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Discover Squamish: Pubs draw us back together

After a couple of years when socializing was either outright forbidden or fraught with fears of airborne dangers, many are looking to make up for lost time. Squamish pubs are aiming to make it extra fun.
Friends enjoy a beer at A-Frame.

Occasionally, we like to put down our devices and interact with other humans over some potent potables. 

Squamish pubs, distillers, cideries and other hangouts are going out of their way to bring folks together after too long apart.

All of the social houses in town are intended as places to kick back with pals. But most are throwing something into the mix to add to the interpersonal excitement.

The Cork and Craft Taphouse has weekend music nights, usually featuring a solo performer. These can be enjoyed alongside innovative menu offerings that include gluten-free and vegan options. 

Match Eatery and Public House, located adjacent Chances Casino, is a destination for sports games, as well as daily specials like fish and chips and food truck tacos. 

At The Backyard, karaoke and trivia alternate, alongside classic pub food and libations (including off-sales).

In addition to off-the-beaten-path taste sensations like a peach-passionfruit cider or a ginger-infused Tina Louise (if you’re too young to get it, Google it), Cliffside Cider offers occasional live music, taking the party to the lot outdoors when the weather permits. 

The Cleveland Tavern offers live music ranging from hip-hop to yeehaw, plus football games and themed socials. 

Howe Sound Brewing also often has live music. 

UFC fans head to the Shady Tree Pub, as do those hankering for pub food and Italian standbys like lasagna and spaghetti Bolognese.

Norman Rudy’s offers trivia nights and music bingo alongside burgers, pub fare and their meaty braised boneless short rib with hoisin BBQ sauce.

Perhaps no space goes to so much effort to liven up the libations as A-FRAME Brewing, which claims to have brought pub trivia to town. A-FRAME evokes the get-away-from-it-all motif of a wilderness cabin. 

Luke Gullett, taproom manager at A-FRAME, acknowledges he didn’t understand Canadian cabin culture. It wasn’t big in the U.K., where he comes from. But the cabinesque cosiness of A-FRAME captured his imagination — and became his employer after he got stranded here when COVID hit in March 2020.

“I wasn’t supposed to live in Canada at all,” he said. He arrived to visit friends on March 7 of that fateful year.

“Within two weeks, the whole country shut down,” he recalls (as do we all).

A wildlife biologist, Gullett’s geographical shift included a career shift, as he transitioned from one kind of wildlife to another, from working with sea turtles off West Africa to serving up fun to Sea to Sky locals and passersthrough.

A-FRAME aims for a cabin feel, but where your family’s chalet might have had stacks of board games, this one has a sort of artisanal rec room vibe. Routine trivia is over. With Gullett’s science roots and the eclectic interests and demographics of the town they serve, trivia here has evolved in the weirdest ways. There’s Seinfeld quote trivia, which is not that odd. But computer terms, engineering trivia and Medieval covers of pop songs are more arcane.

A monthly vinyl night, when a local aficionado brings parts of his collection to spin, is a big draw — and everyone is welcome to bring along their own platters (sort of like an after-school record club, for those who didn’t need to Google Tina Louise).

Some of the most unusual activities last winter took place when A-FRAME partnered with local social enterprise The Wilder for “Crafts and Drafts.” One event involved creating paper with embedded seeds, which can be put in the ground, so wildflowers soon pop up. Another night involved clay crafting, and on another occasion, participants made terrariums. 

It’s a great rainy-day activity they hope to bring back this season, said Gullett.

A-FRAME is also a destination for birthday parties and other celebrations.

The place goes a step beyond the cabin motif, offering outdoor fires on the patio as long as the weather isn’t too ridiculous. 

After a couple of years when socializing was either outright forbidden or fraught with fears of airborne dangers, many are looking to make up for lost time. Squamish pubs are aiming to make it extra fun.

**Editor’s note: Neither the writer nor the publication benefited financially or otherwise from featuring the businesses mentioned in this piece.

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