimes we think November might actually be our favourite month. Unpopular opinion, we know! But think about it… In this dark and dreary month alone there’s returning faves like Whistler Cornucopia, EAT! Vancouver and Hawkers Market, as well as a caviar festival, a dumpling fest and something called Swine Out Vancouver, just to name a few. It’s a smorgasbord of food and drink par-tays. But the granddaddy of them all might have to be Hopscotch Festival.
Returning Nov. 19-25 for its 23rd year, Hopscotch Festival brings together more than 20 events on the theme of beer, whisky and spirits. Think masterclasses, spirit-pairing dinners, tastings, and more.
It boasts a reputation of being among the world’s best tasting festivals, and attracts roughly 7,500 people through its doors (tickets are already 75% sold out as of publication time). Seek out intimate tastings or just show up for the giant Grand Tasting Hall blow out (Nov. 23-24 at the PNE Forum). This year is the biggest to date, offering tastings of Scotch, Japanese, American and other international whiskies, B.C. and international craft and premium beers, ciders, wines, spirits (including tequila, gin, rums, etc.), cocktails and food!
Plus, new this year at the Grand Tasting Hall: cigars from around the world, live music, as well as a revamped ambience and revised floor plan.
Grand Tasting Hall (November 23-24)
A festival of libations, this year’s signature event will feature a mix of craft and premium beers, spirits from around the globe, coveted scotches and whiskies, as well as a selection of wines and spectacular food. Local musical entertainment in the new music lounge as well as a pop-up onsite liquor store from High Point can be expected, too.
Last year the festival launched an area within the tasting hall to showcase wine. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the wine garden will be back to showcase international and local wines.
B.C. Craft Beer Pavilion
For the thousands who attend to taste and learn about the best and most delicious brews, the B.C. Craft Beer pavilion will specialize in local beers (specifically by breweries not owned by international conglomerates).
Hopscotch will feature top chefs and restaurants from across the city. Each year Restaurant Row attracts some of the best restaurants from within Vancouver.
Onsite Liquor Store
Some products are hard to find and some of Hopscotch’s featured liquors are rare. Guests will be able to swing by the onsite High Point pop-up store and stock-up on the essentials.
Bringing Back “The Connoisseur Booklet”
The Connoisseur Booklet, aka the Hopscotch Festival program guide, returns this year, giving guests a road map to the Grand Tasting Hall alongside listings of every product, as well tasting notes to go alongside them.
Grand Tasting Hall Tickets are available for $34. Tickets are available now at: http://tickets.hopscotchfestival.com
—The Alchemist Magazine