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Cheers to Whistler Beers

By LOUISE PHILLIPS

Small but mighty Coast Mountain Brewing pours a fine beer.

Small but mighty Coast Mountain Brewing pours a fine beer.

Coast Mountain Brewing puts the “micro” in microbrewery. This new boutique craft brewery at Function Junction, smallest in the Sea-to-Sky region, offers half its capacity on tap in a 27-seat tap room (along with BC wines) and half to Whistler eateries. Kevin and Angie Winter keep three beers on tap year-round and rotate a further five or six out of their ever-growing roster of seasonal recipes. Their “core” beers are “easy and approachable” German Kellerbier-style Treeline Lager; well-rounded Field Guide Ale; and The Surveyor IPA, “with massive tropical character and a good bitter framework—our best seller.” Winter aims for the “experimental, wow factors” that set his brews apart—quality over quantity.

Tour locally owned Whistler Brewing microbrewery at Function Junction, and sample four beers from a roster of eight to 12 as you admire the gleaming fermentation vats of 4,000 litres each—that’s 2,000 six-packs. Savour the aroma and taste of beers brewed with Cheakamus River glacial water. Seasonal brews might include Juniper Kölsch or Pineapple Wheat, but purists can rely on traditional standbys: a light lager, a citrusy IPA, and Brewmaster Matthew Dean’s award-winning Black Tusk Dark Ale, tasting like a light stout. The high-ceilinged tap house, with sports screens, trestle tables and benches, serves a snack menu and beer. Lots of beer.

Large, friendly BrewHouse in the Village shares BC ownership with Vancouver’s Yaletown Brewing. It’s divided between a restaurant and a brewpub serving seven beers on tap. Audible over the on-screen sports commentary and sociable buzz is the whir of a large-scale model train circumnavigating the room on a raised track. Locally named beers on tap year-round range from Grizzly Brown Ale and Alta Lake Ale to Lifty Lager and Brewmaster Derrick Franche’s medal-winning 5 Rings IPA. Seasonals such as Hefeweizen, Pilsner and Raspberry Ale give game fans and groups plenty of choice.

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