The Chief on the Squamish River

The Howe Sound Experience – Hospitality and a Beer Pairing Dinner

Howe Sound Brewery - Squamish BC

Squamish River SalmonAdventure, Craft Beer and Accommodation – Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewery

For many, Squamish is a stop on their way to Whistler or a day trip for hiking or mountain biking outside of Vancouver. It is easy to peer out the window at the magnificence of the Chief then continue onward to your northward destination. Taking the time to stop and enjoy the amazing experiences Squamish has to offer is something that is unparalleled in British Columbia. From hiking the chief, fishing, kite surfing, mountain biking or skiing, the experiences Squamish has to offer are world class 12 months a year.

Even for those that are less adventure inclined low impact adventures can be found eagle watching, hiking the Squamish River, riding the Sea To Sky Gondola or exploring the Britannia Mine Museum. Squamish is a mere 45 minutes from Vancouver and there is a reason they call it the Recreation Capital of Canada. Oh, and did we mention they have craft beer as well?

The Chief on the Squamish River

What do you do when the sun sets in Squamish? Once per month the Howe Sound Brewery offers a unique experience for craft beer fans – a beer pairing dinner. What is truly unique here is that in addition to the food and libations, the Howe Sound Brewery has a hotel attached. While attending the four course beer pairing meal, you can also receive a discounted rate for a night’s stay.

Howe Sound Brewery RoomThe rooms are simple and homely, situated on the second floor of the downtown Squamish based facility.  Twenty-or-so rooms offer a place for travelers and craft beer fans alike to rest their heads after a dinner in the brewpub or the monthly beer pairing.

Howe Sound Brewery Beer Pairing Dinner

The beer pairing dinner was a collaboration between head chef Brendan Cooke and brewery manager Patrick Moore. Together they concocted a four course meal paired with four locally brewed beers that both accentuated and enhanced one another’s intricate flavours.

2015_11_BMBC-7194Course #1 – Seasonal squash rosti with brussel sprout petals and balsamic & coffee infused pearls. Paired with Mexican Chiapas Coffee Ale.

For the first cource we had a fried concoction of seasonal squash. The light sweetness of the squash paired with the balsamic & coffee pearls in sharp contrast. The bitter-sweetness of the pearls added a kick to the Rosti. Paired with the Mexican Chiapas Coffee Ale the dish place the beer on a pedestal with the sweetness helping to balance the beer’s coffee bitterness.


2015_11_BMBC-7203Course #2 – Fresh in house smoked wild char with lima bean and mint puree. Paired with Baldwin & Cooper Best Bitter.

For dish number two, a smoked fish dish gave a big aromatic experience. Served on a mint-infused lima bean puree this dish was all about contrast. Smoke, mint and a light sweetness from the lima beans and fish was balanced with the subtle bitterness found in the Balwin & Cooper ESB. The beer in this course was all about balance and giving and contrast and cleanse to the palate between bites.


2015_11_BMBC-7207Course #3 – Porchetta on wild mushroom risotto with chimichurri. Paired with Hopraiser West Coast IPA.

The third course, was a rich and strong meat dish. A porchetta was served atop a mushroom risotto with crackle and chimichurri. The fatty richness from the pork, along with the creamy risotto needed something to balance out the ordeal. Here the Hopraiser West Coast IPA gave a nice bitterness and citrus hop tone to give a refreshing contrast. Perhaps the best pairing of the evening the dish was delicious and with each sip of beer the palate was cleansed and readied for another hit of delicious pork flavour.


2015_11_BMBC-7210Course #4 – Chocolate & cranberry poached pairs with red wine reduction & creme anglaise. Paired with Father John’s Winter Ale.

No meal is complete without dessert. Here a poached pair was stuffed with chocolate and cranberries then wrapped in pastry. Served with a red wind recuction and drizzled wit creme anglais this sweet dish was prepared with balance in mind. The sweetness of the pear was put in a three way dual with a light chocolate bitterness and cranberry sour. The red wine reduction only made things better. To take things a step further the Father Johns Winter Ale brings winter spice including clove and vanilla into the mix to create a tummy-warming, holiday experience. A fantastic finish to a delicious beer-inspired meal.

Howe Sound Beer Pairing Dinner

Each course of this beer-pairing dinner was paired with a 4oz glass of the pairing choice. In case you were worried though the servers seemed to have a never ending supply of each beer keeping the glasses topped throughout the evening. Such a meal is not about excess but sometimes you just need an bit extra to fully take in the pairing. Howe Sound Brewery did a great job of balancing reason with excess and beer flavour with fantastic seasonally-inspired food dishes.

After four seemingly bottomless beer samples, one is best not to drive. It is a good thing that Howe Sound has the ability to rest your head following the dinner. The combination of a brewery, restaurant and hotel is a win-win situation. How can you go wrong with great food, delicious craft beer and a place to rest your head before or after a day of Squamish Adventure.

About Author

Dustan Sept

Dustan Sept is the founder of Beer Me BC. His passion for craft beer drove the creation of in 2012. To learn more about the editorial team visit


  1. mikescraftbeer
    mikescraftbeer 7 December, 2015, 21:40

    I have wondered how one of those dinners would be. I love the pub and I have stayed at the inn also. I will have to make it there one of these days!

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