The Ultimate Guide on Breweries from Whistler to Pemberton (2022 Update)
Many characteristics make the Sea to Sky region famous. The breathtaking mountain ranges, adventure sports, and endless exploring are but a few.
But did you know that the Sea to Sky area is beer-lovers heaven, too? From Squamish to Pemberton, there are eight breweries in total. Each one is just as unique as the next, with some of the best beer brewed in British Columbia.
Know Before you Go
If you are visiting British Columbia for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind before you hit the breweries:
- BC Requires 2 Pieces of ID. The first needs to be a government-issued photo ID such as a passport or driver’s licence. The second can be a credit card or other signed identification.
- Can You Bring the Kids? While most breweries welcome children, they must be in the company of their adult guardian. Some breweries are better set up than others, including A-Frame, which has an excellent play table built just for kids!
- All-Season Brewery Tours: We live in the Pacific Northwest! Bring the appropriate clothing to suit the weather. It’ll probably rain.
- Forged is Fully Licensed! Celebrate that epic bullseye and every win (or near-win) with a selection of local brews after your session!
Whistler Valley Tours
We highly recommend putting together a one-day or multi-day mini-vacation, explicitly catering to all brews our region has to offer.
To make it easy, why not check out the Whistler Valley Tours options for the coastal mountain area?
Offering several choices, Whistler Valley Tours are top rated on Tripadvisor. Seriously, at the time of writing, they had 177 five-star reviews.
They can shuttle up to 12 people on one tour, and clients can choose one of their three Sea-to-Sky tour options.
Are you looking for something special? They will even build a customised tour of your creation.
Here are the three public guided tours they offer for the Sea to Sky region. It’s easy to book online to reserve space ahead of time.
Whistler Brewery Tour
Hitting all Whistler’s breweries includes High Country Brewing, Whistler Brewing, and Coast Mountain Brewing. Like all their tours, the service is exceptional. When in Whistler, they offer pick-up and drop-off at any hotel.
The Whistler Brewery Tour operates from 5 – 9 pm and costs $299 for the shuttle van, including pick-up and drop-off, and around 45 minutes at each brewery. Drink and food are not included.
The Whistler Brewery Tour is an easy way to sample the best brews Whistler has to offer, without the hassle of organising any taxis.
Squamish Brewery Bus
The exploding beer scene in Squamish is becoming the perfect day trip from Whistler to explore great tasting brews.
The Squamish Brewery Bus offers stops at the three breweries in the area, including A-Frame Brewing, Howe Sound Brew Pub, and Backcountry Brewing.
The tour departs from Whistler at 5 pm and makes its way back from Squamish at 10 pm. There is room for up to 12 guests, making it perfect for a group day trip activity.
To hire out the bus, you will be looking at $499, including the round trip from Whistler to Squamish. Food and drinks are not included.
Pemberton Brewery Bus
Tucked away in the mountains north of Whistler, Pemberton has a hidden craft beer scene that will blow you away.
The Pemberton Brewery Bus will take you and your party to the two breweries in the area, Pemberton Brewing and The Beer Farmers.
These breweries are located just outside of the sleepy town of Pemberton, so it makes sense to take a bus, so you don’t have to worry about driving.
Departing Whistler at 5 pm and giving your party 45 minutes at each brewery, you can expect to be leaving Pemberton around 9 pm.
The Pemberton Brewery Bus has room for up to 12 guests, and the cost is $399 for the bus. Drinks and food are not included.
Ultimate Guide to Every Sea to Sky Brewery
For those preferring to explore the area’s breweries on their own schedule, we’ve put together Forged Axe Throwing’s Ultimate Guide to the Sea to Sky Breweries, with beer recommendations included!
Be sure to make a pit stop the next time you are in Whistler or Squamish to taste what new libations are brewing.
Squamish Area Breweries
You’ll notice by the names of the beers that you have entered the outdoor adventure capital of Canada.
What other community would name beers after the peaks of local mountains, backcountry cabins, and mountain trails?
The beer scene has exploded since 2017 with two additional breweries. So take an afternoon off from the hustle of Whistler and taste what the Howe Sound has to offer.
38927 Queens Way #1
Small but mighty! This family-run brewery opened up in 2017 with a limited but perfected lineup of classic, sessionable beers.
Each brew is inspired by a little A-Frame hut in our local backcountry. The brew staff love to leave little surprises for people all around our area, so keep your eyes peeled next time you go for a hike.
Although this brewery doesn’t serve food, it does have snacks and is one of the best places to bring children with its creative play space.
Don’t forget to stop by when they have a food truck on-site or for their ever-popular trivia night.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Magic Lake Porter Style: Porter ABV: 5.5% IBU: 30
405-1201 Commercial Way
The newest craft brewery in the sea-to-sky corridor has people talking. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that their pizza is off the hook; we find it hard to resist even when we just go for a growler fill.
Luckily, Backcountry was well funded when they opened. Meaning Backcountry Brewing already had a full lineup of flavourful, well-balanced brews upon opening and a canning system soon after.
Whether you are stopping by for a date night brewery session (Forged Axe recommended) or are there to pick up some tall cans, you will not be disappointed.
Plus, they host fun events every month, which are well worth the drive from Whistler.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Widow Maker IPA Style: IPA ABV: 6.7% IBU: 50
Howe Sound Inn and Brewpub
37801 Cleveland Ave
The longest-standing brewpub in the Sea to Sky region, but the recent newcomers haven’t outshone the Howe Sound Brewpub.
Howe Sound has been the local watering hole for years, consistently pumping out award-winning beers in their signature refillable bottles.
Long before craft beer was cool, Howe Sound Brewpub knew the secrets. Some of the finest brews from Howe Sound are their dark porters and brown ales.
They have perhaps the most extensive selection of in-house brewed beers between Vancouver to Whistler. Seriously, we are talking about 10 beers brewed year-round, plus an entire lineup of seasonal specialties.
Did we mention they have a full kitchen? So even if you have one too many to drive back to Whistler, the hotel upstairs is a great place to sleep it off.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Hop Raiser Style: West Coast IPA ABV: 6% IBU: 52
Whistler Area Breweries
Right in our backyard, we have some of the best beers the region has to offer. This is our unbiased opinion, we promise!
Unlike other areas, you can taste every single beer in Whistler within a matter of hours. Even if you rent a bike or take the bus, everything is still within easy reach.
Coast Mountain Brewing
1212 Alpha Lake Rd #2
This is the newest member of the Whistler craft brewery scene, giving everyone else a run for their money.
Located right next door to Forged Axe Throwing in Function Junction, they now have expanded their beer drinking space to include a fabulous patio.
Coast Mountain Brewing tends to focus on experimentation, but we’ve never had a bad experience yet! Their flavour profiles are solid and tangy, with punchy IPAs and a vast selection of sour brews. It’s the perfect place to hit right after you hit the bullseye.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Wild Creatures Style: Rustic Farmhouse ABV 5.5% IBU 25
1045 Millar Creek Rd
Not surprisingly, Whistler Brewing is the most recognizable beer in Whistler. Forged Axe throwing customers can also mention our name for a two-for-one special!
They have a recently revamped kitchen, making for a perfect Function Junction lunch date.
Like Howe Sound, they have been around the block a time or two and have years of experience in the new breweries.
Whistler Brewing has a rotating seasonal tap list that always leaves us waiting eagerly for the next change in weather. Wintertime means another round of sweet, nutty Chestnut ale, and summertime leaves our mouths watering for more Grapefruit Ale.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Lumberjack Style Kveik Ale 6% ABV
High Mountain Brewing (Formerly the Brewhouse)
4355 Blackcomb Way
Often overlooked, but should never be ignored, Whistler Brewhouse is a member of the Mark Anthony Group of restaurants and breweries.
It is located in the heart of the village, an easy stumbling distance to and from the ski hill and most hotels.
Brewed right on-site, they currently offer five beers on tap from High Mountain Brewing (the brew side of the business). Each beer caters to specific beer-lover preferences, from a bitter to an IPA or a simple ale. Each beer is a delicious, carefully planned part of their brew lineup.
Unlike most other breweries in the region, you can only get their beers on-site. But that’s perfectly okay with us because they are an excellent lunch and dinner destination too, focusing on BBQ and wood-fired pizza.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Grizzly Brown Ale Style: English Brown Ale ABV:5% IBU: 15
Pemberton Area Breweries
The Beer Farmers
8324 Meadows Road
This is family brewing at its finest. For four generations, The Beer Farmers have been producing locally crafted ales on their organic farm. Surrounded by mountains and farmland, The Beer Farmers is as photogenic as their beer is tasty.
More than just a brewery, the farm is the perfect place to bring the family. Check out the animals or, in the summer, the sunflower maze before grabbing a pint and something to eat from a local food truck.
The brewery itself is small, but there is plenty of room to sit and relax. In addition, their tasting room is open daily and year-round, so there is no excuse not to visit.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Farmers Daughter Style: Farmhouse Ale – Saison ABV: 4.3% IBU: 25
Pemberton Brewing Company
1936 Stonecutter Place
A local favourite and a hidden gem, Pemberton Brewing Company is a small town brewery with a big taste.
It’s not unusual to see people making a pit stop on their way home from backcountry adventures, riding the bike trails nearby or coming to the end of a road trip from up north.
Always experimenting with new beer releases and pushing the envelope of taste, their selection of beers have something to cater to everyone.
Tucked away in an industrial area just before Mt. Currie, you will find locals and travellers enjoying freshly brewed beer either inside or on their covered patio.
You can find their cans in most liquor stores, but we recommend buying it from them on-site and enjoying a pint fresh from the taps before you pick up your takeaways.
- Forged Axe Favourite: Cream Puff Ale Style: New England Ale ABV:5% IBU: 9
Beer, The Backbone of the Sea to Sky
Exploring the Sea to Sky area can be exhausting work, so it only makes sense that there is a large selection of craft beers to choose from after your adventures.
Standing out from your standard city breweries, those found in the mountains have as much character in their foundations as they do taste in their hops.
We hope you explore each of the recommended Forged Axe Favourite beers before your next trip to Whistler, prompting you to visit each brewery and see their extended beer lists.
And if you are looking for the ultimate pairing, just remember that nothing tastes better than a cold local beer after throwing an axe.