31. Whistler, British Columbia!

Well, I survived my trip to Whistler.  Sadly, I didn’t get to do all the fun stuff I had hoped to do, like going up the mountain and enjoying a beer.  The only day I had free time to go up the mountain was overcast and rainy, so the top of the mountain was just a giant cloud.  It just seemed a little too pricey to be going up the mountain to stand in fog.  (“I’m not made of money.  Leave me alone!” –Farnsworth)

I did, however, get to go zip-lining, which was AWESOME!  Firing down the mountain at about 60mph while dangling upside down is pretty exciting!  Make sure that’s on your to-do list.

I did manage to test out a bunch of different beers while I was out there.  So, this week I’ll be running through a series of beers and giving you an overview, rather than a breakdown of one.

Off we go!

The breweries I got the chance to try out while in Whistler:  Stanley Park, Tin Whistle, Driftwood, Whistler, Granville Island, and the Brewhouse High Mountain Brewing Company.  Each was quite tasty, but I think the standout was the Brewhouse.

Stanley Park – 1897 Amber
Brewed up in British Columbia, this is a solid, everyday amber.  Good flavor, good drinkability.  It became a standby while I was there.

Labatt – Kokanee
Yup, it’s AB-InBev, but I hadn’t had it, so I had to try it.  Not a bad lager.  Not that great though.

Tapley’s – Lager
This was a house-brand lager, so I’m not really sure where it came from.  Nothing really special, but not bad either.

La Bouche – Lager
See:  Tapley’s Lager

Tin Whistle – Killer Beer Dark Honey Ale
Another BC brewery.  I was a bit nervous with this one.  It seemed to have a significant amount of honey.  At first taste, it was a little much, by the end it smoothed out and I enjoyed it.  I’d imagine their other beers would be pretty tasty.

Driftwood – Fat Tug IPA
Straight outta BC!  This brewery was hyped up a bit to me and they kinda let me down.  The Fat Tug was very good though.  I enjoyed the piney aroma and flavor kicking around in this guy.

Driftwood – Farmhand Ale
Probably my biggest disappointment.  Since it’s a farmhouse (or saison), I expected a lot of spice and complexity.  It felt a little boring.  It was slightly tangy, citrusy, and dry.  Fell short on the complexity.

Whistler – Whiskey Jack
Brewed about 5 miles from where we were staying (fresh!).  This beer was quite good.  It had kind of an ESB feel to it, though I think it’s actually an amber.  I was able to enjoy a few of these.

Whistler – Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale
I was extremely skeptical on this one.  Fruity beers can be hit or miss, and the last time I had a grapefruit one, it was horrendous (I’m looking at you Shiner!).  The bartender assured me it was good, so I gave it a shot.  It’s actually quite good.  Not overpowering with the grapefruit and fairly refreshing.

Granville Island – Brockton IPA
Standard IPA.  Nothing glamorous.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  A true workhorse.

Granville Island – Cypress Honey Lager
I’d be hard pressed to say there was any honey flavor in this.  It came off fairly dull, just a regular old lager.  It had a little more body than the Kokanee, but it didn’t really impress me.

Granville Island – Cascadian Dark Ale
The shining star in the Granville Island batch.  This beer was dark, dark brown and smelled like fresh cut grass.  It had a nice malty flavor with a heavy bitter hoppiness that kept it in line.  Well done.

Brewhouse – Alta Lake Ale
Nice and light.  A hint of hops that enticed your palate and never overpowered.  Drinking a few of these would not be a problem.

Brewhouse – Lifty Lager
Light and refreshing.  A solid lager.  Sippy one of these on a hot day would be fine with me.

Brewhouse – Grizzly Brown
Nice maltiness with a pop of hops at the end.  It lacked some of the sweetness I would expect in a brown, but it was still very tasty.

Brewhouse – Big Wolf Bitter
A delicious ESB.  No frills on this one, just a solid beer that will not disappoint.

Brewhouse – 5 Rings IPA
This little guy was very heavy on the hops.  The malty backbone was light and the hop profile was huge.  Left you feeling like you chewed on a handful of grass, but amongst a bunch of malty beers, it was a nice break.

Brewhouse – Amber Hefeweizen
This one was a little odd to me.  It was sorta like a dunkelweizen, but lacked the heavier malts.  It was sweet and refreshing, and had the aromas you would expect from a hefe.  Imagine a Weihenstephan with a little more body to it.

Brewhouse – Russian Imperial Stout
Right in my wheelhouse.  This beer was big, malty, and boozy.  Saving this one for last was a good idea on the flavor spectrum, but a bad idea for my sobriety.  A delicious final touch.  Like have a big meal and then ordering the Tiramisu and realizing the lady fingers had been soaking in rum for a few days instead of a few minutes.

If you find yourself in Whistler, make sure you go up the mountain.  The Peak2Peak gondola is amazing (or so I’ve heard), go zip-lining with Ziptrek (it’s exhilarating and the views are incredible), and stop into the Brewhouse for their sampler (2 servings shown here).

Now, I’m off to work off my jet lag.

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