Three Whistler and Squamish breweries

Visits to the tap rooms of Coast Mountain Brewing, Whistler Brewing Co and Howe Sound Brewing.

Forever will I thank the one who thought to serve beer as a 'flight'. The option to taste and enjoy without loosing the ability to assess is awesome for a light-weight like me, who loves options and hates to to be limited to a single choice. "Bring Them All!", I say, as I settle at the tasting table.

Kegerator says "The history of beer flighting is obscured in the past and understandably vague" and they mention that "flight, meaning a sampling of a certain food or drink, doesn’t seem to be in use before the late 1970’s." As a possible word origin, they suggest "a series, resembling a flight of stairs" as beer flights are often presented in a tonal progression, or a 'flight of birds' that take to the air together - very appropriate, I thought, for beer tasting. Merriam Webster notes the specific meaning as "a selection of alcoholic drinks (such as wines, beers, or whiskeys) for tasting as a group".

There are a number of well-known breweries in Whistler, BC, and we visited three of them. Also check out BC Ale Trail

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Coast Mountain Brewing

I really like Coast Mountain's use of symbols on the tray - which are also present on the board with all the beer choices - to identify what you're sampling. They have a very cozy sampling room with some stools at the bar and a long table in the middle. Since I'm a sucker for beer glasses I bought one of their beautiful long-stemmed ones.

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Here are the Coast Mountain beers we tasted, from left to right:

Hope you're happy IPA - very light ever so slightly bitter, easy on the palate but not enough oomph for my taste, almost a lager.

Surveyor IPA - more pale than ale. Nice crumbly after taste and not a bad IPA.

Feel reel west coast DIPA- NOW we're talking! Warm nutty and like a whole wheat flax seed pear sandwich and a bit of sweet aftertaste. Really liked this one.

Another great one, the German-style Doppelbock (ABV 8%, 22 IBU) - Apple cinnamon and alcoholic fume finish. Sadly looks like it is only available on tap, so may have to visit the brewery again!

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Whistler Brewing Co

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Whistler brewing's Dunkel has long been a favourite and we also like the "Black Tusk" as a very solid stout. This was a chance to branch out, visit their tap room and try some of the others.

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Function junction north west pale ale - NW pale ales are not favourite, so I wasn't too surprised to find this one treading too carefully on the taste buds. Like a strawberry strip chewing gum, flavourful first burst but then dies too young.

Hazy Trail Pale Ale - very earthy and lands in grapefruit , chives and caramelized onions , grass just turning into hay, enjoyable!

Variable Conditions Hazy IPA - honey sweet sweet pineapple IPA for those of us that like to drink their candy - absolutely love it. I'm wondering if this is a tasting room only selection as I can't sales information. Comes in with a smooth landing at 6.5% and 40 IBU.

I obviously was enjoying the beer very much, because my next notes say "Mystery North West Coast IPA - red licorice and cough lozenges " - and there seems to be no such beer at Whistler Brewing. Anyway.... Moving on :)

Howe Sound Brewing

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And yes, that is me, trying to duck out of the picture :)

We love the Howe Sound brew pub in Squamish, the food is awesome with sufficient variants on the Fries theme, and we are great fans of their Ultra-Destroyer and Pothole Filler Stouts.

Opposite the cozy fire place is a long bar, and a large off-sales section to bring home some more of your favourites. I tried their home delivery to Vancouver recently and for $10 flat fee; avoided humans, weather and traffic. It was a particularly cozy snowy day when we visited, on December 9th. I enjoyed creating a narrative for our wonderful next-door-table, where the common element seemed to be Quebecois and which over the course of our meal gained triple the chairs you'd expect for an 8-person seating area, to the concern of the staff.

Here are the beers sampled that day:

Hazy Daze NE IPA - mashed potato carb mouth feel goodness, waiting for the turkey and cranberry sauce. Not as bitter as I like my hazy (IBU 20) but pleasant.

Viking Funeral Kveik IPA- smoke from the alderbranches thrown upon the funeral pyre but after exploding juniper berries add to the wafting fume while at the same time the added tang of the metal tankard reforged from the swords of the fallen adds the hint of steel. As in AWESEOME but seemingly also tap room only.

On the other hand, Cherry Robust Porter as expected, is another beer that suffers from identity crisis that believes it is a Black Forest cake served on little plates with little forks and doilies In a small Bavarian town.

Sky pilot NW Pale Ale - entry level exam into flying and has nothing on the sea faring Vikings. Too middle of the road for me.

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