The first sojourn we'd like to share with you, dear readers, is a jaunt up the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia, Canada.
Originally, the plan was to overnight backpack at Lake Garibaldi and spend our second night at a hotel in Whistler Village. Then came the rain. Luckily, we were able to change our plans around last minute, adding a night in Squamish—and another brewery—to our trip. B.C. is home to some great breweries and a wealth of hiking; definitely worth a trip across the border to visit our Northern Neighbors.
We ended up at Howe Sound Brewery for the evening based on a tip from Thirsty Writer Joe Wiebe. His book, Craft Beer Revolution is “the insider's guide to B.C. breweries” and was a great resource for us on our trip.
Across the channel from the looming Stawamus Chief, Howe Sound Brewery is located in the city of Squamish—the point at which sea truly meets sky as the ascent into the mountains begins. My favorite part about Howe Sound: it's also a hotel. Perhaps one of the most joyful parts of the evening was finishing up our pints, and just walking up stairs to head to bed. Howe Sound has a great tap list as well as delicious oven fired pizza. The Baldwin Cooper Best Bitter paired perfectly with pizza and drizzly weather, and we ended the night with Rail Ale Nut Brown and open-mic in the tap house.
Howe Sound Brewery takes pride in its continuing relationship with John Mitchell, “the grandfather of micro brewing in Canada.” Mitchell was instrumental in the development of Howe Sound's original beer recipes. The beers may have changed slightly over the years—with the exception of the Baldwin Cooper Best Bitter—but the quality of flavor is still there. Plus, waking up to a view of the Chief is an amazing experience.
From Squamish, we headed north to Whistler. Our first stop was Whistler Brewing Company, located in Function Junction about ten minutes south of Whistler Village. Check out Part 2 of our BC Beer Sojourn, featuring the Train Wreck hike and beers at the bottom at Whistler Brewing Company.
The third and final brewery in our Sea To Sky Highway Sojourn is the BrewHouse in Whistler Village. This brewery has prime location, right outside the illuminated Olympics rings and open green of the medals plaza. As part of the Mark James Group, the BrewHouse has a great industrial-chic taproom, complete with big glass windows peering into the brewing floor. Circumnavigating the restaurant on a suspended track system is a model train, complete with cargo-car advertisements. There are five beers, plus one seasonal on tap, and the BrewHouse has a quirky sign illuminated with green (plenty!) yellow (going fast) and red (nearly out) lights, allowing patrons to gauge which beers are crowd pleasers. The Grizzly Brown is a smooth and delicious way to end a day on the slopes or in the hills before exploring Whistler Village for the evening.