Craft beer events can tend to attract the same people time after time. The traditional attendance consists of the long-time craft beer enthusiast that has a drive to try new and exciting flavours. The number of people attending craft beer events is growing rapidly but the events themselves do not necessarily offer a high conversion rate from mass produced beer to craft. Where there is an opportunity to increase craft brewer’s share of the pie is at events that cross industries and connect with consumers outside of the traditional craft market.
The EAT! Vancouver festival just so happens to be one of those events. As the largest food and beverage show to take place in British Columbia people from all walks of life attend this BC Place based event for a variety of reasons. The show consists of food vendors, local restaurants, household appliance manufacturers and of course craft breweries. The majority of EAT! Vancouver attendees did not come for the beer, wine or spirits but this was the reason that many of them stayed.
After perusing for a new steam vacuum, purchasing a square watermelon then watching a Vita-Mix demonstration guests may have just found themselves walking past the Sips stage and into the tasting area. Inside this 19+ zone more than a dozen breweries along side vineyards and distilleries were showing off their top products that may not just appeal to the craft beer connoisseur but also the soon to be converted beer-curious consumer.
Whether it be the new Parallel 49 Grapefruit Radler, the Vancouver Island Pale Ale, R&B Sun God Wheat or the Cannery Brewing Skaha Summer Ale a vast selection of light, refreshing and of course delicious options were not only satisfying attendees but also working to increase the market share of craft as a whole. The EAT! Vancouver tasting area may not draw the same crowds as the high profile Vancouver Craft Beer Week events but it provides a unique and very important role in the proliferation of craft beer to the masses.
Eat! Vancouver is a rare event that does not take the low lying fruit of preaching to the choir. This is a reconnaissance expedition looking to convert those that have strayed onto the flavours and artistry that is craft beer. Craft beer has seen amazing growth in recent years and we can attribute much of it to events like EAT! Vancouver where unsuspecting passers-by have the opportunity to try something new and exciting in the form of craft beer!
Click on the images below for a slideshow of more photos from the 2014 EAT! Vancouver food festival!