With warmer weather looming and a plethora of breweries popping up in Victoria, this coming Father’s Day may be the perfect time to get outside and explore some of the best hops, malt, barley and yeast concoctions Victoria has to offer.
Following along the map with three options to choose from in any order that will make every beer lover in your life happy – regardless of their dad status.
Option 1 – The Full Malty (2.8 km)
The most Northerly spot on the tour takes you to Ile Sauvage Brewing at 2960 Bridge St. where you can get a 4x 5oz flight for $10. Specializing in sours, you will definitely want to incorporate some of these options, while we also recommend trying the local mashup Maiiz Mexican Lager using Nixtamalized corn from local business Maiiz Nixtamal. If you are hungry when you get here, they offer some local snacks and if you’re with a non-beer drinker they offer cider from Junction, or Kultured Kombucha as some alternative options.
Tasting Room Hours: Tue–Thu 2pm – 9pm, Fri/Sat 12pm–10pm, Sun 12pm–8pm
The next stop on your travels brings you to family-owned Hoyne Brewery at 101-2740 Bridge St., but be forewarned: if you are planning to go out on Father’s Day, you might have to skip this stop as they aren’t open on Sundays! This tasting room is one of the smaller ones on the tour and since the pandemic has switched up some of its operating processes. We recommend stopping in and filling up a growler of one of their four fine friends (Dark Matter, Pilsner, Helios, Down Easy) to save for later, or to peruse some of their cool merch.
Tasting Room Hours: Tue–Sat 11am – 6pm
If you are ready for some much-needed food to go along with your beer, this next stop at 350B Bay St. is the place to fill up. Known for their pub-style fare, we recommend trying out some chicken wings to go along with your pint. This family-friendly space has both a pub and distillery, so if you would prefer to switch up your libation style, give their cocktail menu a try!
The Pub: Mon-Sat 11:30am–10pm, Sun 11:30am–8pm
Distillery Lounge: Wed/Thu 3pm–8pm, Fri-Sun 12pm–8pm
You won’t want to miss visiting Vancouver Island Brewing at 2330 Government St. as it is the oldest brewery on this list starting out in 1984. If you happen to visit on a Tuesday or Thursday, we recommend going on a group brewery tour here at 4 pm, or if you have a larger group, reach out directly to schedule something that works best for you at email@example.com
Taproom Hours: Tue-Wed and Sun 12pm–7pm, Thu-Sat 12pm–8pm
Perhaps the most notorious stop on the list, Phillips Brewery is located at 2010 Government St. This brewery, made famous by founder Matt Phillips, is constantly evolving in the craft brew scene. This is the business that has something for everyone – whether it’s a beer (standard, low-carb, and non-alcoholic), a soda, a cocktail, or even a backyard concert this locale is a crowd-pleasing gem.
Tasting Room Hours: Sun-Wed 12pm – 8pm, Thu – Sat 12pm – 9pm
The newest addition in this walking tour line-up is Herald St. Brew Works located at 506 Herald St. This brewery was a conceptual idea that came to light over several years by a prime brewery partnership between owners of Steel & Oak Brewery in New Westminster and The Drake Eatery in Victoria.
Tasting Room Hours: Sun – Thu 1pm – 10pm, Fri/Sat 1pm – 12am
If you are looking for a place to stay in addition to your drinks, this next stop, Swans, at 506 Pandora Ave. also operates as a Hotel! Many people are surprised to find out that this full-service pub is not only a brewery but that it was donated to UViC in 2000 and has been operated by them ever since.
Pub Hours: Tue/Wed 11:30am – 10:30pm, Thu 11:30am – 11pm, Fri/Sat 11:30am – 1am, Sun 11:30am – 10pm
8. Whistle Bouy
Arguably the best patio spot on the list, Whistle Bouy Brewery is located in Market Square at Unit 63 – 560 Johnson St. Be sure to hit this spot when the sun is shining and try out their “Ocean in a glass” Under Sea Gose for a truly unique experience.
Taproom Hours: Sun – Thu 12pm – 9pm, Fri/Sat 12pm – 12am
Option 2: Hops Skip and a Jump (750 metres)
If eight breweries and/or 2.8 kilometres seem too ambitious for you, we recommend option two. This option takes you to locations 1 – 3 from The Full Malty: Ile Sauvage, Hoyne, and Moon.
Option 3: The Barley Blitz (1 km)
If you are stuck in a Goldilocks scenario where eight breweries seem too many, but three seem too few, take this option to be your perfect compromise. With only 1 kilometre between the breweries 4 – 8 on The Full Malty, you will be sure to get a solid experience visiting Vancouver Island Brewery, Phillips, Herald Street, Swans and Whistle Bouy.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to tag @tastingvictoria in your adventures and let us know what your favourite beer was along the way!
Written by Lauren Gaultier of @winethenfood