Taste BC is in it’s 22nd year letting Vancouverites experience BC’s finest wine, beer and spirits accompanied by tasty treats from local BC restaurants and artisans. This year it was located in the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel inside the Crystal Pavilion. It started from 4:30 – 7:30pm, which is great for people who are working in Downtown Vancouver. Since I work right outside the Downtown core, I got there right at 5:30pm. By that time, it was really busy.
I think there were 40 different wine, spirit and beer booths. Also 6 booths for food from Rodneys, KoKo Monk, Ann Kirsebom, La Mezcaleria, La Baguette and Gone Crackers. The booths with food definitely had long line ups. As there were more drink booths, it wasn’t too bad getting a taste of a particular beverage.
You can even enter your ballot to help select People’s Choice Award for your favourite food and beverage.
There definitely wasn’t any shortage of alcohol here. If you went to every single booth and tried every single bottle of alcohol here, you would probably be drunk. Most people have self-control here.
Beer and Cider
I love beer, so I gravitated towards this section. There were 6 breweries and 2 cider producers.
Red Truck Beer was sampling their Red Truck Ale and Red Truck Lager, which are both delicious. I personally prefer the lager as it is a bit lighter and has a slight citrus finish.
Dageraad Brewing was sampling their Dageraad Burnabarian, Dageraad Amber and Dageraad Blonde. I never knew Burnaby had breweries! It gets me pretty excited since I live pretty close to the brewery.
I really enjoyed the Blonde and the Burnabarian.
Howe Sound Brewing had quite a few of their beers for sample – Juniper India Pale Ale, Pilsner Plunge, Wee Beastie Oak Aged Scotch Ale, and the Pothole Filler Imperial Stout.
R&B Brewing had their East Side Bitter, Raven Cream Ale and the Vancouver Special IPA.
Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse has their Wold in the Woods, Bittersweet, Pippins, Kings & Spies, and Rumrunner.
Bridge Brewing Company had the Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale and their Black Rye IPA. I really enjoyed the Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale. Awesome flavours.
Phillips Brewing always has some pretty stellar beers too. They had their Wave West Coast Pale Ale and the Analogue 78.
All this beer is a wine glass. SO Classy.
The food menu wasn’t as extensive as the booze menu, so there were large lines leading up to these booths.
La Baguette & L’Echalote were serving assorted canapes, which went super quick.
I grabbed a bunch of Tapenade and different types of bread. I really needed some carbs to balance out all the alcohol.
La Mezcaleria dished out their Ceviche Callejero, which has fish, tomato, lime, red onion, Serrano, cilantro and chips on the side. This dish was a winner on the People’s Choice Awards for best food.
Koko Monk Chocolates was giving out samples of their delicious chocolates.
At any Liberty Wine Merchants event, you know wine is a huge focus. There were so many wine vendors that I couldn’t even count how many were here. If you are a wine lover, you will jump for joy trying all these places out. They really have a good variety of local BC wines.
Osoyoos Larose showed off their Petales d’Osoyoos ’12 and Le Grand Vin ’12.
Blue Grouse had their Quill Rose Gamay ’14. Quill Red ’13 and their Estate Ortega ’14.
Bench 1775 had their Sauvignon Blanc ’14, Cab Franc/Melbec ’13, Pinot Noir ’13 and Melot ’13.
Maverick Estate Winery had a slew of wines to try – Origin ’14, Sauvignon Blanc ’14, Pinot Gris ’14, pinot noir ’13, Rubeus ’13.
All these wines really brought me back to the Okanagan when I went during the Fall to visit many wineries.
Blasted Church had their Unorthodox Chardonnay ’13, Gewurtztraminer ’14, Big Bang Theory ’14 and Merlot ’13. All good wines and their branding is pretty cute.
WayWard Distillation House has the Unruly Vodka, Unruly Gin and WayWard Order to try.
Odd Society Spirits in East Van had a few items to try – Bittersweet Vermouth, East Van Vodka, Wallflower Gin, Creme de Cassis, Aged Vodka, and Mongrel.
I didn’t spend too much time in this area since I’m so afraid of spirits as they are much stronger than beer or wine. I never really developed a taste for them. I’ll have cocktails but drinking spirits straight is tough.
At the end of the event everyone could vote for their favourite wine, beer, spirit, cider and food.
- Favourite Wine: (Tie) C.C. Jentsch Cellars Syrah 2013 & Painted Rock Estate Winery Red Icon 2013
- Favourite Beer: Bridge Brewing Company Bourbon Blood Orange Wheat Ale
- Favourite Spirit: Fermentorium Distilling Co. Stump Gin
- Favourite Cider: Sea Cider Bittersweet
- Favourite Food: La Mezcaleria Ceviche
TasteBC 2016 raised over $10,500 for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Oak Tree Clinic. A great event with a great cause!
Overall, it was a great event and there was a lot of drink to try. For $50, it’s not a bad price since you really get to try so many different types of drinks. Being at TasteBC was like doing a bunch of tastings in the valley without having to drive anywhere.