Hopwired Festival presented by Espressotec and CFOX is back for its second year, returning to the Croatian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver.

Infusing handcrafted beer with coffee, Hopwired promises to tantalize your taste buds with an array of collaborations between breweries and coffee roasters from across Canada and beyond while expanding your knowledge with a variety of tasting panels. Breweries and coffee roasters are encouraged to collaborate to create a unique beverage to serve at the festival taking place Saturday, February 23rd from 1 pm until 5.30 pm. Expect to see Belgian ales, sours, lagers, pilsners, imperial stouts, porters, pale ales, and many more different styles of beer – all made in collaboration with the attending coffee roasters.

I caught up with Hopwired Founder, Mike Willis, to find out what’s percolating for this year’s event.

What was the inspiration behind Hopwired?

There’s a number of things – the primary reason was that we were wanting something different and more specialized for drinkers, but also something benefits the breweries and coffee roasters and gives them the opportunity to collaborate on a new beer. Hopwired is a bit of a selfish project where we were like “hey what can we do that we’d enjoy drinking at?”

Steel & Oak Brewing collaborated with Timbertrain Coffee

Hopwired embraces collaboration.

Hopwired has 29 beer and coffee collaborations this year including 11 from breweries on the BC Ale Trail.  A few highlights from Mike’s favourites include Dieu Du Ciel‘s one-off Péché Mortel with Smoking Gun Coffee, Temporal Artisan Ales with Primer Coffee, Wild Ambition Brewing (Kelowna) with Canoe Coffee, Nickel Brook Brewing (Hamilton and first time in BC!) with Detour Coffee, O.T. Brewing (Calgary) and Monogram Coffee, Blind Enthusiasm Brewing (Edmonton) with Transcend Coffee, 2 Crows Brewing (Halifax) with Agro Coffee. Mike shares, “I’m really excited about the imports however the local guys are doing fantastic one-off cascara sours, cascara ciders, imperial stouts, smoked lagers and more! The collab beer list is insane with something like 80% one-off new beers that are not going to shelves or taps anywhere else. There’s a lot to choose from.”

Hopwired Founders Mike and Nicole on collaboration brew day with Backcountry Brewing and Counterpart Coffee.
Photo credit: Vancouver Beer Snob

Let’s not forget the coffee!

Hopwired is featuring 29 coffee roasters from all over the world. All coffees will be served in 3oz tasters with many roasters rotating on Espressotec‘s beautiful espresso bar with rare espresso being served all day long from their participating roasters. Enjoy a selection of hot coffee, cold coffee (+nitrogenated), barrel-aged coffee, and espresso.

“Raspberry, Concord Grape, and Passion Fruit. Have you ever thought that your every day natural coffee could taste like that? What about key lime, sweet lettuce and marshmallow? or blueberry, bubblegum, and green apple? We didn’t know these flavours existed in natural coffee until we started inviting our coffee roasting friends to Vancouver for Hopwired” 

Agro Roasters from East Vancouver.

Anything special that you want guests to know about the festival?

We worked with our pals Backcountry Brewing and Counterpart Coffee on our official collab and it’s tasting GREAT and on shelves now. Guest will enjoy a welcome beer upon entry brewed by Twin Sails Brewing, Prototype Coffee, and Good Night Out Vancouver called Death Blow Barleywine with coffee. (BTW all proceeds from the coat check will directly go to support Good Night Out Vancouver.)

We have a series of eight Tasting Panels running all afternoon on two stages at the Croatian. For example, Aaron from Cascadian Beer Podcast is hosting a panel with Wild Ambition Brewing, Temporal Artisan Ales, and Île Sauvage Brewing, called “FUNK YEAH!” and Vancouver Coffee Snob is hosting “Into the Wild: Experience New Flavours in Coffee Beer” with 2 Crows Brewing from Halifax.

Aaron from Cascadian Beer Podcast (far left) is back hosting a series of Tasting Panels

Let’s talk about the food options!

Guest will have a selection of tasty eats from DownLow Chicken Shack, Cartems Donuts, and Fat Duck Mobile Eatery available for purchase. Don’t miss out on a special event day collaboration – DownLow Chicken Shack and Prototype Coffee are serving up coffee-rubbed ribs!

DownLow Chicken Shack Ribs


Hopwired tickets are reportedly 95% sold at this time so don’t delay in getting yours! Tickets are normally $70 plus tax/fees but use our Promo Code BCALETRAIL for $10 off! Tickets are all-inclusive of beer, served at 4oz per serving, coffee, and Tasting Panels. No tokens required. Tickets.



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