What makes a great weekend away? There are many answers, but one of the best I've experienced had 3 major components. Mountains, Music, and Most Importantly: Beer!
The Whistler Village Beer Festival featured all 3, and more! Situated in the Olympic Plaza in the gorgeous Whistler Village, this outdoor ode to ales and lagers was an amazing time, and one which I cannot recommend enough to anyone in the future! Even though the weather was spotty at times, the outdoor nature of the festival, coupled with the picturesque views of the mountains climbing their way towards the clouds, made for an unparalleled experience for imbibing your favourite brews. Throw in some great live musicians and some intensely knowledgeable staff, vendors, and volunteers, and you have one of the best Beer Festival experiences available in BC.
While the events of the Whistler Village Beer Festival were spaced out over 5 days, the Main Festival took place on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Over 60 breweries were in attendance, so no matter your preference of style, there was plenty of choice for the festival-goer. There was even a section solely dedicated to Cider! Also available were several food options (a sorely overlooked necessity at many festivals I have attended). Despite the great numbers of people, you never had to wait too long for a beer at all! The live entertainment had the crowd dancing and singing along and it felt like a great big party! Because it was!
One of the biggest draws for WVBF for the breweries is the competition to win Draught Contracts with some of Whistler's biggest pubs and restaurants. This is an amazing prize for any brewery, especially those looking to make their mark. Huge congratulations to the following breweries!
First place and the biggest surprise of the festival was Coast Mountain Brewing, one of BC's newest Breweries! Located just outside of Whistler's Village in Function Junction, these guys are breaking into the beer scene in a big way up on the mountain! I tried some of their beer at the festival and can say they definitely set the bar high for themselves in a big way!
Second Place went to Okanagan Springs Brewing, This was a surprise to me, and I'm sure many other people when they heard the news. There is something to be said though, about the broad appeal of their beers and the popularity of the brand they carry. I have enjoyed OK Springs beers on many occasions and will again on many more in the future.
Third Place went to some of the best brewers in BC right now: Fuggles and Warlock. I have to admit a small bias here, I. Love. Fuggles and Warlock. I have yet to try a beer they do that I don't like, and I consider them to be the best brewery in BC at the moment.
The Whistler Village Beer Festival's tagline is, “For the Love of Beer.” From the moment I set foot on the grounds to the moment I left, I was feeling the love that the organizers had for their festival. This was obviously a passion project for those involved and I cannot wait to see how the festival evolves in the future. So prepare yourself for next September, load up the car, and take a weekend away in the mountains. For the Love of Beer.
The Promo Video for WVBF