Good Beer Folk: Josh Hillinger

Learn more about On Site Experiences Manager, Josh Hillinger and the passion that has driven him to build the new Steam Whistle Biergärten.

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We spoke with Manager of On Site Experiences, Josh Hillinger on his 12 years at Steam Whistle and what people can expect from the new Steam Whistle Biergärten that is set to open in Spring 2019!

How long have you been a of the Steam Whistle/GBF family?

I have been part of the GBF family for 12 years now.

What is your position at Steam Whistle?

Manager of On Site Experiences

Can you describe your role?

Myself and our Onsite Experience team are responsible for providing guests with the best possible experience when visiting our cathedral of beer.  

What can people expect when they dine at the Steam Whistle

Guests can expect an experience that is authentic to a German Biergärten but one that is recognizably Canadian.  The atmosphere we have set out to create is one that is inclusive, an atmosphere that encourages sharing and the meeting of new friends.

Were you always interested in the brewing industry (or) why did you apply at Steam Whistle?

In 2007 when I started at Stem Whistle the craft beer movement was not quite mainstream.  At the time I only really new mainstream beer. So, it wasn’t the brewing industry that interested me, it was the hospitality aspect of working at Steam Whistle that drew me in.  The evolution over the next 12 years of the brewing industry is what kept me here.

Chef Tyson of the Steam Whistle
Biergärten & Manager of On Site Experiences at Steam Whistle, Josh Hillinger

If you had to choose, what would be your favourite aspect of working at Steam Whistle?

I love giving a new employee the opportunity to build life skills that can be used for “What’s Next”.  Understanding and comprehending that a job does not need to be just a job when purpose is intentionally applied. 

What makes Steam Whistle stand out as a brand?

Our commitment to our customer.  We are focused on providing our guests and customers what they want

What is a Steam Whistle initiative that means a lot to you?

The decision to invest and build a restaurant is something that means a ton to me.  It’s a project that gave me the ability to work with some incredible people, to take numerous passions and life experiences and apply them to create something beautiful. 

Is it true when people say the Steam Whistle culture is contagious?

Being part of something bigger and having a purpose is something everyone wants when finding an ideal working environment.  Steam Whistle is a place that has always supported all the pillars of a strong working culture.

Where is your favourite place to enjoy a Steam Whistle?

I love projects, building a movie theatre, a restaurant, new event space or even just cleaning out an old storage locker.  Celebrating these achievements, big or small with a Steam Whistle in that space always tastes the best to me and signifies a milestone and a completed job.

What is one word you would use to describe your work experience with Steam Whistle?


Sounds of Steam Whistle Spotify

What song gets you on the dance floor? – Dance Off, Macklemore

What song reminds you of your youth? – Ocean Avenue, Yellowcard

What’s a song that was played at your first concert? – Ocean Avenue, Yellowcard

What’s your favourite cover? – Any cover done by

It’s Friday night, your friends are over getting ready to go out, what’s your pre-game song? – In my days of going out, we would have cranked some old school punk.  Now when it’s time to get ready it consists of a beautifully cooked meal at home, with some Mumford and Sons playing and my wife standing on my feet as we dance in the kitchen.

Go to karaoke song? – Let It Be, The Beatles

What song is on highest rotation for you right now? – The new Mumford and Sons album Delta – Any Song!

What would be the intro music for the movie adaption of your life story? – There is a beautiful song that Mumford and Son’s recently put out called “There will be time”. It’s the type of song that gives you chills, it’s a song that if you put it on in any setting it has an emotional build that feels epic.  When I am 95 years old looking back on my life, I want to remember an epic life.