Beerlesque IV: Another Outlandish Evening

We can just come right out and say it: Beerlesque IV was a huge success! The night was everything it said it would be and more – more ladies, more beer and more fun than I could have ever expected.

It was a very enthusiastic crowd at Beerlesque IV, which sold out. Plenty of people arrived dressed to the nines. Photo by Tatiana Balashova (Roundhouse Documentation Team – RHDT).

It was a very enthusiastic crowd at Beerlesque IV, which sold out. Plenty of people arrived dressed to the nines. Photo by Tatiana Balashova (Roundhouse Documentation Team – RHDT).

It is a simple formula: take finely made beer in adorable mini pilsner glasses, combine with Vancouver’s best burlesque dancers, sprinkle in some drag and circus performances, and anchor with genre-defying carnival music. What you get is a successful fundraiser that intrigues most any Vancouverite.

Although I grew up in the Lower Mainland, I moved away for university and have only recently returned to Vancouver. This means I missed out on both the burlesque and craft beer phenomenons that the city has recently become obsessed with. Not wanting to be left too far behind, I attended the Roundhouse’s Beerlesque IV as a way to become familiar with the tastiest and naughtiest that the west coast has to offer.

Blackberry Wood pulls out all the stops. Photo by Tatiana Balashova (RHDT).

Blackberry Wood pulls out all the stops. Photo by Tatiana Balashova (RHDT).

The night started out calmly enough. The music of Blackberry Wood filled the Roundhouse, encouraging you to feel the mood well before entering the Exhibit Hall. When my friend and I stepped in to the Hall, we had difficulty deciding where to start. Tables lined the room with two breweries per table; there were 24 breweries total, each with at least two beers to sample.

Parallel 49′s Schedenfreude pumpkin beer and Filthy Dirty IPA on display. Photo by Laura Cojocaru (RHDT).

Parallel 49′s Schedenfreude pumpkin beer and Filthy Dirty IPA on display. Photo by Laura Cojocaru (RHDT).

With the mainstream fixation on pumpkin-spice everything, it is no surprise that pumpkin beers from microbreweries have increased in consumption and production. I was excited to taste the pumpkin beers that I knew would be in abundance at Beerlesque. After trying a few, I can decidedly say that I achieved my goal of finding a new favourite – Parallel 49‘s light and crisp Schadenfreude.

Nicky Ninedoors and her feather fans, a burlesque favourite. Photo by Carm Kwan (RHDT).

Nicky Ninedoors and her feather fans, a burlesque favourite. Photo by Carm Kwan (RHDT).

Before this evening I had seen very few burlesque performances, and none quite like the women at Beerlesque. Not only were these performances entertaining and skillful, but they were truly non-traditional takes on the classic art form. The first burlesque performer of the night, April O’Peel, didn’t even take her clothes off, and instead did a hysterically naughty, fully-clothed mime act. She still was able to leave as much to the imagination as the following performer, Nicky Ninedoors, who arrived naked and masterfully seduced us with large, pink feather fans.

Ready to try what Bomber Brewing has on tap. Photo by Ergun Calisgan (RHDT),

Ready to try what Bomber Brewing has on tap. Photo by Ergun Calisgan (RHDT),

Thank you to the Roundhouse’s partner, Vancouver Craft Beer Week, and the event’s sponsors, the Westender, Provence Marinaside, and Divine Vines. Also thanks to the many people and businesses who supported the evening, including the fantastic volunteers, the provocative performers, the raffle prize providers, and of course, the amazing breweries: Parallel 49, Bomber, Driftwood, Russell, Longwood, Fernie, Deep Cove, Bravo Beer – Urthel and La Trappe, R & B, Spinnakers, Steamworks, Moon Under Water, Red Truck, Steel & Oak, Central City, Storm, Dageraad, Modern Malt – Odin, Four Winds, Yaletown, Copper & Theory – Ninkasi, Bridge, Hoyne and Phillips.

Confidence is not a problem at Beerlesque. Photo by Ergun Calisgan (RHDT).

Confidence is not a problem at Beerlesque. Photo by Ergun Calisgan (RHDT).

All proceeds from this event went to the Roundhouse to support public programming. If you missed out on Beerlesque IV, be sure to check out Vancouver Craft Beer Week next spring, and Beerlesque V next fall. Two events I can now personally confirm should not to be missed!

Twirling hoops at Beerlesque. Photo by Riz Herbosa de Guzman (RHDT).

Twirling hoops at Beerlesque. Photo by Riz Herbosa de Guzman (RHDT).

A ravishing rose costume. Photo by Riz Herbosa de Guzman (RHDT).

A ravishing rose costume. Photo by Riz Herbosa de Guzman (RHDT).


By Odette Wilson, Roundhouse blogger. Odette is an aspiring communications professional with experience in blogging, social media, and public relations. She is Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw, and is interested in supporting Indigenous artists through community development and engagement. She is passionate about health, including fitness, nutrition and traditional healing, and enjoys combining the arts with wellness to truly nurture her soul. Follow Odette on Twitter @odettemwilson.
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