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Celebrate vinyl music and frothy beer this month in New West

Spend an evening browsing records, and clinking beer mugs, at Steel & Oak's annual Analog Vinyl Fair in New Westminster.
Either make a list, or be open to be surprised with what records you find at the seventh edition of Vinyl Fair by Steel & Oak Brewery.

Getting too used to having YouTube and Spotify suggest what you need to listen to next? It’s time to give those apps a break and play music on something more tangible.

Go old school for a difference and head to Steel & Oak Brewery’s seventh edition of Analog Vinyl Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19. To be held at the food court of the River Market building, you can browse through stacks of vinyl records while nursing a chilled beer from Steel & Oak. 

The fair was introduced by the brewery first in 2016, and the fact that it has continued for seven years now is proof that people in New West, and beyond, still like digging into deep crates of hard-to-find rock, psych, funk, soul and jazz LPs from around the world.

Vinyl records, which were sidelined by CDs, MP3 players and streaming platforms, became cool again in 2020, as per Readers Digest — which means you can be on TikTok and BeReal. and still listen to Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees on LP.

“We’re excited to bring this event back for the New West and broader music and vinyl communities. Music played a big role in helping folks get through the pandemic, so it’ll be all the more special to gather around that shared love of that unexpected find deep in a crate,” said Melinda Michael of Steel & Oak Brewing Co. 

“With the event being hosted at River Market and by us — a brewery, it’s a fantastic vibe even for folks who don’t collect vinyl. Anyone can come to hang with friends, hear some great music and enjoy some tasty food and beer.”

The venue will also include a ton of food options (vendors include Longtail Kitchen, Pamola Bakery, Tre Galli Gelato Cafe, Reup BBQ, Butterica, Ninja Bubble Tea, Great Wall Tea, and Paddlewheeler Pub) to choose from — after all, it’s happening in a food court, isn’t it? But also, know that if you make it to the event, you would be among the first to taste Steel & Oak’s 2022 version of First Press Cold Brew Coffee Stout.

“Analog has been a great way to kick off stout season for us, and we’re excited to bring back First Press for people to enjoy,” said Jorden Foss, co-owner of the brewery. The event will see 18 vinyl vendors from all over Metro Vancouver, he added. 

While meeting with record collectors and beer enthusiasts might already sound like a party for some, for others, DJs Ana Rivera and Gurtej of Vancouver-based online station B-Side Radio will play vinyl sets of folk, percussion, hip-hop, disco, and Bollywood to kick off your Saturday night on a high note. 

Though the event is on from 5 to 9 p.m., those who don’t want the night to end that soon, can continue the party at the Old Crow Cafe on Front Street till midnight — to a mix of world, downtempo and electronic records by local DJs Machinale of Social Medium (Neal Michael) and Worst Kept Secrets (Devon Cody). 

Analog Vinyl Fair will be held at the River Market (810 Quayside Drive) from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.

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