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Sea To Sky 101: A Hwy 99 Brewery Primer
Sea To Sky Beer Guy

Sea to Sky 101: A Hwy 99 Brewery Primer

We get the 411 from our #1 S2S field correspondent, Malcolm Yates

Okay folks, let’s start macro and get micro. Don’t panic; I’m not suggesting we all shotgun a corporate can before cracking into a crafty. I’m talking about adjusting the focus of our brewery binoculars: going from British Columbia at large (big is beautiful, BC, and you wear it well) to the Sea to Sky Corridor in particular. And if BC is a buxom beauty, then the Sea to Sky highway is the seam on the side of her seductive dress: starting low at the hem, working the curvaceous coastline, then inwards to Elysium. So let’s play dressmaker and work our way up the seam; briefly checking all the stitches before we backtrack and look for a place to delve a bit deeper and… you know… maybe hot-glue a rhinestone on!

While the actual Sea to Sky corridor starts around Horseshoe Bay, the first breweries you’ll find found purchase in the outdoor adventure tourism town of Squamish. First up is Howe Sound Brewing.  Founded in 1996 and a veteran of BC’s craft beer community, HSB has been making great beer right here for years. A little further north you’ll find A-Frame Brewing Co. and Backcountry Brewing. These welcome additions opened their doors within blocks of each other within months of each other: with A-Frame celebrating their one year anniversary last December and Backcountry’s coming up on April 1st.  We’ll fire up the glue gun and dab one of these breweries in just a minute, for now let’s continue up the seam.

Unless you’re travelling on a Friday afternoon with fresh snow forecast for the weekend, the drive to Whistler from Squamish should take you 40 minutes.  As you approach the ski town, turn left at the lights into Function Junction. Whistler Brewing Company originally started out in 1989, but went thru some trials and tribulations (including spending several years as a dead brand) before rising and rebranding beautifully back onto the scene in 2009. Also in Function Junction is Coast Mountain Brewing, which owner/brewer Kevin Winter breathed into being in the Summer of 2016 and CMB fans have been hyperventilating ever since. You could spend your entire day drinking beers in Function, and not be at a loss for libation, but then you’d miss out on the Whistler Brewhouse and it’s award-winning beers. As a Brew Pub, one hundred percent of the product brewed has to be sold on site. So if you want to try their 5 Rings IPA you gotta show up.

And that, my friends, used to be the end of the line when it came to the breweries of the Sea to Sky. Barring calamity (and whoever heard of new breweries experiencing glitches in their stitches?) by the time you read this issue that will have changed. Set to open in March, Pemberton Brewing Company and Pemberton Valley BeerWorks were both featured in What’s Brewing Magazine’s Winter issue. So while there’s much and more to learn about these plucky newcomers, we’ll put a pin in them for now and head back to Squamish.

When you walk thru the doors of A-Frame Brewing Company, owners Jeff & Caylin want you to feel welcome and relaxed. Like, Summer’s spent at the cabin-type relaxed. Like, feet danglin’ off the dock or Adirondack – relaxed. The mission statement is lakeside livin’ and this is made manifest in the warm wooden features, tree-stump stools and open concept, where you can share good beer and good times with good friends, old and new. Their brewmaster, Andrew, has carefully crafted A-Frame’s core line-up so that the beers are balanced, approachable interpretations of their styles that stand up to scrutiny and go down with calls for another. The porter, the pilsner, the saison, the pale; three IPAs, a brown and cream ale, all are named after prominent and little-known lakes that dot our beautiful province and contribute to the cabin on the lake experience. With a gorgeous deck and food trucks on the reg’, A-Frame more than meets their mission statement and is a must-visit; whether you’re only in town for the day or fortunate enough take in more of the gems scattered about town.

And that’s it, folks, I hoped you enjoyed this primer on the piece of paradise known as Sea to Sky corridor. Come visit and let’s hoist a pint! Now let’s head back down to Squamish for this issue’s brewery spotlight.

SPOTLIGHT: A-FRAME BREWING

Jeff Oldenborger, Co-Owner of A-Frame Brewing Company

A-Frame Brewing Company just celebrated their first anniversary this past December. Husband and wife ownership team Jeff Oldenborger and Caylin Glazier want you to feel welcome and relaxed when you walk through their doors. Like, “summers at the cabin” relaxed, or “feet danglin’ off the dock” relaxed, or “Adirondack chair” relaxed. Their mission statement invokes the idea of  lakeside livin’, and this is made manifest in the warm wooden features, tree-stump stools and open concept; it’s a place where you can share good beer and good times with good friends, old and new.

Their brewmaster, Andrew Sawyer, has carefully crafted A-Frame’s core lineup so that the beers are balanced, approachable interpretations of their styles that stand up to scrutiny and go down with calls for another. The porter, the pilsner, the saison, the pale, three IPAs, a brown and a cream ale are all named after both prominent and little-known lakes that dot our beautiful province and contribute to the “cabin on the lake” experience. With a gorgeous deck and food trucks on the reg’, A-Frame more than meets their mission statement and is a must-visit, whether you’re in town for the day or staying to take in more of the area’s gems.

A-Frame Brewing
38927 Queens Way #1,
Squamish, BC V8B 0K9
www.aframebrewing.com

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Malcolm Yates

Malcolm Yates is a guy in the Sea To Sky region who digs beer, BC, and the written word. Check out his musings at the Sea To Sky Beer Guy blog.
www.seatoskybeerguy.com


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