Whistler Craft Beer: Where to Quench Your Thirst 2022 Updates
The craft beer craze has exploded in British Columbia over the last decade, and while some might overlook the ski town, the true cerevisa-phile knows about the thriving Whistler craft beer scene.
From gourmet restaurants to local hangouts, the whole resort has embraced craft beer, which isn’t surprising as there are two breweries in town.
Here at Forged Axe Throwing, we know the best beer in Whistler. We even went out and inspected all of the local bars so we can advise you on how to have an authentic Whistler craft beer experience.
Whistler Craft Breweries
Beer lovers living in and travelling to Whistler can find some of the most delicious and locally brewed beer in Function Junction. Just turn left at the first set of lights as you enter Whistler and you have two amazing breweries to choose from.
Whistler Brewing Company
The original Whistler beer company, Whistler Brewery, is home to a couple of classics you’ll find as staples in some bars in Whistler and Vancouver.
Some of their year-round core beers include the Mountain Pilsner, Hazy Trail Pale Ale, Black Tusk Ale, and their award-winning Bear Paw Honey Lager, which is exactly that: a lager fermented with 100% BC honey.
When we say craft beer is popular in Whistler, we mean it so much that some use the changing of seasonal beers to establish the changing of actual seasons.
The Chestnut Ale has a blended taste of caramel and chestnuts, letting local beer drinkers know that summer has ended and snow is on its way. On the other end of the season is the refreshing Grapefruit Ale, a summery blonde with a twist.
Coast Mountain Brewery
The new kids on the block of the Whistler craft beer scene, Coast Mountain Brewery has created a cult-like following in town.
Truly embracing craft beer culture by releasing a new beer what seems like almost every month, their constantly changing menu will keep your pallet on the edge of its seat.
Those beers that really take off, like the Hope You’re Happy IPA, a delicious tropical and citrus-flavoured IPA, become staples and are always available.
A recent (and available at the time of writing) beer that has received a lot of attention this year is the piney and resinous Moon Booter IPA that pays homage to the Whistler Bike Park.
Those looking for something a bit simpler will enjoy the Crystal Chair Pilsner. This beer is perfect for a casual pint after a long drive from Vancouver.
One of the best things about Coast is where they are located, right next to us, Forged Axe Throwing—making it easy to keep the party going after throwing a few axes.
Where to Drink Craft Beer in Whistler
Whistler locals can be very picky about where they go to drink. So for anyone travelling to Whistler for the first time, these are our favourite places to wet our whistles.
Forged Axe Throwing
That’s right, we have more than just axes to throw. We also have a fully licensed bar, because there is nothing like sipping on a cold beer while watching your buddy go for a bullseye.
We have sours, lagers, IPAs, and other alcoholic beverages to quench your thirst. One of the best things about coming to drink some brews and huck some axes with us is that we are next to Coast Mountain Brewery, so you can keep the night alive.
Specifically built for the local beer and foodie, Hunter Gather is a famous community watering hole. Its menu is casual, heartwarming, and chock full of locally curated foods—meats from ethical local farms, veggies from Pemberton, and cheeses from Vancouver Island.
Hunter Gather complements their comfort food with a menu of local beer, including a series of Whistler breweries on tap. From the Sunshine Coast to the back streets of Vancouver to Squamish brews and Whistler favourites, there is something for everyone.
Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub
The Dubh Linn is a local favourite because it’s much more than just another Irish pub. The large patio is only steps away from the bottom of Whistler Blackcomb, and their heated patio and large fire pit means it is a favourite year-round.
Not only do they pour a fresh Guinness, but the bar has rotating craft beer on tap and is locally known for their 5pm happy hour and always having a delicious sour on tap. Their menu includes big poutines, hearty burgers, and even tacos. No one goes hungry at the Dubh.
Beacon Eatery and Pub
Centrally located, the Beacon is a great pitstop after a day on the hill. Winter, summer, spring, and fall are all great times to visit. In winter, warm up with a dark ale, and in summer, quench your thirst with a session ale. The Beacon’s patio is a welcoming place to watch the world go by, always made better with a beer.
Their current beer menu, which changes as often as the seasons, covers Parallel 49 (Vancouver), Coast Mountain Brewery, and Driftwood Brewery (one of our favourites). Open from lunch until late at night, they make it easy to come for brunch and stay until the party ends.
El Furniture Warehouse
Are you looking for a dive bar? If so, El Furni’s is going to be your bar of choice. With cheap food, cheap drinks, and an oversized patio, it’s a guaranteed good time. All food here is under $10, so you have more money for the finer things, like a Shocktop Belgian Wheat Ale or their Stanley Park Brewing rotator.
El Furni’s is very popular, so you might have to wait before you are seated as it is a first come, first served setting.
The Brew House
You can’t get more local than the Brew House, with five Whistler craft beers brewed right on-site. From their Lifty Lager to the Grizzly Brown Ale, throughout their time in Whistler, they’ve honed their craft and know what beers work in Whistler.
The Brew House also knows what the masses want to eat, including barbeque, pizza, and other pub-style Canadian classics.
Stinky’s On The Stroll
If you want local, it doesn’t get much more so than Stinky’s. It’s a unique sports bar featuring local beers, casual dining, sports on TV, and music memorabilia. You can enjoy a brew on their fantastic patio, overlooking the stroll and out toward the Olympic Rings
The Stinky’s lager is the basic on-tap larger, while they also have domestic and imported bottled beer. But the real pull here is the Pemberton Brewing Pikey’s Porter. They also have a tremendous array of tater tots, the perfect snack.
Pizza Antico has an awe-inspiring rotating lineup of local draughts, from right here in town and across this beer-obsessed province. Perfect for beer lovers, they often pair many of our favourite beers with authentic Italian pizza. Who would have thought that beer and pizza paired so well?
Wait… we would have thought that.
With a more intimate date night vibe than the Brew House, Pizza Antico is our recommendation when reserving a table for two.
Where To Buy Craft Beer in Whistler
The local liquor stores can be pretty confusing for those new to BC. Although you will see BC liquor stores in most places, they are government-sanctioned stores.
They cater to the masses with comparatively more minor beer selections than their private counterparts. The one in Whistler stocks a few local brands but not a lot.
The private liquor stores in Whistler are usually smaller than the government ones, but they specialise. Here are some of our top choices based on beer selection:
Blackcomb Liquor Store
If anyone has honed in on the local and carefully crafted liquor niche, it’s Blackcomb Liquor Store.
Is it fermented, distilled, or brewed within the province? If so, they are sure to know about it. They have 300 beers and 400 wines to choose from.
If you are new to the BC craft booze scene, don’t hesitate to get assistance. Ask one of their friendly staff members for their top favourites, and you’ll likely be introduced to something deliciously new.
Nesters Liquor Store
Do a little grocery shopping, craft beer shopping, or stay home because Nester’s delivers!
One advantage to the Nesters Liquor store is that they proudly list all their products online. Beer, wine, and more – you can check in advance if they have what you are thirsting after.
Their local craft beer selection is well-curated, with Coast Mountain Brewing, Steamworks, Fuggles and Warlock, Howe Sound, Moody Ales, and more.
Whistler Liquor Store
The newest bottle shop in Whistler, the Whistler Liquor Store, is located north of the village and embraces Whistler craft beer.
Their large walk-in cold room is stocked to the roof with beer, from easy-drinking lagers to random, out-of-this-world craft beers that you didn’t know you wanted to try.
The store is next to the Whistler Independent Grocer, so it is your one-stop shop for snacks and booze.
Don’t Forget About the Whistler Beer Festival 2023!
*Stay Tuned for Updates on Whistler Craft Beer Festival 2023. Below are some highlights from 2022.
The Whistler Beer Festival takes the local selection to entirely new heights. We were invited to attend again with our Mobile Axe Throwing Trailer, which was awesome.
The Whistler Beer Festival got underway with beautiful sunny skies, and the axes were hitting the bullseyes.
Throwing axes and sampling the dozens of beers from around the province is a perfect pairing, so much so that we held Axes and Ales the week before the festival.
In 2022, the Whistler Beer Festival was six days covering all things hopped, live music, live events, and the main event held in the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
One of the best parts is that all participants get to vote for their favourite pints in one of the many categories, including Best in Fest. In 2022, the top prize went to local legend Coast Mountain Brewing.
Did You Say Brewery Tour?
If you want to make a day out of your beer-drinking and bar hop all over the valley, why not go on a Sea-to-Sky brewery tour?
Whistler Valley Tours options offer several choices and are top-rated on Tripadvisor. They can shuttle up to 12 people on one tour, and clients can choose one of their three Sea-to-Sky tour options.
They will even build a customised tour of your creation. The three public guided tours they offer for the Sea to Sky region include Whistler, Squamish, and Pemberton.
You can easily book online to reserve space ahead of time, then all you have to do is get ready for an excellent day of Whistler craft beer adventures.
Whistler, an Underground Craft Beer Mecca
We bet that when you started reading about Whistler craft beers and what bars have the best selection, you didn’t think there would be so much to choose from.
Rightly so, as this small ski town doesn’t scream microbrewery, but once you dive in, you will be surprised by all that Whistler offers.