Backcountry Brewing Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes with Backcountry Brewing

“Never hit the backcountry alone”. 

The crew at the soon-to-be-opened Backcountry Brewing is on a mission to have your back on any and all Sea to Sky adventures.

Hammers have been swinging wildly at their 6000 square foot location on Queens Way, and the brewery is poised to open mid-March.

construction backcountry brewing
Photo: Submitted

The Brewmaster From Steamworks

Beer has been brewing and kegs are getting filled with beer crafted by their lead brewer, John Folinsbee, a recent transplant from Steamworks Brewery in Vancouver. His last recipe, Flagship IPA, garnered the Best in Show award at the 2016 BC Beer Awards, foreshadowing good things for the beer list at Backcountry Brewing.

Are you a fan of cold beers chilling in a creek after a big ride? Ice cold brews and a hot day at the lake? Beer and nature seemingly go hand in hand.

The Backcountry is Better with Cans

Backcountry Brewing is all about the “Beer in Nature” feel. Investment in a state-of-the-art canning system backs up the commitment to this vibe.

Canning is touted as a more reliable packaging method over bottling. Cans more efficiently preserve the freshness of the beer, and present the product in a handy package that is portable, adventure-resistant, and great to chill in an ice-cold stream.

hops farm vancouver island

Backcountry Brewing Hops Farm

Backcountry boasts their very own hops farm, located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The farm currently supplies several BC breweries with some classic hop varieties and will do the same for their own brews.

“We plan on featuring a more hop-forward profile in our beers, but will maintain a big variety of styles”, says Ben Reeder, Backcountry’s marketing manager. Reeder is part of an all-star team that includes sales manager Marc Roberts, a 15 year veteran in the field.

They’re planning to open with five or six beers, including an East Coast IPA, American Pale Ale, and a dry German-style Pilsner. Specialty beers will include stouts and a coffee porter in the winter, and sours in the near future.

The 70’s Tasting Room

Despite the current flurry of construction activity, an intimate, tavern-like feel pervades the space. The space is designed with a nod to the quirky styles of the 70’s. The 50-seat tasting room will offer wood-fired pizza, salads, chilis and stews, all created by their in-house Red Seal chef.

A retail area will feature a growler fill station.

backcountry brewing brewmaster
John Folinsbee- Photo: Submitted

Join The Club

However, keen beer drinkers don’t need to wait until official opening to get in on the action. Backcountry is offering, for a limited time, the chance to join the Backcountry Beer Club, a unique way to reward loyal customers and keen beer drinkers. Members receive Backcountry swag, exclusive access to limited release beers, and members-only event invites (including the most important one, an invite to the soft opening prior to the official ribbon-cutting this month).

Opening Soon!

Barring any unforeseen hold-ups, Backcountry is pushing for an opening weekend of March 17. Keeping with a casual not-rush-it Squamish approach, if not opening that weekend, it’ll be the following weekend. 


Once running full steam, the brewery will be open seven days a week from three o’clock onwards and open for lunch Friday to Sunday.

Local’s Secret

Ring the doorbell at the front during off hours. If the brewmaster or assistant is there, they’ll fill your growler for ya!

Whether it be celebrating a big day out in the hills at their Squamish brewery and tasting room, or pulling that refreshing can of ale out of the creek, Backcountry Brewing looks to have your mountain experience taken care of.

backcountry brewing crew
The Backcountry Crew. Photo- Submitted

Beers to Look Forward To

American Pale Ale

A Northwest style pale ale that will have a subtle malt body with a balanced, smooth, hoppy, finish that will not linger on the palate.


Backcountry will be brewing an unfiltered, east coast style, IPA using several new hop varietals to achieve a juicy tropical flavour and aroma with a lovely soft mouthfeel.


Backcountry Brewing will focus on the taste profile of the German style pilsner with a slight twist. It will be snappy and clean with an exceptional herbal hop aroma created by a delicate, dry, German hop.

Joe Schwartz

The author Joe Schwartz

From hucking to hillclimbing, Joe has run the full gamut of the mountain bike spectrum. He currently resides in Squamish; riding singletrack, skiing powder and reminiscing about the good old days. Read more at
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