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With a dynamic community featuring more than 40 craft breweries, Vancouver Island is truly a destination for beer lovers. From Victoria at the southern tip, where the whole microbrewing movement got its start when Spinnakers Brewpub opened in 1984, all the way up to Port McNeill near the northern tip of the Island, and across to spectacular Tofino on the west coast, craft breweries are sprinkled all over the Island. Some are ultra-local, focused on their own communities or neighbourhoods — which means you have to visit them in person if you want to taste their beers — while others have expanded to distribute throughout BC and even beyond its borders so you’ll see their beer on tap at bars and restaurants wherever you go.

No matter what your taste preferences are, you will definitely find some new favourites here.

The Vancouver Island Beer Guide has been curated to invite locals and visitors to experience the amazing beer scene here while exploring the various regions of the Island and all they have to offer — whether it’s the agricultural splendour of the warm Cowichan Valley, the rugged and beautiful wild west coast, the sheltered beaches that stretch for miles along the east coast, the urban pleasures of Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay-Comox, or the many varied outdoor activities readily accessible here, including biking, hiking, skiing, surfing, paddling, caving and climbing. Vancouver Island is a fantastic place to visit so be warned, once you come here you might never want to leave.

Enjoy Inside Or Take It To-Go

But back to the beer, which is the real reason for this guide. Many of the breweries listed here have tasting rooms where you can sample their brews and most offer snacks or meals. Some are brewpubs with full restaurants offering extensive menu options. Many are family-friendly places where you can bring the kids along and lots of them have dog-friendly patios. At each brewery, you will also be able to purchase bottles or cans to take away with you or fill a growler to take back to your campsite, RV, motel or cabin.

New Experiences are Brewing Nearby. Let the BC Ale Trail be your guide.

For more information, visit the BC Ale Trail website, which offers in-depth itineraries and detailed information about every brewery on the Island. Or download the BC Ale Trail app, which you can use to collect points each time you visit a brewery, and then redeem them for a special prize at participating locations. It will also help you find local liquor stores and local taphouses that offer good craft beer selections.

Part 1

South Island

Southern Gulf Islands

This chain of smaller islands is 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.

Salt Spring Island Brewing Co.
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.

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 Thursday to Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Saanich Peninsula

The semi-rural Saanich Peninsula is well suited to beer explorations, whether by car, motorcycle or bike. Back road adventurers will be rewarded with frequent stops at farmers’ markets, wineries and distilleries, as well as ultra-local cafes and restaurants. Cyclists can ride for dozens of kilometres along the Lochside Trail, which follows the route of a former railway line and stretches from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal into Victoria, with easy access to all of the breweries featured here.

Small Gods Brewing
Small Gods embraces this booklover’s town with its literary theme. All of the top-notch beers brewed here feature names that connect with books — and they are also well-paired with the delicious food on offer, including house-made deli sandwiches and other delicious bites.

Beacon Brewing
Sidney’s first brewery introduced this seaside community to craft beer when it opened in 2021. Beacon is a family-run operation that is committed to supporting the community they live in and call home by using local ingredients and supporting local companies as much as possible. The tasting room offers pints and flights of fresh beer made on-site, as well as local cider, wine and sodas, plus slices from Mariner’s Pizza and other local snack options.

Howl Brewing
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.

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 that makes fantastic food. Its beers run the spectrum from standards to barrel-aged specialties—all excellent.

Greater Victoria

The “cradle of the revolution” features 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.

Macaloney’s Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery
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.

Île Sauvage Brewing
Named Rookie Brewery of the Year at the 2019 BC Beer Awards, Île Sauvage gets a lot of attention for its impressive beer list. Stop by the beautiful tasting room to sample from a beer list focused on sour beers, hazy IPAs and barrel-aged saisons.

Hoyne Brewing
Sean Hoyne started brewing beer professionally in 1989, first at Swans and then at the Canoe Brewpub. He finally opened his own brewery in 2011 and has only reinforced his legacy as one of Victoria’s top brewers.

Moon Under Water Brew Pub & Distillery
This popular local brewpub has a solid beer list and a great food menu with many events such as music bingo that keep the pub packed. It recently added a distillery tasting room next door.

Vancouver Island Brewing
Dating back to 1984, VIB has been a strong presence in Victoria’s beer scene ever since. Its brewery has a recently renovated tasting room featuring local artwork and tasty beers that embrace the adventurous Vancouver Island lifestyle.

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, gins and whiskies, along with non-alcoholic beer and craft sodas. Phillips’ Beer Shop features a growler bar, beer to go, and a great selection of merch.

Herald Street Brew Works
Located on the north edge of Old Town near historic Chinatown, this brewery has a two-level tasting room with the brewing equipment as the central focus along with two patio spaces. All the beer is poured directly from the brite tanks, ensuring tank-fresh beer in every glass.

CRAFT Victoria Harbour
Recently updated, this is the first and only CRAFT Beer Market location with an on-site brewery. Based in a gorgeous heritage building dating back to 1894, its beautiful interior, excellent kitchen and sun-drenched, waterfront patio are all great reasons to visit, and the beer will keep you coming back.

Swift Brewing and the Good Time Tasting Room
Located at 450 Swift Street, our brewery is a place for you to enjoy a super comfy setting, combining the best of the old with the convenience and comfort of the new. Picture the delicious flavors and cozy feeling from your wild Aunt Linda’s kitchen and the retro nostalgia from your cousin Geo’s cigar room. It’s the right blend of old-school charm and modern-day comfort.

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.

Whistle Buoy Brewing
Victoria’s downtown brewery based in historic Market Square, Whistle Buoy makes a rotating list of small-batch experimental beers using high-quality local ingredients. It has a cozy tasting room inside and a dog-friendly patio that’s sun-drenched in summer and covered with heaters in winter. Open every day.

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.

Driftwood Brewing Company
Brewing the beer they love to make, Driftwood is best known for making bold west coast beers while aspiring to make the best beer they can. You can visit Driftwood’s Bar & Patio in the heart of Esquimalt and indulge in a myriad of fresh beers on tap, Driftwood Spirits cocktails, locally produced wine and cider, and an Asian-fusion menu from local legends, Dumpling Drop.

Lighthouse Brewing
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.

4Mile Brewing Company
Built in 1858, the Four Mile was a roadhouse for stagecoaches and later automobiles, then a cabaret with a notorious brothel upstairs. Renovated and reopened with gorgeous decor in 1979, the brewery was added in 2014.

Millstream Beverage Co.
Langford’s local brewery has a tasting room and patio with table and bar seating. Kids and families are welcome, and the fenced outdoor area is dog friendly, too. Pizza and nachos are available along with a wide assortment of craft beers and seltzers.

Mile Zero Brewing
This small brewery started by three friends is located in what was once Metchosin’s schoolhouse, which more recently was converted into a community centre with space leased for local businesses like this. And you can’t get any more local — the beer is available only in the taproom to enjoy by the glass or takeaway in a growler.


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. 45 km).

Sooke Oceanside Brewery
SOB’s gorgeous new tasting room overlooking the Sooke Harbour is a great spot to meet locals and taste delicious beers with names inspired by local maritime history and the forestry industry.

Sooke Brewing
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 or a meal from the on-site food truck.

Bad Dog Brewing
Bad Dog Brewing is a charming brewery located in a rural setting with a tasting room, food truck, and a picnic area outside. Cyclists note that it is at the top of a long climb from central Sooke, but then again, that means you get to enjoy a long glide back down afterwards!

Must Stop Spots

Part 2


Heading north up the Island Highway from Victoria, the spectacular vistas of the Malahat Summit give way to the rural agricultural splendour of the Cowichan Valley, which boasts a maritime Mediterranean climate that achieves the warmest year-round temperature anywhere in Canada. Farm markets, wineries and cideries abound — and so do breweries. The Cowichan region also offers excellent mountain biking, hiking and paddling opportunities.

Red Arrow Brewing
Make a pit stop at this Duncan brewery located in a converted custom motorcycle shop, a beautiful brick-and-ivy-clad building within sight of the highway. It has an attractive and welcoming tasting room and a licenced self-serve picnic area outside with a tall totem pole and a gargoyle named Christopher watching from his perch on the edge of the roof.

Small Block Brewing
This brewery celebrates classic car culture alongside “precision-made” craft beer. The owners’ fascination with 1950s/60s hot rods is reflected in the decor of the welcoming tasting room, as well as in many of the names of the beer they serve.

Craig Street Brewpub
Check out Duncan’s cozy and quaint downtown for some shopping or sightseeing, and then pop into the Craig Street Brewpub for a meal and a beer. This attractive, multi-level building dating back to the 1940s has lots of different options for dining, whether it’s the downstairs pub with its beautiful, antique bar, the streetside patio, or the rooftop deck upstairs.

Bayview Brewing
Ladysmith has long been well known for its picture-perfect main street and famous cinnamon buns, but Bayview Brewing provides another great reason to detour off the Island Highway: delicious beer and a top-notch food menu in a comfortable, family-friendly tasting environment.

Must Stop Spots

Part 3

Central Island


The port city of Nanaimo is the second largest urban centre on the Island, acting as a hub for the mid-Island region with ferries to the Mainland, the Vancouver Island University campus, and a lively arts and culture scene. Five local breweries provide a diverse and delicious opportunity for a tasting tour.

Wolf Brewing
Originally founded as Fat Cat Brewing in 2000, this brewery located on the south side of Nanaimo changed its name to Wolf in 2010. The new owners also expanded and revitalized the brewery with a snazzy new on-site tasting room.

Cliffside Brewing
Nanaimo’s newest brewery has a warm tasting room with a fresh, young energy. Its location right next to White Sails Brewing makes for a perfect tasting tour by foot, especially for visitors staying downtown.

White Sails Brewing
Named for the sailboats that dot Nanaimo’s harbour, White Sails has a big, welcoming tasting room reminiscent of a German beer hall, with a warm, glass-enclosed gas fireplace at its heart.

Longwood Brewery
Longwood Brewery partners with many small farmers for a wide range of ingredients, resulting in an obsessively local product that reflects the true terroir of Vancouver Island. In fact, the majority of all the barley and hops Longwood Brewery uses is sourced within BC.

Longwood Brewpub
The Longwood Brewpub has anchored the Longwood Station plaza in the north end of Nanaimo since 1999. It has a family-friendly restaurant upstairs and a pub downstairs, with a big fieldstone fireplace to warm a body up on a cold, wet Vancouver Island winter day.

Parksville Qualicum Beach

The sheltered stretch of coastline north of Nanaimo is home to some of the province’s most spectacular beaches, including Parksville’s Rathtrevor Beach where the tide goes out almost a kilometre (half a mile), revealing clean sand and fascinating tidal pools that teem with marine life.

Rusted Rake Brewing
Rusted Rake is a farm-based brewery and gourmet eatery. A family-owned-and-operated business, the Rake has a superb kitchen that serves a wide range of dishes using locally sourced ingredients first and foremost. Brewing the beer here is industry veteran Dave Woodward who has established a reputation for excellent, award-winning beers at several other BC breweries over the past 20 years.

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing
Named Brewery of the Year at the 2017 BC Beer Awards, this stylish spot is the perfect accompaniment to Parksville’s beaches and resorts. Its tasting room kitchen makes it a great stop for lunch or dinner as well.

Fern + Cedar Brewing
Located in a gorgeous purpose-built building with a distillery next door, this brewery offers a bold and tasty experience in the heart of Qualicum Beach, featuring small-batch beer in a fresh, live, green filled space. It is a haven for foodies and beer enthusiasts alike to come together in great discussions over local food and beer.

LoveShack Libations
This small Qualicum Beach brewery is a labour of love for its charismatic founder who brews part-time and serves samples at the brewery two days a week. Be prepared to be entertained when you pop in for a sample flight.

Must Stop Spots

Part 4

Pacific Rim

Port Alberni

Head west across the Island past the quaint town of Coombs, where goats famously munch on grass on the roof of the Old Country Market, and through Cathedral Grove, a spectacular stand of old-growth trees that will awe and inspire you. Port Alberni is home to three excellent breweries that have established this town as a beer lover’s destination.

Dog Mountain Brewing
Founded by an award-winning brewer and her husband who moved here from Alberta to open the brewery, Dog Mountain Brewing is a hidden gem that has a dog-friendly rooftop patio with a gorgeous view of the Alberni Inlet and Beaufort Mountain Range.

Alberni Brewing
Founded by a couple in partnership with a local chef, Alberni Brewing features spacious seating, a fireplace, an outdoor patio, and a full kitchen serving a wide range of delicious dishes alongside tasty beers.

Twin City Brewing
Since opening in 2017, Twin City has earned a great reputation for its creative beer line-up and fantastic food, including pizzas made to order and a tasty selection of smoked meat sandwiches (yes, the meats are smoked on site).

Tofino & Ucluelet

The wild and spectacular west coast of Vancouver Island inspires every visitor with its seemingly endless beaches and spectacular ocean vistas. Visit in the warmer months to learn how to surf or experience storm-watching season from the cozy confines of a warm cabin or lodge. No matter when you visit you will be able to enjoy delicious craft beer and world-class food in both of these welcoming communities.

Tofino Brewing
No visit to Vancouver Island is truly complete without a visit to Tofino: the beaches, the surfing, the spectacular landscapes, and don’t forget the beer! Tofino Brewing has been brewing locally for nearly 10 years.

Ucluelet Brewing
This brewery was anticipated with great excitement for a couple of years before it finally opened early in 2020. Based in an old church, it is quickly making a name for itself as a great spot to visit.

Must Stop Spots

Part 5

Comox Valley

This central Vancouver Island region has it all: farms and farmer’s markets; wilderness hiking, camping and climbing; fantastic skiing and mountain biking; urban shopping and dining; history aplenty; and of course, delicious craft beer!

Hornby Island Brewing
It takes two ferries to get here from Vancouver Island, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Hornby Island is a relaxed, welcoming place with warm-water beaches and this small-footprint nanobrewery that is focused on producing artisan beers. Open weekends from 1-5 pm.

Cumberland Brewing
The small town of Cumberland is known for its coal mining history and its present-day status as a mecca for mountain bikers. Cumberland Brewing is an ultra-local spot that only sells its beer on-site. Have a seat on the covered patio for great food and beer, or enjoy the sister establishment across the street: Rider’s Pizza, which has some of BC’s finest craft beer on tap and in cans — and fantastic pizza, of course.

Ace Brewing
This Courtenay microbrewery celebrates the history of the Canadian Air Force in the Comox Valley through a vintage aviation theme reflected in the tasting room decor. There is a lot of space to socialize and 10 taps to choose from, as well as a Canteen kitchen that offers some tasty bites to go along with the beer.

New Tradition Brewing
Taste creative, passionate, and boisterous interpretations of classic styles at this comfortable, sustainable space in the heart of Comox. The brewery’s name says it all: respecting the traditions of brewing without being afraid to experiment and take risks. Expect a solid range of classic beer styles mixed with some less traditional fresh takes.

Land & Sea Brewing
With a name that celebrates the elements that define life on Vancouver Island — the land and the sea — this Comox brewery has established itself as a community gathering place. Its bright and welcoming tasting room showcases the brewing equipment front and centre, and the on-site kitchen offers great food to go along with the delicious beer.

Gladstone Brewing
Based in a one-time car mechanic’s shop in Courtenay, Gladstone Brewing embraces that heritage with a tasting room that is decorated with automobile memorabilia. The Gladstone kitchen serves up burgers, tacos, and house-smoked meats to keep your hunger pangs away as you sip and socialize on the all-weather patio, which is always busy with friendly locals ready to enjoy a conversation.

Must Stop Spots

Part 6

Vancouver Island North

Heading north from the Comox Valley you can ski or snowboard at Mount Washington or Mount Cain, fish to your heart’s content in Campbell River, or experience the truly rugged wilderness of the Vancouver Island North.

Beach Fire Brewing
Located in Campbell River, Beachfire has a comfortable and stylish tasting room designed around sharing at communal harvest tables. Both the food and the beer are made in-house from scratch, incorporating local ingredients wherever possible.

Devil’s Bath Brewing
Port McNeill is a resource town with stunning scenery and endless outdoor adventure potential. It has one grocery store, one pub, one general store, and, as of June 2021, one craft brewery: Devil’s Bath Brewing, which was named after Canada’s largest cenote located nearby. based in an old mechanic shop that was remodelled with a warm wood interior, the brewery has water views and a giant patio where you can linger while enjoying delicious food and drink.

Must Stop Spots

Salt Spring Brewing Co.

270 Furness Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1Z7

Mayne Island Brewing

490 Fernhill Rd, Mayne Island, BC V0N 2J2

Small Gods Brewing Co.

9835 Third St, Sidney, BC V8L 3A7

Beacon Brewing

9829 Third St, Sidney, BC V8L 3A7

Howl Brewing

1780 Mills Rd, North Saanich, BC V8L 5S9

Category 12 Brewing

2200 Keating Cross Rd C, Saanichton, BC V8M 2A6

Macaloney's Island Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewing

761 Enterprise Crescent, Victoria, BC V8Z 6P7

Île Sauvage Brewing Co.

2960 Bridge St, Victoria, BC V8T 4T3

Hoyne Brewing

101-2740 Bridge St, Victoria, BC V8T 5C5

Moon Under Water Brewpub and Distillery

101-2740 Bridge St, Victoria, BC V8T 5C5

Vancouver Island Brewing

2330 Government St, Victoria, BC V8T 5G5

Phillips Brewing & Malting

2010 Government St, Victoria, BC V8T 4P1

Herald Street Brew Works

506 Herald St, Victoria, BC V8W 1S6

CRAFT Victoria Harbour

450 Swift St, Victoria, BC V8W 1S3

Swans Brewery

1601 Store St, Victoria, BC V8W 1N6

Whistle Buoy Brewing Company

Market Square, Lower Courtyard, #63, 560 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8W 3C6

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

308 Catherine St, Victoria, BC V9A 3S8

Driftwood Brewing Company

836 Viewfield Rd, Victoria, BC V9A 4V1

Lighthouse Brewing

836 Devonshire Rd Unit 2, Victoria, BC V9A 4T4

4Mile Brewing Company

199 Island Hwy, Victoria, BC V9B 1G1

Millstream Beverage Company

2323 Millstream Rd #103, Langford, BC V9B 3R3

Mile Zero Brewing

4495 Happy Valley Rd, Metchosin, BC V9C 3Z3

Sooke Oceanside Brewery

5871-A Sooke Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0C7

Sooke Brewing Company

2057 Otter Point Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 1H7

Bad Dog Brewing Company

7861 Tugwell Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0J7

Red Arrow Brewing

5255 Chaster Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 5J2

Small Block Brewing

203-5301 Chaster Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 6W4

Craig Street Brewpub

25 Craig St, Duncan, BC V9L 1V7

Bayview Brewing Company

204 Dogwood Drive, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1S8

Wolf Brewing

940 Old Victoria Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6Z8

Cliffside Brewing

11 Cliff St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5E6

White Sails Brewing

125 Comox Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9R 3H9

Longwood Brewery

2046 Boxwood Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9S 5W7

Longwood Brew Pub

5775 Turner Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6L8

Rusted Rake Brewing

3106 Northwest Bay Rd., Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9E6

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co

425 Stanford Ave E #109, Parksville, BC V9P 1V9

Fern + Cedar

680 Berwick Rd S #101, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1R2

Love Shack Libations

4134 Island Hwy W #1, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2B2

Dog Mountain Brewing

3141 3rd Ave, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 4C7

Alberni Brewing Company

4630 Adelaide St, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 6N4

Twin City Brewing

4503 Margaret St, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 6G8

Tofino Brewing

691 Industrial Way, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0

Ucluelet Brewing Company

1601 Peninsula Rd, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

Hornby Island Brewing Company

6985 St Johns Point Rd, Hornby Island, BC V0R 1Z0

Cumberland Brewing

2732 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland, BC V0R 1S0

Ace Brewing

150 Mansfield Dr, Courtenay, BC V9N 6C5

New Tradition Brewing

215 Port Augusta St Unit 11, Comox, BC V9M 3M9

Land & Sea Brewing

2040 Guthrie Rd, Comox, BC V9M 3P6

Gladstone Brewing

244 4th St, Courtenay, BC V9N 1G6

Beach Fire Brewing

594 11 Ave, Campbell River, BC V9W 4G4

Devil's Bath Brewing

1616 McNeill Rd, Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R