New to Victoria’s brew scene? West Coast Brewery Tours will happily haul you and your friends in their lively van to three different breweries in the area so you can merrily get sloshed! Near the beginning of the tour, you will learn bits and pieces of Victoria’s early beer scene history from when it started in the 19th century and a bit about the current climate of craft beer in British Columbia (BC). Much like craft beer in the states and Washington in particular, craft breweries in BC are exploding. There are currently102 breweries and 36 are scheduled to open this year!
Our guide and driver, Elton, decided to start us off strong on our 3-hour Definitive Tour with a visit to Moon Under Water Brewpub where they do the weird stuff right. A dry hop czech pilz with one heck of a malt, a dark lager with enough body to wear a XXL, a farmhouse IPA fermented with brettanomyces, and a saison aged in pinot noir barrels. Each beer was unique even for its style, with a charismatic and affable brewer who was brewing even as we walked through.
The next stop was a brewery called Axe and Barrel founded by a former brewer of Vancouver Island’s most noted brewery, Tofino. With a citrus witbier and cacao porter, these guys are also trying to do interesting stuff and do it well. We got to take a peek at their sparkling facility while their head brewer explained their operations. Our last stop was the Canoe Brewpub right in the heart of Victoria. It was a solid last stop with good service (perfectly willing to deal with a large party of fairly intoxicated folk)! To be honest, at this point in the tour, everyone had had plenty of beer and attempts to gather the group for a final glimpse of Canoe’s brewing area were futile. We still poked our heads in the back to take a look, but it was perfectly acceptable to hang back for snacks and chatter with the rest of the group.
Before heading back, we were given the option to get dropped off at the initial pickup area, or at The Guild Free House, where they offer a 2-for-1 appetizer deal worked out for folks on the brewery tour. We gladly took up this offer and continued the party with our new brewery tour friends!
Next time you are up in Victoria, hop on the tour bus or hit up some of these spots for a good time and great beer! Check out the full album on our Facebook.
Check out any of their 4 group or private tour options:
- 2-hour Express ($59 CAD): Features 2 breweries in 2 hours to get a quick taste of the city’s beer
- 3-hour Definitive ($75 CAD): 3 breweries in 3 hours to get a good sense of the beer scene
- 4-hour Beer, Cider, Spirits Tour ($89 CAD): Victoria Spirits, Sea Cider, and a brewery in one day
- 5-hour Up Island Cowichan Valley Tour($99 CAD): 3 breweries and a gorgeous scenic drive
Breweries on tour:
Moon Under Water
Photos by Jered Perez & Kelsey Uy.
West Coast Brewery Tours | Clipper Ferry Terminal, Inner Harbour | 1 (844) 516-4402