Experience craft beer on the move

West Coast Brewery Tours makes pub crawls fun - and safe

Elton Walker of West Coast Brewery Tours in Axe & Barrell’s brand-new brewery. Axe & Barrell Brewpub opened last month in Langford, the first and only of its kind on the West Shore.

The craft beer market is flourishing in Victoria and that means there are more breweries to see than ever in the capital city. And there’s no better way to explore the local production and small batch breweries than with an experienced guide and a designated driver.

“It’s really the way to go if you want to get a good feel for the local brewing industry, because if you want to check out multiple breweries in a day, it can be hard to get to and from, especially if you’re enjoying the sample room,” says West Coast Brewery Tours owner, Elton Walker.

Walker attributes the explosive popularity of craft brewing in B.C. to people like Vancouver’s Joe Wiebe, author of Craft Beer Revoloution: The Insiders Guide to BC Breweries and Mike Garrison, a Vancouver blogger who tastes and reviews craft beer of all kinds.

“These are the guys who have really inspired and worked to put a positive spin on the local craft-brewing industry,” says Walker.

The company, which Walker opened in the spring of 2014, offers public and private tours. Three-hour public tours run Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (April to October) and Saturday, Sunday (November to March). Tours start at noon and leave from the Victoria Clipper terminal on Belleville Street.

Public tours include transportation to three breweries aboard the West Coast Brewery Tour brew bus, samples at the breweries visited, a fully guided tour of the brewery production areas and the brewery history, and an informative introduction to the brewing process.

“We try to get a mix of large and small scale breweries on these tours so our guests can get feel for both,” explains Walker, adding that West Coast Brewery Tour works with 12 of Victoria’s most popular production and boutique breweries on a rotating basis.

If beer isn’t your only libation of choice, a four-hour public tour featuring a craft brewery, a craft cidery and a craft spirits distillery on the Saanich Peninsula is also available on Thursdays (from April to October) at noon.

For a more personal experience, private tours are offered by request from 4 to 7 p.m. with discounts available for groups of 10 or more.

“It’s the perfect way to celebrate a stag or stagette, or for occasions like office parties or birthdays,” says Walker.

Walker adds he sees a wide range of people enjoying the tours and that he’s looking forward to offering cruise ship specials for the first time this summer.

“I always try to keep it growing and changing to keep it fresh,” he adds.

More tour information and online booking is available at westcoastbrewerytours.ca.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jen Hodge conducts an online concert during the pandemic after returning to B.C. from New York City. Photo courtesy Claudia Nobauer
Canada Recovery Benefit won’t replace the magic of live performance, musicians say

Cash will help, but its the audience connection that most performers miss — and crave

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancouver Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Gatineau artist Michèle Provost visits the Malaspina Galleries during her artist residency on Gabriola Island. (Photo supplied)
Gatineau artist the first to take part in new Gabriola Island artist residency

Michèle Provost to create art book reflecting on the positives of aging

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Most Read