While in Victoria this season, as with Alaska, I tried a lot of different beers. Here we are going to focus on three Canadian breweries with brews that I particularly liked:
Along with Service 1904 which I talked about last post I tried several beers from Phillips Brewery. Blue Buck is what seems to be their stock beer – a pale ale with a bitter, biscuit flavour. Analogue 78 is a Kölsch style beer with a creaminess to it that I also found in the Service 1904. It was wheaty with a buttery aroma overlapping a freshness that was quite pleasant. I think I have made it quite clear in previous posts that I enjoy a good raspberry wheat and the offering of this style from Phillips is very tart with a raspberry beginning. I enjoyed the wheat aftertaste but wished this brew had more body. I found the selection from Phillips Brewery to be quite satisfying and diverse.
Cannery Brewing Co
I have a friend who currently lives in Vancouver (which we will return to shortly) but studied in Victoria. One day she picked us up from the ship and we went to her friend’s house for a bbq and some beers. I picked up Cannery Brewing Co’s taster pack (in cans, no less) and really enjoyed it. For a start I think a mixed six pack, three each of a style, is an awesome idea. I know Boston Brewing Co also does mixed sixes, this idea needs to come over the pond for sure! In my taster pack was their IPA, their Nut Brown Ale and the Anarchist Amber. Of the three the Nut Brown was my favourite – brown with a tan head, a sweet, malty aroma that continues into the flavour with a good balance of nuttiness also. The Amber came a close second being bitter to begin followed by a malt sweetness and a caramel finish. The IPA wasn’t quite fruity enough for me, leaning more to the malty side of the IPA spectrum, but was still drinkable. These guys are also pretty active on twitter so if you try their offerings, let them know, they like the feedback.
Steamworks Brewing Co
Back to Vancouver then, where we stopped just once and my friend came to visit again. This time we had lunch at Steamworks Brewing Co which has a good selection on offer. I tried the Frambozen (obviously) first, and this has become an instant favourite. It is bright red in colour with a low pink tinged head and smells strongly of raspberry sweetness with a sour background. The taste is pure raspberry with a bitter aftertaste that balances the sweet beautifully. Secondly I tried their Ipanema White wheat ale which was also very tasty. This is a very aromatic brew smelling of orange and spice, but unlike some of this style these are not overpowering in the taste which sometimes puts me off. Slightly floral and spicy but balanced with a creaminess I enjoyed this brew almost as much as the Franbozen.
Before I sign off for this post I should also mention Lighthouse Brewing Co and Vancouver Island Brewing, who I also had some interesting offerings from. If you are every in Canada, there is so much to choose from you will definitely find something that suits your taste buds!