(Left to right) Michael Sharpham

(Left to right) Michael Sharpham

A thirst for beer and powder on BrewSki Tour

The mission of the BrewSki Tour was to taste as many craft beers and ski down as many mountains this province had to offer.

Nights, tours and entire festivals have been dedicated to it. Bottles of it have been clinked, slammed and replenished. Flavours have been created, developed and tasted by a growing populace of its fans. All of this indicates that craft beer is here to stay.

David Nicholls, Michael Sharpham and Jamie Bennett of Vancouver-based company Granville Island Brewing were on a mission when it began its BrewSki Tour: To taste as many craft beers and ski down as many mountains this province had to offer.

The inaugural tour swept across the province in less than a week, visiting resorts and craft beer breweries like Revelstoke, Kicking Horse and of course Fernie Alpine Resort and the Fernie Brewing Company.

“It’s two of our favourite things in B.C. and these are two products of our province we should be proud of,” said Bennett, brand manager at Granville Island Brewing.

Bennett attributed the popularity of foodies and the rising interest of interesting or unique foods and beverages as part of the craft beer evolution.

“I think with people like foodies and social media it’s opened people up to a whole world of beer and it’s fascinating and fun. What’s great about it is that you can be as complicated and fixated on every ingredient but it can also be about sitting down with friends. There’s something for everybody,” said Bennett.


In looking at the greatness these breweries bottle, marketing personnel Nicholls noted that ingredients aren’t necessarily everything.

“I think there’s tons of different rules and you can define it in different ways but we’ve just found that it’s about the passion behind it,” said Nicholls. “[Craft beers] tend to be more flavourful beers, they’re more thought out in terms of ingredients and breweries try to bring something to consumers that’s new and exciting and different.”

While enjoying test shots at Fernie Brewing Company, the Granville Island tourists complimented the What the Huck and Hot Saw India ales as innovative local flavours.

That innovation and creativity is what draws testers like Craft Beer Merchant Sharpham in.

“There’s a lot of different and exciting styles out there that are traditional or innovative and they all have their own flavour characteristics that make them unique. There’s no one set flavour profile for what makes a good beer or an exciting beer so that’s what makes it really exciting is that everyone is doing their own thing and you get to experience it all,” said Sharpham.

In the future, Bennett, Nicholls and Sharpham hope to expand the tour to other breweries and open up attendance to more people.

“This year has been the prototype of the tour,” said Nicholls, “but we hope to bring customers on board and have them be a part of the tour. It’s really open to having other people come on and join it.”

He added, “I think we’d love to be able to fit in other craft breweries that are opening up. As we started looking into different places during the planning stages of the tour, other breweries have cropped up.”

To catch up on the BreSki Tour check out their official website www.brewskitour.com