Bottoms Up: a Look at the Best Breweries in Victoria, BC
Summer is a special time in Victoria. The weather is warm, the sun is shining and there’s always something fun to do. One of our favorite ways to pass the time here during the summer months is by taking in a little of the local brewing culture. Victoria has long been a certified “beer town”, and we’ve watched with delight as many new brewpubs and breweries in Victoria BC have opened as of late, serving tall, frosty refreshment to happy customers.
If you’re looking to explore the sudsier side of the city, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at some of our favourite local beeratoriums, then get out there and hoist a few!
Located within the landmark City Lights building (a designated heritage site adjacent to beautiful Inner Harbour), Canoe is a complete feast for the senses. Stop by, have a seat on the patio and enjoy a deep roster of unique craft beers overlooking the water. Uncommon varieties like helles, maibocks and marzens share space with favorites such as IPAs and lagers. Hungry? Canoe’s menu is also a cut above the traditional pub fare, featuring flash-fried squid, poké and arguably the best poutine in the province.
Swans has been a local favorite since 1989, serving cold brews and hot plates to all who strike out in search of satisfaction. The ever-rotating selection of taps affords guests a fantastic selection of endless variety. It’s not unusual to see doppelbocks, Bavarian lagers, blond ales, saisons, stouts and even fruit beers on tap. The food menu shouldn’t be disregarded either, offering house-made pizzas, quesadillas and “nachos by the pound”.
It’s always beer time at Whistle Buoy. With a commitment to small, handcrafted batches, experimental concoctions, top-quality ingredients and constant innovation, the beer geniuses at this brewery in the heart of downtown never cease to amaze. Goses, fruit sours, hazy pales and flower-infused, malt-forward pilsners are just a few of the varieties of self-described “awesome wacky %*@$!” head brewer Matt has conceived of recently. Grab some to go!
The story of Phillips Brewery is one that comprises equal parts innovation and perseverance. Launched by eponymous brewmaster and founder Matt Phillips in 2001, the brewery’s first obstacle came in the form of financing. No bank was willing to take a risk on Matt and his business plan. So, driven by a dream and “mountains of credit card debt”, Matt bankrolled his venture on his own — a venture that nearly drowned after a fermentation tank ruptured and flooded his production floor just a few years later. But Matt rebuilt, and today Phillips’ beers (including favourites like Electric Unicorn White IPA, Longboat Chocolate Porter and Citricity Grapefruit Ale) continue to make it one of the most popular breweries in Victoria BC.
We could tell you about all the once-in-a-lifetime brews available at this hidden gem, but we’d rather let their names speak for themselves: Moon Juice Raspberry Sour. Hip as Funk IPA. Boys in the Yard Passion Fruit Milkshake IPA. Friends in High Places Wet Hop Ale. Creepy Uncle Dunkel Dark Munich Lager. These and lots of other must-try pints await you both on-site and to go. But as long as you’ve stopped by, you’ll definitely want to peruse the food menu. And when you do, you may find yourself entirely unable to resist items like the halibut fish and chips, deep-fried pickles and BBQ-chicken-and-brie burger.
As one of the city’s most treasured breweries, Vancouver Island has been keeping Victoria awash in golden brews since 1984. Every batch of “the beer for those who love it here” starts with pure-as-the-driven-snow filtered glacial water. From there, owners and brewmasters Hermann and Ralf Pittroff usher along the process that turns it into renowned and award-winning beers, including their Dominion Dark Lager, Piper’s Pale Ale, Point Break Sour and Victoria Pilsner. Don’t skip a trip to their lively taproom to sample a few of them for yourself.
Plan Your Tour of the Taps
Excited about sampling this bevy of beers? The Parkside Hotel & Spa is located near the best breweries in Victoria BC, and our latest Special Offers make sure you get the best rates around. Bottoms up!