Beer lovers from around the Pacific Northwest are making a pilgrimage to Vancouver this week.


They’re here for the annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, an event launched six years ago to boost the emerging craft beer industry, which has now evolved into one of the city’s major claims to fame.
Thousands of beer lovers and over 100 craft brewers from around the region have been attracted to a series of tastings and parties, with up to 400 craft beers available for sampling.
Caryn Westacott from Red Truck Beer told Xinhua Sunday that this year’s beer week features smaller breweries, local breweries and high quality ingredients.
For beer to be considered craft, it must be independently and locally owned by brewers making less than 160,000 hectoliters a year. Craft lagers, stouts, wheat beers, ales, IPAs and other styles must also be made from natural ingredients without preservatives and fermented longer.
British Colombia’s first craft brewery was opened in 1982. Now, the province boasts nearly 100 breweries which employ 2,000 people. The industry has grown so much that last year local governments complained that the waste from the breweries was overwhelming the region’s sewer system.
Chris Bjerrisgaard, Craft Beer Week organizer, said there was an exponential growth in consumer interest, and more and more people want to buy local products.
“The provincial government has loosed the reigns a little on the breweries in the last couple of years to be able to allow them to open smaller breweries, having things like tasting rooms that can really help fund the cash flow of these businesses,” Bjerrisgaard said.
Local bear fans said no two craft beers are the same and that they were seeking unique flavors and textures.
As the size of this festival doubles each year, organizers expect more than 10,000 people to appear at the two-day tasting finale. Enditem



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