Who Doesn’t Like a Good Brew? Check out Victoria’s Brew Pubs
Who needs a break for high tea when there’s plenty of small, handcrafted breweries in Victoria. Each has its own distinct style of beer that are worth checking out.
506 Pandora Ave., Victoria
Established in 1989, Swans Brewery offers a wide selection of beers ranging from British-style ales to German and Canadian beers. Using only 100 percent grain mashes, the ales are naturally carbonated and left to settle rather than being filtered giving you a smoother, more enjoyable beer.
Swans Brewery has won 31 awards to date from the Canadian Brewing Awards(CBA) in the past 11 years including “Brewpub of the Year” in 2006. Most recently Swans Brewery was awarded with 1st place for its Legacy Ale – Barley Wine and 3rd place for Roley’s Scotch Ale both in the Strong Ale Category for the 2015 BC Brewing Awards.
450 Main Street, Victoria
Canoe’s handcrafted beers are brewed in small batches using the finest malted barley, hops, yeast and water. Naturally carbonated, unfiltered and made with all natural ingredients, they are bold but well-balanced beers.
Canoe’s Bock won the 2014 silver medal from the Canadian Brewing Awards, and the 2015 silver medal for its lager. And while the beers are reason enough to come, you’ll love the atmosphere here. It’s continually ranked as the best patio bar in Victoria. Check it out.
101-2740 Bridge Street, Victoria
Brewmaster Sean Hoyne cut his teeth brewing beer for Canoe for over a decade before starting Hoyne Brewing where he’s continued his tradition of brewing great beers. His family of beers includes a golden lager (Helios) that is a nice blend of earthy bitterness, a slight hint of hops and tinge of malt making it one of the best-tasting lagers available. There are plenty others like the Down Easy Pale Ale and the Devil’s Dream IPA, which is a hoppy beer that goes down smooth. You won’t be sorry, this we know.
Moon Under Water Brewery
350B Bay Street, Victoria
German style beers with a North American flare Moon Under Water beers are full-bodied, flavorful and smooth.
You’ll come to enjoy the Tranquility IPA, which is the base for the brewery’s stable of beers. With a hint of citrus and a strong dose of hops, this is one IPA you’ll come to love. Same can be said for their Hefeweizen, a throwback to days when Hefeweizens weren’t over commercialized and brewed right. Much like all the beers at Moon Under Water.
102 – 450 Hillside Ave., Victoria
Brewers Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum started Driftwood in 2008 using fresh, local ingredients and they have created a strong following for their beers. And rightfully so.
A Northwest-style IPA, Fat Tug is a beer that stands out. With hints of fruit (grapefruit, mango, mango and passionfruit) it complements nicely with the generous amount of hops used. While there are other beers in their lineup, Crooked Coast is an old German style lager that has a hint of caramel that makes this session beer a show stopper.
Category 12 Brewing
2200 Keating Cross Road, Victoria
Precision craft beers with a blend of Northwest and Belgian influence, Category 12 Brewing has four beers that put this brewery on the map: its Simplicity ale, Disruption Black IPA, Critical Point pale ale and Unsanctioned, a Belgian inspired saison. All are unfiltered and natural and are off the charts good.
The Disruption Black IPA looks like a stout, but drinks like an IPA. If you like hoppy IPAs with a nice touch of roasted malt, this is arguably one of the best IPAs you’ll come across. It falls in line with the rest of Category 12’s lineup. Edgy, tasty and incredibly smooth.