Submitted Seattle’s Odin Brewing will be among the breweries taking part in the Vancouver Craft Beer Week, which kicks off Friday.

Benjamin Franklin said beer is proof that God wants us to be happy. And who are we to argue with one of the founding fathers of the United States?

Musician Frank Zappa, a founding father of 60 albums, was equally taken with the stuff: “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline,” he said.

“It helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Canadians love beer too. And if you’ve walked into a specialty beer and wine store lately, you know it’s a great time to be a beer lover: the selection seemingly gets broader every week. (Check out Viti in the Moda hotel downtown or the Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village – both offer exceptional selections.)

Broadening horizons is also a great way to describe the third annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, which gets bigger and better every year.

This year, the festival features beer from more than 60 breweries, 60 venues (Frank Zappa would be happy) and nine days of glorious beer. There are tastings, the ever-popular Hop-Headbanger’s Ball, more tastings, beer-pairing dinners, beerlesque (beer and burlesque), and, yes, plenty more tastings.

Too many breweries and great beers to list, but keep your beer-goggled eyes out for the taps of Seattle’s Odin Brewing Company. The company might be American but it was founded by North Delta’s Dan Lee, a former marketing executive from Miller beer.

All Odin’s beers are named after Norse gods and the brewery just got distribution in Canada this month. They also produce short-run beers and a very popular Bacon Ale, which actually has a chunk of bacon grease stuck to the inside of each bottle. Reportedly, it’s delicious.

Festivities for Craft Beer Week start Friday and run until May 26 at various venues around town. Visit VancouverCraftBeerWeek.com for more information.

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