Posted by: Feet Banks
Guest Blogger: Phillipa Campbell
Rory Bushfield is a kind of Renaissance Man in the mountain world. Freeskier, pilot, climber, surfer, filmmaker and reality television star, with a cracking Instagram account and a dog called Dexter the Great. The guy lives and breathes the mountains and is no stranger to Whistler’s peaks.
So it’s no surprise that Columbia Brewing Company called him up to work on their new Kokanee Peak Brew, a limited edition batch of golden BC beer they’ve called their ‘most epic batch of Kokanee ever’.
If you ever kick back in Whistler for a mid-ski-day beer or an après session, chances are you’ve downed a pitcher or two of frosty Kokanee. It’s a beer with a long-standing relationship with patios and ski days, and Kokanee and Whistler Blackcomb have a partnership that spans almost 25 years.
With that history in mind Kokanee’s vision for the Peak Brew project was to infuse their beer with the spirit of the mountains, using snow extracted from seven of Western Canada’s most popular ski hills, including our very own Whistler Mountain.
When it came time to gather the snow from Whistler Blackcomb, Kokanee turned to Rory to kick it up a notch. Rather than wander out from the Roundhouse with a shovel and bucket, Rory flew over Whistler Mountain in a Cessna 182, walked out onto the wing and parachuted onto Pika’s Traverse to collect the snow in a special canister before jumping on skis and riding out.
It’s a project perfectly suited to Rory’s adventurous character and panache. “I love to ski and I love to jump out of airplanes,” he said on Whistler Mountain at the official Peak Brew launch on Whistler Mountain yesterday. “To do it for Whistler in the name of a beer …it was a no brainer.”
And it should be fun to watch. The high-flying jump and snow extraction was captured on film by Whistler-based Sherpas Cinema and a Kokanee: Mission Peak Brew film will be released online February 16.
Back on the ground, Rory doesn’t stop moving for long – adventure waits for no one– but when Peak Brew hits the bars where is he most likely to crack a cold one? “The GLC,” he says. “or in spring time – Dusty’s.”
Luckily the rest of us won’t have to wait that long to try this unique beer. Kokanee Peak Brew is shipping now and should be available on a Whistler patio near you in about a week, and liquor stores soon after. Buy a 24 and it comes with a token for $6 off lift tickets at participating resorts including Whistler Blackcomb. It’s only available in cans (so portable!), with each mountain represented by a unique can design – a collect-them-all for adults looking for an excuse to drink more beer and daydream about adventures off Whistler Peak.
Kokanee Peak Brew: Tasting Tips
Serve: in a glass to let those flavours out – a taller Pilsner style glass is best, to bring out the flavour. Pour about two fingers of head for optimum taste.
Brewed with: Pacific North West hops and snow from some of BC’s most famous peaks.
Pair with: Any food good for refueling after a day on the slopes – wings, chilli, nachos, poutine.
Best served with: Mountain views, good friends and conversation.
Tasting notes: Refreshingly smooth, clean and lightly hopped.
Rory’s Take: “I’m stoked to give it to my homies.”
The Insider’s take: Tastes like après and adventure. Go get some.
*Warning* – consume responsibly. Imbibing may lead to good times and dancing in ski boots.
Bonus Video! Rory Bushfield talks about the Peak Brew (and other stuff) on Breakfast Television Vancouver.