The Whistler Village Beer Festival, which take place September 17 and 18, is a great beer fest. Thing is, most people down here in Washington have never even heard of this one.
What makes a great beer fest? Of course the most important thing is the beer, because that’s the reason you’re there in the first place. Then there’s the location; you don’t want to while away the hours drinking beer in a lifeless bomb shelter, rather you want to spend your time in a festive, park-like setting. Finally, there are the people; you want to hang out with people who respect the beer but also enjoy having a good time.
By those standards, the Whistler Village Beer Festival is a great event. If it sounds like I’m gushing about this beer fest, it’s because I’ve been and I loved it so much that I’m going back.
The Whistler Village Beer Festival features beers from over 60 Canadian (Mostly BC) craft breweries…. breweries many Americans have probably never even heard of. There was a time when American craft beer aficionados snubbed their noses at Canadian craft beer, and some might say with good reason, but that has changed drastically in the past decade. The beer scene has exploded in recent years and today Canadian craft brewers are making the kind of beers we Yanks respect and adore, including deliciously hoppy IPAs, so there’s no need to worry about the quality of the beer at this event.
In fact, there’s a Best of Fest (peoples choice) award that happens at the Whistler Village Beer Festival that has some pretty lucrative prizes attached, so breweries put their best foot forward. There are one-year contracts on the line at the Village’s busiest beer joints.
- First place in the Best of Fest gets to provide beer to the Longhorn Saloon & Grill and the Dublin Gate Irish Pub, two places that sell a lot of beer (understatement), and also gets their bottles on the list at Garibaldi Lift Co.
- Second place gets their beer on tap at Tapley’s Pub and their bottles on the list at Merlin’s Bar.
- Third place gets their beer on tap at the Firerock Lounge and bottles on the list a Dusty’s Bar and BBQ.
The festival is held in the iconic medal plaza in Whistler, British Columbia, where Olympic athletes picked up their winning hardware back in 2010. Surrounded by towering peaks, the medal plaza has been transformed into a park and amphitheater, which is a perfect location for a beer fest. Lots of space and lots of green grass, with gorgeous views in all directions, some couches and soft seating spread about, lawn games, and other fun stuff.
As far as the crowd is concerned, when I was there two years ago I found my fellow festivalgoers to be very typically Canadian. That is, friendly and fun-loving. They seem to have knack for partying hard in a responsible and respectful manner.
Of course visiting Whistler, BC is always a good idea, but the Whistler Village Beer Festival makes a good idea even better.
Check out the story Kim wrote about this event back in 2013 for GoFindBeer.com.
Accommodations at Whistler: https://www.whistler.com/accommodation/
Beer festival website: http://gibbonswhistler.com/festivals-events/whistler-village-beer-festival/
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