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Experience Victoria's Craft Beer Scene

Posted on February 6, 2020

With 14 breweries operating in the Greater Victoria area and several excellent craft beer pubs and tap houses, Victoria is the perfect spot to get acquainted with the world of beer. Experience Victoria’s rich brewing culture over a tasting flight, a pint or by taking part in one of several upcoming beer-focused events.  

Tasting Rooms

The best way to master your beer preference and taste what each brewery has to offer is to order a tasting flight, which allows you pick four beers on tap to taste. Breweries like Phillips Brewing & Malting Co and Vancouver Island Brewing have created dedicated tasting rooms surrounding their breweries, giving you an inside look into the culture of craft beer. 

Insider Tip: After you’ve finished your tasting, opt to purchase a growler or growlito and fill it with your favourite beer to take away. Just keep in mind beer only stays fresh for about 36 hours in a growler before going flat.  

Image via Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.
 

Brewpubs 

As the oldest brewpub in Canada, a visit to Spinnakers is a pilgrimage for beer lovers. More than 30 years after opening their doors, they are still coming out with innovative and cutting-edge styles. 

Step into the industrial warehouse pub that is Swans with a neat collection of small batch brews that are constantly pushing the creative envelope. They also have a variety of other B.C. breweries on tap, a testament to the collaborative culture found in the craft beer industry. Alternatively, if you’re looking to experience a tasting flight on one of Victoria’s best patios, look no further than Canoe Brew Pub. Opt for their ‘Windward Series’, an everchanging unique single-batch creation by the brewmaster that you likely won’t find again.  

Image by @spinnakersbrewpub via Instagram
 

Craft Beer Pubs

The Churchill has over 50 taps of some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest craft beer, so you’re sure to find something on the menu that appeals to your taste buds. Get cozy at The Drake Eatery, home to a unique atmosphere where you can order a pint from their ever rotating taps and relax on one of their comfy couches, or catch some rays on their patio overlooking Market Square.

Located in the bustling hub of Bastion Square, Garrick’s Head Pub is one of the oldest English pubs in Canada and with 65 beers on tap, has the largest selection of craft and import beers available in Victoria. 

Image by @thechurchillvic via Instagram
 

Brewery Tours

If you’re new to the craft beer scene, taking a tour with a self-proclaimed local beer geek is one of the best ways to explore Victoria’s craft brewery scene.  

Book a Hoppy Hour tour with The Pedaler to bike through some scenic landscape including the Selkirk Trestle and Trans Canada Trail while learning about the history of Victoria’s local beer scene. Along the way, enjoy a stop at three different locations for beer tastings. 

For a unique experience, head out on The Rolling Barrel and pedal your way on a giant bike throughout the streets of Victoria, with stops at two breweries. For a more leisurely mode of transportation, West Coast Brewery Tours offers a variety of brewery and distillery tours. If you’ve already hit some of the downtown spots, the Rock Bay Food & Brew tour is a great way to check out some hidden local gems. 

 

Events

Victoria locals take beer pretty seriously! So seriously in fact that we have a society, The Victoria Beer Society, who facilitate various beer-related events throughout the year in Greater Victoria. They also pop-up at a variety of events with their 16-tap beer truck.  

From a week entirely dedicated to celebrating craft beer, Victoria Beer Week, to the Great Canadian Beer Festival in September, there is no shortage of celebrations surrounding everything to do with brews. Many of the breweries in Victoria also host their own beer-related community events and collaborations, such as Phillip’s with their annual Backyard Weekender and Hopoxia.  

Keep a close eye on our Calendar of Events to find the next exciting event in the world of beer. 

Insider Tip: No beer events scheduled during your visit? Opt to participate in Victoria’s popular past-time activity, music bingo over a pint. You can find a different venue seven days a week, with hot spots including Yates Street Taphouse (Tuesday at 8 p.m.), Bartholomews (Thursday at 7 p.m.) and Moon Under Water (Friday at 7:30 p.m.)

Image by @vicbeerweek via Instagram
 

For even more beer inspiration, explore the Victoria Ale Trail!