It's that time of year again - Vancouver Craft Beer Week tickets are on sale. While the event doesn't kick off until the end of May, many events are selling out fast.
Rebecca Whyman
On the Coast beer columnist Rebecca Whyman. (CBC)
On the Coast beer columnist, Rebecca Whyman provided a rundown of this year's events.
This year's theme is 'Lumberjack.'
1. The Vancouver Magazine International Craft Beer Awards Gala
When: May 29 at Craft Beer Market
18 judges conducted a blind tasting in 14 categories. After choosing gold, silver, and bronze in their assigned styles, judges gathered to choose 'Best in Show' among the 14 gold medal winners.
"None of us know which beers we were judging, nor the identity of the winner. We'll find out with the rest of you when the magazine comes out."
Tickets are $60
2. Signature Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival
When: June 6 and 7 at the PNE
The event is now the biggest craft beer festival in Canada, with more than 100 breweries and up to 400 beers to sample. Aside from the beer, there will also be timbersports competitions and live music Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $40
3. Signature Battle of the Bartenders: Beer Cocktail Competition
When: June 3 at The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar
Back for the fifth year in a row, eight bartenders make eight different beer cocktails using the same two base ingredients: Driftwood New Growth pale ale and Pernod.  
Tickets are $20.    
4. Forbidden Fruit
When: June 4 at the Devil's Elbow Ale House
This event features an evening of fruit beers, fruit wheat beers, Belgians and sours from 15 craft breweries.  It is based on the extremely popular Portland Fruit Beer Festival. Guests will receive eight tasters of beer throughout the evening.
Tickets are $30
When: May 9 at Kelowna's Waterfront Park
If you can't wait for Vancouver Craft Beer week, Whyman suggests heading up north at the beginning of next month. The festival features beer from more than 40 breweries around the world. 
Tickets are $39

Whyman's Beer Picks

Strange Fellows Hefeweizen - Strange Fellows' take on the beer of summer is now on tap at the brewery.
Bomber Brewing's Superpest - Their beloved double IPA is back, for a limited time.  Available on tap at the brewery and in 650 ml bombers.  This beer won bronze at last year's BC Beer Awards.
Old Abbey Ales is now open on Fraser Highway in Abbotsford.  You can taste their beers at the brewery, and two styles are currently available at private stores in 650 ml bombers
Best beer name of the week: Jerkface 9000. 

To listen to the full interview with On the Coast beer columnist Rebecca Whyman, listen to the audio labelled Craft Beer Week