The “cradle of the revolution” is home to 16 breweries and brewpubs in total, including 11 that are within easy walking or cycling distance of each other around the downtown Inner Harbour. The city is home to Canada’s original brewpub, Spinnakers, which opened in 1984, as well as BC’s most successful craft brewery, Phillips Brewing & Distilling, and some of the province’s newest and freshest operations, such as Île Sauvage Brewing and Whistle Buoy Brewing.
This brewpub operates out of a gorgeous heritage building dating back to 1894. Its beautiful interior, excellent kitchen and sun-drenched, waterfront patio are all good reasons to visit, and the beer will keep you coming back.
Category 12 Brewing
Located on the Saanich Peninsula just off the highway on the way to the ferry and the airport, Category 12 Brewing offers a tasting room with an on-site kitchen. Its beers run the spectrum from standards to barrel-aged specialties—all excellent.
Famous for its flagship Fat Tug IPA, Driftwood also brews a range of other top-notch beers, including barrel-aged sours and a potent barley wine and imperial stout. Though its storefront is not a full tasting room, you will be able to find Driftwood’s beers on tap nearly everywhere.
Four Mile Brewpub
Built in 1858, the Four Mile was a roadhouse for stagecoaches and later automobiles, then a cabaret with a notorious brothel upstairs. Renovated and re-opened with gorgeous decor in 1979, the brewery was added in 2014.
A tiny brewery tucked away next to the Fickle Fig Market just north of the Victoria International Airport, Howl specializes in ancient beer styles long forgotten, as well as a range of contemporary standards.
Sean Hoyne started brewing beer professionally in 1989, first at Swans and then at the Canoe Brewpub. He opened his own brewery in 2011 and has only reinforced his legacy as one of Victoria’s top brewers.
Île Sauvage Brewing
Named Rookie Brewery of the Year at the 2019 BC Beer Awards, Île Sauvage is a lot of attention for its fantastic beers. Stop by its beautiful tasting room to sample from a beer list focused on sour beers, hazy IPAs and barrel-aged saisons.
Lighthouse’s beers and marketing have always reflected a nautical theme inspired by its location in Esquimalt, home to Canada’s Pacific Coast naval base. Its tasting room and outdoor picnic area make it an attractive destination.
Moon Under Water Brewery, Pub & Distillery
This popular local brewpub has a solid beer list and a great food menu with lots of events such as music bingo that keep the pub packed. It recently added a distillery tasting room next door.
Phillips Brewing & Malting
One of Canada’s most successful craft breweries, Phillips began as a one-man operation two decades ago. Its tasting room is a great place to sample its beers and the brewery also hosts regular events in its backyard throughout the warmer months.
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub
Canada’s original brewpub dating back to 1984, Spinnakers’ location on the Inner Harbour offers gorgeous views to go along with delicious beers and an excellent kitchen that works closely with local farms and food providers. It even has guesthouses, making it the perfect home base for exploring Victoria’s beer scene.
Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel
Once an “ugly duckling” of a building that was renovated into a gorgeous swan, this brewpub dating back to 1989 has a great pub with 48 beers on tap, 20 of which are brewed on-site. The hotel upstairs is a great option for staying right downtown.
Vancouver Island Brewery
Dating back to 1984, VIB has been a strong presence in Victoria’s beer scene ever since. Its downtown brewery has a tasting room with tours available on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Victoria Caledonian Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewing
You’ll feel like you’re visiting Scotland when you stop by the welcoming tasting room at this single malt whiskey distillery and brewery. Be sure to take the entertaining and educational tour.
V2V Black Hops Brewing
This veteran-run brewery is based in the original Axe & Barrel Brewhouse with a mandate to support military and first responder veterans PTSD programs.
Whistle Buoy Brewing
Victoria’s newest brewery based in historic Market Square, Whistle Buoy is named for a diving location where its three founders first decided to open their own brewery. It has a cozy tasting room inside and a sun-drenched patio that can’t be beat in the warmer months.
The small town of Sooke, about 45 minutes west of Victoria, is home to three breweries of its own, along with a meadery and distillery, making it the ideal spot for a day trip or overnight excursion. It is also a great destination for adventurous cyclists thanks to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, a decommissioned railway line that was converted into a bike and walking trail that runs all the way from Victoria (approx. 55km).
Bad Dog Brewing
Bad Dog Brewing is a charming brewery located in a rural setting with a tasting room and a picnic area outside. Cyclists note that it is at the top of a long climb from “downtown” Sooke, but then again, that means you get to enjoy a long glide back down afterwards!
Sooke’s “downtown” brewery is in a purpose-built building that has a big tasting room and patio. Enjoy a range of delicious beers along with a plate of charcuterie from the butcher next door.
Sooke Oceanside Brewery
The tasting room at Sooke Oceanside Brewery, which is located next to a gas station on the highway into town, is a great spot to meet locals and taste delicious beers with names inspired by local maritime history and forestry industry.
Southern Gulf Islands
The Southern Gulf Islands are a chain of smaller islands nestled next to Vancouver Island in the Salish Sea. Perfect for those looking to enjoy quieter getaways, the islands are peppered with cabins, and act as home bases for artisan potters and other artists, as well as small-scale farmers. Two of the islands also boast their own craft breweries, adding to the appeal for a self-guided Island Hopping tour.
Mayne Island Brewing
Weekends spent home brewing and dreaming of more finally resulted in this small-scale brewery that opened in 2016. Visitors should plan ahead since this brewery is only open on Fridays and Saturdays
Salt Spring Island Ales
Based in a converted barn at the base of Mount Bruce, this brewery uses water from a spring on the mountainside above and harvests hops and other ingredients grown on the island.