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Whistler Village Beer Festival set to celebrate 10 years

The annual event returns to the resort from Sept. 11 to 17
Attendees are encouraged to don their festival best for the Whistler Village Beer Festival’s costume contest.

Every year, thousands of people descend on Whistler in September from across the world to eat great food, make good friends, and drink amazing beers from dozens of different breweries at the annual Whistler Village Beer Festival (WVBF).

Organized in partnership by Gibbons Whistler and Red Door Events Inc., producers of the Brewhalla Beer & Music Festivals, this year’s WVBF, taking place from Sept. 11 to 17, marks the 10th instalment of the fan-favourite event.

According to Gibbons Whistler strategic director Brittia Thompson, the festival has undergone a few changes this year, including reducing the main sampling event that features breweries and cideries from close to 50 different vendors from two days to one.

“So it is going to be on Saturday,
Sept. 16, and just one day instead of two,” Thompson said.

“It was partially due to the feedback we received from breweries and vendors that having it on two days was a bit too tricky for them to participate in. So to ensure maximum participation, we’ve moved it to one day, but it just means double the fun in one day. Which is great.”

Also new to this year’s event is the formal inclusion of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, which includes things like alcopops (think spiked seltzers and hard lemonades). The WVBF trialled bringing in RTDs last year, and they proved to be incredibly popular with patrons, Thompson said.

For those who want to take in
the festivities but wish to stay sober, there will also be more non-alcoholic options—also becoming increasingly popular
with patrons.

“In the past, we’ve had some kombucha [vendors] come in, and we’ve really reached out to a diverse lineup of the non-alcoholic [vendors] just because it is becoming a growing market,” Thompson said. “So we’re hoping to have lots more non-alcoholic beverage options on site.”

Foodies should fear not, as the festival will once again feature a wide variety of options to soak up all that beer. Grimm’s Fine Foods is returning this year to serve hotdogs and smokies, with all the proceeds raised going to charity.

Resort Municipality of Whistler-approved food trucks will also be on hand, though the complete lineup of vendors still needs to be confirmed (in previous years vendors included the Teriyaki Boys, Folie Crêpes, Whistler Wood Fired Pizza and many more popular local favourites).

Coinciding as it does with the first day of Oktoberfest in Munich, one of the activities at this year’s WVBF will be a scaled-down version of that famous sudsfest, hosted at the Longhorn Saloon and featuring German steins and traditional Bavarian food.

Festivalgoers are also encouraged to wear their festival best for the main event’s costume contest.

Previous instalments have seen attendees dressed as lumberjacks, inflatable dinosaurs, and of course, in traditional German lederhosen and dirndls.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from the community is everyone’s really excited it’s returning. We’re excited to be able to put it on again,” Thompson said.

“Last year, the weather was beautiful, so we’re hoping for the same thing. And tickets are going quite quickly, so we hope we can sell out and get as many people down here enjoying some live music and craft beverages as we can.”

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