The Best Places to Grab a Craft Beer in Whistler
You’ve heard about the world-class skiing and snowboarding that Whistler has to offer, along with the epic adventures like bungee jumping or zip-lining. The amazing restaurants and all the delicious affordable eats. But did you know alongside the adventure and the food, the Whistler brewery scene is booming?
Whistler has three breweries nestled into this picturesque mountain town, along with dozens of pubs, bars and restaurants serving a respectable selection of brews from both near and far. You won’t be at loss to find a place to grab a refreshing cold beverage in Whistler. If you’re a craft beer aficionado be sure to check out Whistler’s three local breweries and jump onto a Whistler brewery tour for the complete experience.
Craft Breweries in Whistler
There isn’t just one Whistler brewery, this town is home to three craft breweries – each with its own unique tastes and vibe. From the mountain-town vibes of the BrewHouse just off the Village Stroll to the laid back, artsy, industrial feel of Function Junction (home to Whistler Brewing Company and Coast Mountain Brewing) there are a number of options to explore. Take a day and go for a drive to explore every thing that Whistler’s breweries have to offer.
- The High Mountain Brewing Company (The BrewHouse)
The BrewHouse is located in the Olympic Plaza of Whistler Village – just behind the Olympic Rings (from when Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics – a great photo opportunity!) It’s an easy walk from the base of the ski hill to the BrewHouse, and it is a popular spot to hang out after a day of skiing in the winter or mountain biking in the summer.
It’s a big welcoming space divided into separate restaurant, brewpub and mezzanine. You’ll find a great, varied menu and a solid beer list, including the award-winning 5 Rings IPA, which was named BC’s Beer of the Year in 2012.
- Whistler Brewing Company
First established in 1989, this is Whistler’s oldest brewery and an originator in the craft brewing scene in British Columbia. The brewery is now located in the Function Junction neighbourhood of Whistler, which offers a different and unique vibe to the rest of Whistler – with its funky art scene and industrial setting.
Whistler Brewing Company’s dark, English-style Black Tusk Ale (named for the stratovolcano visible from Whistler Blackcomb) earned a gold medal in both 2017 and 2018 at the World Beer Awards, so it’s definitely worth a try. Taphouse tours are offered at 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday as well as at 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm Friday through Sunday for $15.95 and includes a fully guided tour as well as a taster flight.
- Coast Mountain Brewing
Coast Mountain Brewing is a relative newcomer to the craft beer scene, opening in 2016. However, it has quickly become a favourite for both locals and travellers alike. Located in Function Junction, this small community-focused craft brewery has a cosy west-coast vibe with fantastic beer. The tasting room is small and friendly- be prepared to rub elbows (and maybe even knees!) with your neighbours. By the time you finish your delicious Big Air pils, you will feel like part of the family.
Top 5 Places to Grab a Craft Beer in Whistler
In addition to Whistler’s breweries, there are a number of other great places to enjoy craft beers from Whistler and beyond. After a day of enjoying the stunning coast mountains hiking, whitewater rafting or other Whistler-inspired adventure, some great places to relax with a delicious craft beer after your busy day are:
- Dubh Linn Gate
Serving up traditional Irish fare and music alongside delicious craft beer, this is another popular post-ski stop at the base of the Whistler Village Gondola. Featured local British Columbia brews from Red Truck Brewery, Phillips Brewery, Coast Brewery, Whistler Brewery, Driftwood Brewery, Okanagan Spring Brewery, Off the Rail Brewery and Steamworks Brewery.
- The Fitz
A local’s haunt tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Whistler Village, the Fitz Pub at the Blackcomb base in the Upper Village calls itself “Whistler’s cosiest pub” and it won’t take you long to see why. With its sink-right-in couches and welcoming wooden bar, you’ll feel right at home while sampling their rotating list of craft beers. With eight taps and a host of bottled beers, as well as a reputation for having the best whiskey and bourbon selection in all of Whistler, the Fitz isn’t a favourite local watering hole without reason.
- Brickworks Public House
A sleek and modern gastropub featuring a respectable selection of craft beers. Established in 2014, Brickworks is quickly gaining traction for its delicious food and friendly atmosphere. Definitely worth venture off the Village Stroll to check out and with their kitchen open until midnight every day, you will be sure to have enough time to fit in a beer and burger at Brickworks!
- Hunter Gather
An eatery and taphouse featuring freshly-made food sourced from local ingredients and of course: beer. Check out their frequently updated online beer list to see what’s on tap and what’s on deck! Their taps feature beers from local breweries like Coast Mountain Brewing, to places farther a afoot in British Columbia – like the Sunshine Coast’s Persephone Brewing, or Vancouver Island’s Townsite Brewing
- Forged Axe Throwing
Just North of Whistler, in the very local neighbourhood called Function Junction hides some hidden gems including Forged! Along with hurling sharp axes at wooden targets they also have lots of craft beer available including Parkside Brewing, Backcountry Brewing, Coast Mountain, Whistler Brewing, and more.
Traveling Further Abroad For Craft Beer
While Whistler has a booming craft-beer scene, it doesn’t exist in isolation. Unique craft breweries are speckled up and down the Sea-to-Sky corridor w, making for a scenic beer-tasting road trip! Some of our favourites outside of Whistler include:
- Backcountry Brewing: About 45-minutes south of Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky highway is the unassuming town of Squamish. Since opening in April 2017 Backcountry Brewing has found its place in British Columbia’s craft beer scene winning “Rookie of the year” and “Best Social Media” at the BC Beer awards along with a first place for the Trailbreaker Pale Ale and second place for the Widowmaker IPA and Ridgerunner Pilsner. The Trailbreaker Pale Ale also took a Bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards! Their house-made pizzas are also worth sampling!
- A-Frame Brewing: Also located in beautiful Squamish, south of Whistler, this small, family-friendly brewery makes you feel like you’re out for a weekend at the cabin – that is, if your cabin is stocked with top-notch beers! Food trucks are seasonally on site and outside food is welcome! You can pretty much sum up A-Frame as good people, good beer, and good times!
- Pemberton Brewing Company: Just a 20-minute drive north of Whistler is the stunning mountain village of Pemberton. Pemberton Brewing Company is another newcomer to the craft beer scene, established in 2018, but is quickly becoming a local favourite. Check it out to see what the buzz is all about for yourself.
Don’t Forget About Local Cider and Spirits!
Alongside craft beer, there is a booming cider scene in the Sea-to-Sky corridor with several cideries popping up. Alongside A-Frame and Backcountry Brewing, Squamish is home to several cideries. Northyards Cider Co., Cliffside Cider and Geo Cider Co are three places to enjoy a crisp cider after a day of mountain biking, rock climbing or hiking in Squamish.
If you head back north to Pemberton, along with the Pemberton Brewing Company is the Pemberton Distillery. The broad, lush Pemberton Valley is flanked by the stunning mountains of the coast range and is famous in the potato industry for its seed potatoes.
The area is actually so famous for its potatoes that some call it “Spud Valley.” Since 2009, the Pemberton Distillery has produced its own label of vodka, gin, whiskey and brandy. And of course, the Pemberton Distillery uses the famous Pemberton potatoes to make some of its fine spirits!
While Whistler may be known for its adrenaline-rush inducing activities and epic adventures, we all know you can’t adventure all day every day! Luckily, there is a strong craft beer scene in the Sea-to-Sky corridor from when it is time to kick back, relax and hit up a Whistler Brewery with friends.
From established breweries to up-and-coming new kids on the craft-beer blocks, there are dozens of options to choose from. Enjoy a carefully crafted brew at one of Whistler’s breweries, enjoy a brewery tour or just sit down to dinner with a beer and friends, you’ll find something to suit your taste and your mood.