Spinnakers

Welcome to a legend. Spinnakers is to Vancouver Island what Propeller is to Nova Scotia. In fairness, Spinnakers was another creation of brewmaster – eminencé gris, Frank Appleton.

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Paul Gilbert
Phillips

Phillips Brewing and Malting Company just opened their new tasting rooms and retail outlet on Government Street in Victoria, BC. Created and extensively built by the Phillips team, the comfortable, joyous new space reflects the culture of Phillips and its founder Matt.

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Paul Gilbert
Strange Fellows

Iain Hill and his partner Aaron built Strange Fellows. Iain has worked in the brewing industry Vancouver since 1992 including a stint at Red Truck. Both owners have strong connection to Belgium but decided on a broader portfolio of styles because 'it's more fun.'

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Paul Gilbert
Hoyne

Hoyne Brewing Co. is one of the senior citizens (in the best sense) of craft beer in British Columbia. Sean Hoyne has seen it all from the early days of Frank Appleton and John Mitchell.

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Paul Gilbert
Sutton

Brasserie Sutton has got to be one of the most beautiful craft breweries we have encountered anywhere in North America.  To start with the village of Sutton is gorgeous. Brasserie Sutton is located in what appears to have been a turn-of-the-century mill.

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Paul Gilbert
Wolf

Mid-island is now breaking into the scene with Mount Arrowood, Red Arrow, Riot and Longwoods. In Nanaimo, White Sails has been joined by upstart Wolf Brewing. Located in an unlikely small industrial park, Wolf is petit and fascinating. Well worth a visit.

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Paul Gilbert
Dunham

Eloi Deit at Brassiere Dunham is rapidly becoming a celebrity brewmaster in Eastern Canada. His recent collaboration with Bellwoods of Toronto on their Mahalo Parfait Framboise IPA is typical of his, sometimes wildly unexpected inventiveness. In person, Eloi is very serious. Not so much Brassiere Dunham itself which resides in a restored and funky old hotel building. Dunham seems to always have something on tap to surprise

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Central City

As one of the bigger players on the West Coast, Central City is in-demand for collaborations. Brewmaster, Gary Lohan is known for his openness and wisdom. Central City built its reputation on Red Racer IPA. Central City recently opened a new (and humungous) brewing and distilling facility in Surrey - not the most accessible location but worth the trip. Late in the day, you'll often find Gary at the bar talking up the locals. Central City sponsored the Red Racer 150 Anniversary twelve pack featuring brews from every province and territory.

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Big Spruce

Once on Cape Breton head directly to Baddeck and check out Big Spruce, an excellent organic brewery and hop farm just outside of town in Nyanza. You can taste the beer at the brewery’s tasting patio –there’s a visiting food truck on weekends, in season – including their refreshing Kitchen Party Pale Ale, or in the town’s watering holes. Baddeck is a lovely holiday town, particularly attractive to boaters, viewing  the famous Bras d’Or Lakes. Stay at the Inverary Resort, or rent a local cottage

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County Road

The Sumac Witbier is a new addition to the tap list that pours a light yellow and tastes of cloves and Belgium. This is the perfect wine-to-beer transition, a pleasant discovery that deserves a toast. Your friends arrive at your table at the same time as the oysters, lucky for them as the taproom is almost entirely full – groups by the door are sharing flights and ordering takeaway bottles.

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