MATHIEU POIRIER: New Island brewery tour book a great resource for beer fans

Learn some of the background of local breweries in Island Craft, by Jon C. Stott

For many people who appreciate beer, being able to put pen to paper to share knowledge about it is an amazing experience. For some, it progresses to a published book, and to a select few, one can become many.

Mathieu Poirier, Monday Magazine craft beer columnist

Jon C. Stott has managed to become one of the lucky few, and fortunately for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, he’s chosen to focus mainly on our part of the world to write about.

His newest release, Island Craft, takes the same travelling, storytelling style he’s used in his previous books, Beer Quest West (2011), New Mexico Beer (2014) and Beer 101 North (2017). He pinpoints it on a trip through Vancouver Island’s beer community, starting in Victoria and zigzagging all the way up island to Campbell River’s Beach Fire Brewing and Nosh House.

Speaking from Albuquerque where he spends more of his time now, his fondness for Victoria, where he grew up, was evident. His passion for the growth of locally produced craft beer was even more pronounced, and it shows in the way he weaves a story around every brewery, brewer and community he visited. Expanding on the smaller island influence in Beer Quest West, Stott’s upbringing brought back some nostalgia.

You can find interesting back stories about various craft breweries on Vancouver Island in Jon C. Stott’s new book, Island Craft. Photo courtesy Touchwood Editions

“It seemed it would be fun to go back, revisit the Island of my youth … and make a beer rediscovery journey,” he said.

Asked about some of his favourite stops while researching, Stott voiced a preference for the smaller, out-of-the-way breweries, such as Love Shack Libations in Qualicum Beach, and Riot Brewing in Chemainus: “You might not think of going there because it’s off the beaten track, but it’s worth the stop.”

Sooke’s growth is also a bright spot for him. He referred to the community as “beyond the beyond” during his youth, adding that a city resident needed a “very good reason to go out that way.” He pointed out, “the demographics have changed, and now there’s demand for good local craft beer out there,” which the three breweries are definitely providing.

He also acknowledged the rapid changes in the industry, noting his need to add some information after submitting his manuscript with the opening of Howl Brewing last summer, and how pre-opening interviews related to Ile Sauvage and Comox’s Land & Sea now reference breweries that have been up and running for a short time.

Whether you’re a beer geek, or just planning a vacation in the hopes of stopping by some of the many breweries all across the Island, this book is a great look at some of the stories behind the beer we drink, and as Stott puts it, a great reminder that we’re all “Lucky to be Loc-Ale.”



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Craft beer

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

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

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

Most Read