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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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’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!