Victoria British Columbia: How This Canadian City is the Perfect Destination for Brewery Enthusiasts
Victoria, Canada’s 15th largest city located in British Columbia, is the perfect destination for visitors who enjoy brewery tours and beer tastings. Although it is overshadowed by cities like Vancouver and Toronto, Victoria, B.C. has a vibrant craft brewing scene, natural beauty, and plenty of entertainment options – making it the perfect destination for beer lovers from across the globe.
As the capital city of British Columbia, Victoria is a city of contradictions. Surrounded by stunning National Parks and innumerable ways to explore the surrounding environment, including whale-watching and the world-famous Butchart Gardens, the town centre offers a fascinating mix of historic buildings and modern attractions. It’s known for its stunning architecture, lush gardens, and charming Old Town – all of which contribute to a wonderfully old-world atmosphere. But most beer lovers come here to enjoy fantastic craft beers in local microbreweries.
In recent years, craft brewing in Victoria has become more popular than ever. Going back just a few years ago, there were only a few breweries in the entire province. Now, with over 15 craft breweries in operation, there are plenty of options for those looking to embark on a brewery tour. Here we’ll take a look at the most popular craft breweries to visit in Victoria, as well as an age-old tradition that makes this city even more unique.
The Most Popular Victoria Breweries to Visist
Victoria’s craft brewing scene is growing every day. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, here are the top breweries that deserve your attention:
- Phillips Brewing Company – Founded in 2001, Phillip’s Brewing Company quickly rose to become the largest craft brewery in British Columbia. The brewery has expanded drastically over the last two decades, helping to shape the face of BC’s craft beer culture. Their award-winning beers can be found all over Canada, but there’s plenty to explore right in their 12,000 square foot production facility. The brewery offers tours year-round – and they often include tastings.
- Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub – As Victoria’s oldest brewpub dating back to 1984, Spinnakers deserves recognition for jump starting the craft brewing revolution in Canada. The pub offers a variety of their own brews on-site but also serves some of the finest beer from all regions of Canada at their bottle shop. So whether you prefer your taproom experience over lunch or dinner or something more rustic during their seasonal outdoor patio events.
- Beacon Hill Brewing – Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, Beacon Hill Brewing reflects Victoria’s atmosphere and culture perfectly. The brewery and taproom specialize in small-batch brews, including sour ales and their signature India Pale Ale (IPA). The taproom offers cozy accommodations perfect for sipping beers with great company.
- Driftwood Brewing Company – Established in 2008, Driftwood Brewing Co. has made waves in the craft brewing scene all across Canada. With their innovative styles and range of small-batch beers including Lagers, Ales, and classic IPAs – everyone can find something they love at this local brewery and restaurant.
- Dominion Cider Company – Not to be overlooked, Victoria’s cider scene is bustling with activity thanks to the innovative Dominion Cider Co.. In addition to their delicious ciders, Dominion is also an excellent place to come and enjoy some of Victoria’s live music scene (particularly folk music). They recommend pairing their crisp ciders with their homemade food – and we have to agree!
Victoria’s Annual Ritual – May Day Tapping Ceremony
One unique tradition in Victoria is the May Day tapping ceremony that happens every year on May 1st. On this special day, each of Victoria’s craft breweries participate in a simultaneous dispatch from their taprooms at noon to tap the first keg of their latest seasonal beer. Many join in a city-wide celebrations and take part in the festivities. Special guest brewmasters lead live tapping ceremonies featuring musical performances, guest talks, and food offerings from some of the local restaurants and cafes that offer traditional British fare such as Fish & Chips or Bangers & Mash.
The ceremony is also open to public viewing so anyone wanting to partake in the revelry can observe each brewery’s tapping ceremonies via live stream online. The venue is also decorated with special decorations like beer banners and brewing vessels adding further colour to already enjoyable day out. It’s a great way to sample new beers (and ciders), learn more about the city’s history, meet brewers and other beer aficionados – make sure you book your tickets well in advance as this event usually sells out quickly!
For The Best Experience Join A Guided Tour
If you’re visiting Victoria for its craft beer scene, it’s a good idea to consider booking a guided tour of some of the city’s best breweries. Depending on your preferences you can book either a half or full day tour which takes you from one location to another – with experienced guides along to explain each local “tippling’ spot – sampling beers at each one. One particularly interesting tour you should consider is the Victoria British Columbia Local Brewery Tour with A Guide. Guests are taken on a journey through charming streets and past BC landmarks like Craigflower Manor (the oldest surviving building in BC) on their way to the plethora of brewing options the city has to offer. With up to five stops that could include Phillips Brewing Company, Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, Driftwood Brewing Co., or others – you can be sure you’ll have an unforgettable experience!
In conclusion, no beer lover’s Vancouver Island journey is complete without exploring what Victoria has to offer. From its unique May Day Tapping Ceremony to its diverse selection of major brewing companies and microbreweries – drinking in Victoria is an experience like no other. So why not join a guided tour from Victoria’s Local Brewery Tour with A Guide, grab some friends or go solo and discover why Victoria has become home to some of BC’s best tasting libations!
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