The Best Brews in the Sea to Sky
Craft beer has made its way up the Sea to Sky Corridor and it means business. With new breweries popping up what seems every time you turn around, it has made for an adult tasting playground. We’ve picked our favourite craft beers in no particular order from the Sea to Sky area.
AFrame, Squamish BC
One of the newer kids on the block AFrame opened their doors for business in December 2016. They are all about the cabin life style hence the name Aframe after the A Frame cabin style. Their tasting room has a bare bone simplicity blending of a rustic family cabin with industrial finishing’s like their funky shou sugi ban (charred wood) branded accent wall. With toys for both the adults (giant Jenga), and kids (a hand crafted wood scenery play table). AFrame has nailed all of the demographics of Squamish. The overall simplicity allows you to focus on the beers playful atmosphere and conversation.
Turning into the Squamish hot spot every Tuesday with their Trivia games night and rotating Food Trucks they have figured out how to get those bums in seats in this sleepy town.
As for the beer! They have created an almost open concept with their brewery and tasting room. The smells of each stage of the beer wafts throughout the entire building. It’s that organic familiar smell that brings you closer to the beer you sip in this warm cozy environment.
Their flagship beers or as they call them “Cabin Favourites!”: Okanagan Lake Cream Ale, Sproat Lake Pale Ale, Magic Lake Porter. The brewery also has 4 rotating seasonal beers on tap at all times.
Backcountry, Squamish BC
The newest brewery in the Sea to Sky Corridor goes to Backcountry. This young brewery has a social media presence that oozes cool. The tasting room and restaurant space are made to feel like an old school family cabin. With taxidermy animal heads on the wall, classic cottage paintings, retro light shades and the icing on the cake? A “family picture wall” of all the owners elementary school portraits. The Bathrooms have a customized mini cabin built around them (indoors), with cedar shake siding and all. If you really feel like nerding out on beer you can head down the back hallway where they have a glass wall where you can observe the brewing process.
Keeping up with some friendly competition from their neighbours AFrame, Backcountry also does a weekly Bingo Movie Night. This is a tamer evening where they drop down their projector screen, picking cult classics. It’s a great way to spend the night out with your friends for a few beers… because who wants to talk to your friends.
Backcountry has won over the hearts of the locals which can be solidified with the annual Chief Reader’s Choice awards taking home best: Local Instagram, Beer & Micro Brewery. They also came in 1st at the BC Craft Beer Awards for their “Suck it Trebek” Pale Ale and 3rd in Canada for Trailbreaker Pale Ale (which is my own personal favourite).
Always on tap Flagship Beers are: Dead of Night Galaxy Hopped IPA, Trailbreaker Pale Ale, Widowmaker IPA, Ridgerunner Pilser, Suck it Trebek Pale Ale.
This brewery knows how important the growing industry of craft beer is, you will always find 3 rotating guest taps along with a selection of wine for the faint of hearts.
The brewery also has house made pizza which is definitely a must. With names like Wake n Bacon, Forager and Smokeause you know your mouth is in for a treat!
Coast Mountain Brewing, Function Junction
It was the summer of 2016, Craft Beer was about to explode across the Sea to Sky Corridor but Coast Mountain Brewery was 6 months ahead of the game. Coast Mountain Brewing is located in the Function Junction shop district. Surrounded by small local businesses the establishment was instantly accepted as the spot to hit up at the end of the day. 15 minutes away from the Whistler Village it is the perfect sanctuary for all locals alike.
The tasting room is simple filled with soft coloured woods, large picnic style seating and a bench that views right into the brewery itself. With an indoor capacity of approximately 30 people it makes for an intimate setting. In the winter this place fills up fast unless you are brave enough to sit on the outdoor patio. With local artists being showcased monthly on the walls it adds to their already obvious community culture.
While a smaller brewery they still maintain 8 taps with their 4 staple brews: Field Guide Ale, The Surveyor IPA, Treeline Lager, Forecaster and West Coast Pale Ale.
Since the company started canning a year ago, you can now find their beers throughout BC liquor stores.
Howesound Brewing, Squamish BC
This iconic Squamish Brewery started in the 1980’s and has turned into a very big deal. Howesound beers can be found in BC and Ontario liquor stores and is considered one of the pioneers for craft beer for the Sea to Sky Corridor. Howesound Brewery is now a big tourism point for the Downtown Squamish area. They have one of the best patios and are always on the nose for hosting live music along with special events for locals at no cost. The brewery itself is tucked upstairs away out of the public’s view.
The brewery’s restaurant holds a true west coast architecture feel. With high ceilings and big wooden beams, it’s as though you’ve stepped back in time to Squamish's roots when it was a logging town driven by industry. The stylishly weathered floors and rustic décor with all the local patrons personal beer mugs hung-up behind the bar it is a must see/ experience kind of place.
Whistler Brewing co
Tucked into the industrial area of Function Junction Whistler Brew House has been operating since 1989. With a windowed garaged door, the brewery maximizes the natural light exposure to the soft wooden tables and accent wall behind the bar. Another great example of that west coast vibe with an open concept room. The main bar spans the length of the room it is a great place for either a single to grab a couple beers or larger group to watch the local hockey game.
With Whistler Brewing being a bit of a veteran on the scene they have seven core beers that they produce year round for distribution in Liquor stores across Canada and 10 seasonal beers that are put on yearly rotation.
A unique offering from this group are the daily tours of the brewery provided free of charge along with live music every Friday. With a full kitchen menu that pairs perfectly with beers it is an awesome place to grab lunch or wind down at the end of your day.