Once a year the Whistler Village Beer Festival descends on the very popular mountain resort destination of Whistler. A picturesque village nestled along the Sea to Sky Highway in gorgeous British Columbia Canada for a 7-day craft beer fueled event.
Over 60 breweries, cideries and distilleries setup booths with over 130 options in the way of craft beverages for everyone to enjoy and sample. Our graciously provided VIP Passes got us special entrance into the event and goodie bags filled with all sorts of cool things like a cap, decals, and our tasting steins. But most importantly.. our handful of beer tokens. Marissa and I looked at each other when we noticed how many tokens we each received. I happily learned that even on my best day there was no way I was going to run out of tokens or that I could even sample every beer here – even with two days of attendance. But I’ll get to the #WVBF2019 event in a moment.
On our first night in Whistler my wife and were gifted tickets to Haze Craze a blind tasting event of 8 different beers from various breweries. We were given these cool little 5 oz steins and a score card to record our experiences. There was so much going on both the inside and the outside of the Longhorn Saloon & Grill that the place felt electrified with the collective fun being had by the 150+ people there. Two different dj setups had the music thumping and the beer was flowing like wine. We enjoyed our beers outside on the patio area, at an elevated fire pit table while large yellow Gibbons Apres’ Lager labeled umbrellas shielded us from the pouring rain. Now most people would be deterred by the rain but it really seemed like nobody even realized it was happening. That’s just how good of a time everyone was having.
By the end of the night Marissa and I were tired from the 4 hour drive from Seattle and then attending this event. So we headed over to Zog’s and grabbed some grub. Now Zog’s is a necessary stop for us whenever we visit Whistler. It’s not fine dining, they probably don’t even know what Michelin Star is but they make damn good ‘dive bar’ food. And.. they are located very conveniently along a walkway within the village. We usually grab some burgers ( DON’T CALL THEM HAMBURGERS. You will undoubtedly see the wince on their face while they decide whether or not you’re worth the correction.) and then do some people watching. There is no end to the entertainment there.
After our late night meal, we headed up to our suite in the fabulous and yes I do mean fabulous, Sundial Boutique Hotel. Our luxury suite was on the 7th floor and positioned right above the village near the lifts. I do believe their tag line is “Luxury at the Lifts” and they are not kidding. The Sundial is spectacular and the view from our hot tub was breathtaking. I couldn’t have asked for better accommodations or friendlier treatment by their wonderful staff. I will be staying here again.
The next day we grabbed some Starbucks and hit the festival up early in hopes to film footage for my vlog when we were greeted with a BIG turnout.
“Whoa..” was my first thought.
Most festivals I attend usually start off slow and pick up steam as the day goes on. Not this time apparently. But that didn’t stop me from doing what I came to accomplish. In between filming and meeting loads of fun interesting people, I was enjoying some of the best beer I’ve had at a festival. Every booth had a couple of options and a story to share about the beer itself. I found it to be a cool aspect to not only drinking the beer but learning about it as well.
Now if you know me, you know that my music tastes range from classical to edm to jazz to country to rock.. I think you get the picture. So when each new music act hit the stage started playing popular covers. You can imagine how the crowd and I responded. The Whistler Olympic Plaza went absolutely crazy with people dancing to their favorite tunes. There were people in costumes of all types from Dinosaurs to Lumberjacks all out on the dance floor. It was rad as hell.
By the end of our first day at the event Marissa and I had made a ton of new beer friends and were discussing how much fun we had on our way to find food. We ended up grabbing some Pizza from local pizzeria Avalanche and finished off the night in our hot tub under a lightening storm. It was Kick-Ass level 3000.
Sunday morning brought us back to Starbucks. My morning Americano is a necessity.. don’t judge me. We then headed and did some shopping around the village. There are more options of cute little shops to spend your time and money on and there is something for everyone. No joke. You need a new NorthFace jacket? No problem they have a store there. Now if you’re like us, you’ve got a few people back home that you always end up grabbing some gifts for. And when it comes to ‘novelty’ gifts from Whistler, there is no shortage of stores to find that perfect “So and So went to Whistler and all I got was this..” type of gift. You want a Whistler hoodie to bring home for your best friend?
Cool As A Moose or WhisLife has you covered. Need gear for snowboarding, skiing – how about mountain biking? Yeah you’ve got loads of choices there. I mean hell – I went to a Cuban Cigar shop and received one of the best haircut fades of my life. That’s how much you have at your fingertips in Whistler. Our second day at the Whistler Village Beer Festival 2019 was more of the same energy, more fun people and more great beer. We did find ourselves re-visiting the Coast Mountain Brewing tent for the Fruit Snack Berliner Weisse with a scoop of Blackberry sorbet and to Whistler Brewing Co‘s for their Chocolate Milk Ale. Those ended up being the biggest hits of the festival for us. Throughout the day I ended up filming a bit more but really spent most of our time on the dance floor. The afternoon started off with some really great House music from DJ Stache and DJ SMoothie with a percussionist supporting them for a live beat. They were insanely good. After their set was a great band called ‘Blame the Weekend‘ – a collection of some really cool local people. With a guitarist that absolutely shredded and a lead that whipped the crow into a frenzy with his track selections, this band got everyone moving. Their vocalist/keyboardist had pipes like nobody’s business and we were told she had just had a baby 9 weeks prior. Talk about a Warrior. Great Fun. Great Band. Respect.
And that is where the roof came off. This band lit it up like it was the 4th of July. Playing some of my favorites and being such good sports as people took selfies in front of the lighted beer sign that separated the stage from the dance floor. Honestly, I think they were having just as much fun as everyone else. We danced our asses off and we had the sore feet for the next two days to prove it. There was so much happiness being experienced at the same time it not only has become our favorite beer festival but also the best time we’ve had at a music festival. All because of the amazing work that Gibbons Whistler and the British Columbian Craft Beer Community.
Before we realized it, the event had come to an end. A Gibbons Whistler Event Coordinator then came over the loud speaker thanking everyone for coming out, for supporting such a good cause as our community, and to remind everyone what a special place this world is – and that it’s our job to preserve the beautiful nature that surrounds us. I’m not doing it justice but it was a seriously kick-ass message.
Tired and weary from two days of partying and walking a ridiculous amount of steps per day we grabbed some food and hit that hot tub for one last soak. While enjoying the tub we talked about our time here, what we enjoyed most and how thankful we were to Gibbons for bring me out for this memorable experience. The people, the beer and the environment was such fun time that we, at that very moment, started planning to attend next years event.
Until next time Beer Travelers… Peace.