Couple drinking in Whistler

“There’s no such thing as a beer snob.”

This is assured to me by Harrison Stoker, co-producer of the first Whistler Village Beer Festival set for Saturday, September 14, in Whistler Olympic Plaza.

“Beer snobs? No, not in the same way there are wine snobs,” Harrison explains. “Certainly there are people with a beer ‘cicerone’ certification which is similar to a sommelier, but we are not expecting any snobs, it will be more enthusiasts.”

Regardless, there will be plenty of beer. With 45 boutique, craft and micro-breweries in attendance, the Whistler Village Beer Festival promises to bring unique and exciting beer-fuelled good times (and great tastes) with a local twist.

“The neat thing about B.C. is there has been a resurgence in the growth of hops here, so this craft beer revolution is hot and heavy,” Harrison explains. “B.C. and the Pacific Northwest can produce hops unlike anywhere else on this continent. Beers like India Pale Ale are a hot trend in beer because the hops we produce here are so tasty and smell so incredible. They add enormous flavour characteristics to the beers.”

And in perfect beer-drinking fashion, the format of the Whistler Village Beer Festival is nice and straightforward.

“It’s really simple,” Stoker explains. “We’ve got the whole covered area at Whistler Olympic Plaza so you just show up; get a wristband, a novelty mug and some tokens. Each brewery will have a booth with two to five brews, so you use the tokens to try beers while meeting people and having fun.” The festival also features six evening events to showcase unique brews and oneoffs. “Breweries are invited to bring up something special,” Harrison says. “So we should see some beers that people may never see again.”

Admission nets you five tokens and a $10 coupon redeemable at a number of local Whistler bars and restaurants with additional tokens going for $1.25 each. And unlike a wine event, Harrison assures there will be no snobby spittoons for spitting out the sampled products.

“Are you kidding? Spittoons? No way- beer drinkers swallow,” he says.

— by Feet Banks

Whistler Village beer festival set for Sept. 14

Brittia Thompson