There’s some serious science behind a good brew, and the Squamish Beer Festival is where you will find those who have perfected their craft.
Want to dance outdoors with a beer? You got it! Throw a few axes after a pint? Why not. While you’re at it, don’t forget the giant Jenga and live music.
The breath-taking, beer-drinking backdrop isn’t bad either.
A Unique Beer Festival
“The Squamish Beer Festival is like no other in BC,” explains Scott McQuade, one of the Festival’s Founders and Directors.
“It’s a gathering in an awesome park with amazing views and over 200 different beers to try,” he says. With a strict craft-beer-only policy, it’s a great place to come and try something new.
“From your basic, easy-drinking pilsner to more fruitier-tasting beers, hoppy IPAs, stouts, porters, and sour beers.”
There will also be five cideries participating this year, in addition to seven food trucks ready to serve hungry drinkers.
Bigger Than Before
“I’m looking forward to seeing the crowds,” says Trevor Magee, Howe Sound Brewing Vice President and General Manager, and one of the Festival’s Founders and Directors.
“This is our third year and the biggest one yet. In the first year, we had 27 brewers and 900 people. This year we have 50 breweries and around 1,500 people coming to the festival. It’s been exciting to watch it grow and flourish; it’s a really dynamic summer event.”
The Best of Local Brewers
“I’m excited for the local brewers to be able to showcase their products in their own backyard,” says Magee, who explains that the support amongst craft breweries for one another is something that makes the industry quite unique.
“As a community, it’s very supportive and very community focussed,” added Caylin Glazier, who co-owns A Frame Brewing with her husband, Jeff Oldenborger, and said she’s looking forward to the easy-going, neighbourly crowd that the Festival attracts.
“It’s also one of the most picturesque areas a festival could be,” she said.
The Newest Beer on the Block
This will be Backcountry Brewing’s second year at the festival but the first for their beer. And although they’re relative newcomers, they’ve established a solid reputation as an après destination for great beer, delicious food, and a warm welcome.
“Squamish has a healthy appetite for beer,” says Ben Reeder, Backcountry Brewing Co-Founder. “On sunny days, we can have as many as 50 bikes parked outside our tasting room.”
Though their beer wasn’t quite ready last year, they were there with a BC-lounge-style booth and live music, updating festival-goers on what was brewing.
Samplers can expect a similar vibe this year, except that there will also be beer.
“We’ll be serving our Ridgerunner Pilsner…along with our infamous Widowmaker IPA – the one people are really talking about,” he said. Their Trailbreaker Pale Ale is also likely to make an appearance.
Also making an appearance for the second year is A Frame Brewing.
Their clean, crisp beer is made using locally-grown hops, served in a family-friendly, cabin-style tasting room where you can share a glass with friends or fill up a growler to go.
“I think it’s neat that the first festival we did was in our hometown community,” said Caylin Glazier who co-owns A Frame Brewing with her husband, Jeff Oldenborger.
“We’re so excited to come back to where it all started, and to be doing so when we’re fully open and can invite people back to the tasting room.”
Their Okanagan Lake Cream Ale will likely be on the tasting menu, she explained, along with the popular Magic Lake Porter and perhaps something seasonal.
Behind the Brews
What makes craft beer festivals exciting is meeting the visionary behind your brew. Plus, the craft beer drinker’s dream of sampling something that may not be available anywhere else.
“Such exclusivity and secrecy behind the brews on offer is part of the craft beer festival build-up,” explains Magee, who said the Howe Sound Brewery’s offerings will remain a secret right up until the last minute.
“It’s something unique, for sure…not the normal fare that you can find at the liquor store.”
For an even more exclusive, meet-your-maker event, there’s a ticketed pre-festival Brewers’ Party at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola for the brewers and just a handful of guests, the night before.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to meet the brewers in a more intimate setting,” said McQuade, who explains that this is the first year that the event has been opened to the public.
“There will be representatives from lots of breweries there, but we’ll really be showcasing our local breweries,” he said.
In addition to great beer and stunning views at the top, there will also be food and live music, plus your Gondola ticket is included in the price.
Details and Tickets
- The Pre-Festival Brewer’s Party is July 7th, from 7pm -10 pm, at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
- Squamish Beer Festival is July 8th, from 2pm – 8pm, at O’Siyam Pavillion Park, Downtown Squamish, on Cleveland Ave.
- Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the gate.
All tickets include an official SQBF sampling mug and four beer tokens. (Cash is recommended for purchasing beer tickets inside the Festival.)
Tickets are available at Squamishbeerfestival.com, at Scotties Liquor Store, Howe Sound Brewery, Blackcomb Liquor Store, Whistler, and Devil’s Elbow, Vancouver.
Attendees must be 19 years or older, with valid ID.
Shuttle buses are available from both Whistler and Vancouver.
For details visit Squamishbeerfestival.com.