Must-See Craft Breweries in Victoria
Posted by Tom Westley on
Known as the cradle of Canada’s ‘craft beer revolution’ and one of the most storied brewing hotspots in North America, Victoria has a long history of noteworthy craft brewers.
Beginning with what was Canada’s first brewpub Spinnakers (which opened in 1984) and stretching to a recent blossoming collection of forward-thinking modern breweries, there’s something to be found for aficionados and rookies alike.
Coming up alongside Victoria’s equally renowned local food movement, Victoria’s craft brewery scene has always placed an emphasis on taste and locality, offering an experience that visitors won’t soon forget, truly a moment to savour, and drink it all in!
To help you do just that, we’ve profiled 5 of our favourite must-visit craft breweries in Victoria, with instructions on how to find them.
Opening in 1984, mere months after Brewpubs were first legalized in Canada, it still remains the heart of Victoria’s brewing scene to this day.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a diverse selection of 30 house brewed beers, showcasing the very best of all the trending and most celebrated brewery styles, with high-quality choices in stouts, English-style IPA’s, fruity and hoppy lagers, and much more.
Spinnakers also offers a complete gastropub experience, with a harbourside restaurant, complete with house-made chocolate truffles for afterwards, and a nine-room guesthouse.
Exit the RV Park, and take Songhees Walkway until you reach a left onto Barnard Avenue, turn right onto Esquimalt Road, before taking a right onto Catherine Street to arrive at your destination.
Canoe Brewpub offers a one of a kind experience, situated in a 19th century building originally built to house coal-powered generators, and now decorated in a chic mix of exposed brick and wood beams.
Once you step outside things only get more spectacular, as you can enjoy a crisp beer on a patio that offers panoramic views of Victoria Harbour.
But enough about the scenery, tell us about the beer! Well, the beer somehow manages to do this backdrop justice, with a balanced selection highlighted by a rotating cast of European style seasonal beers including marzens, maibocks, and witbiers.
Exit the RV Park, and take Songhees Walkway until you reach a left onto Barnard Avenue, turn right onto Esquimalt Road, continuing onto Johnson Street and then Pandora Avenue, before taking a left onto Store Street, and a further left onto Swift Street to arrive at your destination.
Sometimes you’re looking to be hit in the face with a hoppy 10 percenter, and sometimes, you’re looking for a craft beer with a little less kick, and a little more subtlety. That’s what Moon Brewery specialize in, with most of their beers coming in below 6% ABV - a definite selling point in the hoppy IPA laden world of Pacific Northwest craft brewing.
With a tap selection fronted by a decidedly west coast take on the English style ale, best demonstrated by their session lager with its orange peel notes, and a session stout that offers a remarkable and subtle tart combination of chocolate, caramel, and plum.
Exit the RV Park, and take Songhees Walkway until you reach a left onto Barnard Avenue, turn right onto Esquimalt Road, before taking a right onto Catherine Street, before continuing on to Bay Street to arrive at your destination.
It’s a story of perseverance, of entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, and most importantly, a gifted palette for crafting the perfect beer for the discerning customer - but for a while, Matt Phillips seemed like he’d never get Phillips Brewing off the ground.
Luckily for us, Phillips Brewing did open in 2001, and has gone on to become one of the most decorated breweries in the Pacific Northwest, With their Blue Buck pale ale now populating bars and restaurants throughout Victoria, you know exactly what you’re getting.
As one of the only breweries in Canada who can claim to malt their own barley, Phillips Brewing is the quintessential craft experience.
Exit the RV Park, and take Songhees Walkway until you reach a left onto Barnard Avenue, turn right onto Esquimalt Road, continuing onto Johnson Street and then Pandora Avenue, then taking a left onto Government Street to arrive at your destination.
A great selection is a must for any craft brewery, but the holy grail is that signature concoction, the beer that can define your style and cement your status, and in their Fat Tug IPA - and Driftwood Brewery has just that.
Introduced in 2010, the Fat Tug is still one of the most popular tipples in all of British Columbia, with a balanced hoppy taste showcasing notes of citrus and pine, it’s a resolutely pacific northwestern drink.
This local, drinkable, but still refined approach can also be found across their tap list, with highlights including a Canadian pale ale, a saison, and a North German Pilsner.
Exit the RV Park, and take Songhees Walkway until you reach a left onto Barnard Avenue, turn right onto Esquimalt Road, before taking a right onto Catherine Street, before continuing on to Bay Street, taking a left at Pleasant Street, then a final right at Hillside Avenue to arrive at your destination.
From craft beer to seafood, harbour views to wild adventures, exploring all that Victoria and BC has to offer requires time and a home away from home to base yourself - and nowhere provides that quite like our RV haven here at Salish. To find out more, or to book your stay, get in touch with us!