Sunday, June 23, 2024

Here’s 7 breweries on the Greater Victoria Ale Trail to check out this May


As of Monday, May 1st, there is a brand new edition of the Greater Victoria Ale Trail Tasting Passport!

It’s like Christmas for beer lovers wanting to try all the newest seasonal offerings from the many accomplished breweries throughout Victoria.

The passport includes 23 breweries from Sooke to Sidney and even out to the Southern Gulf Islands.

For those with enough gumption to get through all 23, once you’ve received a stamp from every brewery, you can turn in the Tasting Passport to any of the breweries participating for a chance to win a massive beer prize pack.

If you  can’t tackle the 23 breweries in 31 days, here is a list of seven must-try spots from the full list:

Small Gods Brewing

Small Gods opened this year in Sidney and everything they do is literally impeccable. 

All their beer names are based on literary titles of classics and contemporary titles Their flagship beer is a German pilsner called ‘Neverending’ after The Neverending Story. 

The tasting room offers some of the best sandwiches in town and they frequently hold literary nights and book clubs for writers and readers who want to enjoy what they do — books and beer.

  • Where: 9835 Third Street, Sidney

Beacon Brewing

If you’re stopping through Sidney in search of beer and you already bopped into Small Gods, you’d be silly to not poke your head and the rest of your body into Beacon Brewing — it’s literally right next door!

Beacon Brewing is a family operation owned and operated by people who simply love beer and their community and music. Every Monday they’ve got music bingo, Tuesday’s are vinyl nights where guests are invited to bring their favourite records to show off their good taste and Fridays they have live music right in the taproom. 

All their beer is brewed in small batches right in house and they’ve got pizza from Mariner’s for those who want a savory snack while they sample a flight or take on a few pints. 

  • Where: 9829 Third Street, Sidney

Whistle Buoy Brewing

These guys are always shocking the beer world and concocting innovative, delicious beers for those looking to try something truly special. 

In the last year alone, Whistle Buoy has put on one of the best wrestling/music festivals BC has ever seen, let Chat GPT develop a beer recipe for them and the latest science experiment they’ve put together is a strawberry smoothie beer collaboration. 

As one of Victoria’s most innovative breweries, Whistle Buoy is a for sure must-try. Eerie month it seems they’ve broken the beer ceiling again and come up with something no one else is doing. 

  • Where: #63 – 560 John Street, Victoria

Île Sauvage Brewing

Sour connoisseurs, and beer perfectionists, Île Sauvage has an interesting tasting room that lets you feel like you are part of the action as you are immersed in the space they use to brew the very beer you are drinking. 

Île Sauvage focusses on Belgian-style wild ales that is a niche not found anywhere else on Vancouver Island. Fruit beer lovers and people who love nothing more than a sour beer in the heat of the sun will need to stop by the tap room and stamp their Tasting Passport this May. 

Check out their new Lunar Lager or the Mezcal Gose!

  • Where: 2960 Bridge Street, Victoria

Howl Brewing

In the heart of North Saanich, Howl Brewing is a small but mighty brewery that knows what they’re doing when it comes to brewing. 

The taproom has been slinging beers since 2018 and the focus has always been on small batches of high quality creative beer that showcases local ingredients from farms around the area. 

It’s always worth taking the trip to Howl Brewing and it makes the perfect sunny May day adventure for beer-lovers looking to get out and explore Greater Victoria’s best and brightest beer-minds. 

They’ve got a new Sarsaparilla Dark Sour that is definitely worth checking out!

  • Where: 1780 Mills Road, North Saanich

Bad Dog Brewing

Bit of a trek out to the boonies, but always worth it if you like hot dogs, real dogs and beer that’s named after dogs!

Bad Dog Brewing always has a few pups running around playing with each other and sometimes coming by for a pat on the head. 

They also have a surprising amount of beer selection with something for every kind of beer fan. 

Their ‘Old Red’ is an incredibly accessible, lightly hopped red ale, their ‘Tire Biter’ is a mainstay and is one of the truest and best West Coast IPAs in town.

Have a dog beer and a dog hang while eating a dog next time you find yourself out near Sooke or Otter Point. 

  • Where: 7861 Tugwell Road, Sooke

Sooke Oceanside Brewery

Sooke Oceanside Brewery (SOB) has one of the best views of any taproom across Vancouver Island. If you aren’t sick of looking at the ocean while having a meticulously crafted brew, this is the spot for you. 

They offer multiple seltzers for those who can’t do gluten and several delicious beers for those who can. 

This spot was opened when a successful executive chef had a growing desire to craft beer instead of food and you can tell by the balanced flavour of every beer that he has a truly great palette. 

SOB was born out of a garage and now is one of the most renowned breweries in Greater Victoria that is always worth the trip.

Their beer tastes best following a hike in the East Sooke Hills.

  • Where: 5871-A Sooke Road, Sooke

What’s the brewery you’re most looking forward to hitting up this spring for their seasonal brews? Let us know in the comments!

Curtis Blandy

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