Phillips Brewery’s tasting room has hit the spot for many craft beer aficianados. Photo by Mathieu Poirier

MATHIEU POIRIER: Poured from the source

Monday’s resident beer columnist checks out the new tasting room at Phillips Brewery

Matthieu Poirier

Monday Magazine columnist

We’re surrounded by some of the world’s best breweries, yet, for the longest time, if you wanted to go have a nice glass of beer on a hot day direct from the brewery, you’ve been limited to local brewpubs.

Don’t get me wrong, our brewpubs are mind-blowingly good, but if you’ve been to the mainland, or to really anywhere outside of the Capital Region, there’s been something missing: The Tasting Room.

Last year, the winds of change started blowing. Phillips Brewing announced plans to convert retail space at Discovery and Government streets to a tasting room that can fit up to 134 people. After jumping through a seemingly unending list of hurdles, the space opened at the end of April.

The converted space, paying homage to its light industrial surroundings with a combination of its wood frame supported by steel beams, looks onto the brewing floor at one end and is highlighted by eight 1,000-litre service tanks over the bar. In addition to pouring a wide range of beers in a tourist friendly, local space, there is a selection of light snacks, craft-made sodas, tonics, and Stump Gin. Once things have settled in, guests can also expect to see the occasional cask night, as well as limited-release beers showcasing brewers’ creativity.

One of the biggest benefits of the tasting room, emphasized owner Matt Phillips, is the connection to the people. “We have an opportunity to expose our customers to a wide variety of our beers, have a chance to talk directly to them, hear what they want and tell them a bit about what we do.”

Other breweries have followed suit: Keating’s Category 12 was recently granted a lounge license, Lighthouse is converting space in its facility in Esquimalt, and Ile Sauvage plans to open with a tasting room on site. Moon Under Water is jumping through procedural hurdles and hopes to open its tasting room shortly.

Phillips’ tasting room is open noon to 10 p.m. daily at 2000 Government St.

Craft beerMathieu Poirier

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

Just Posted

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Vancouver Island dance school pirouettes into full-fledged education institution

Steps Ahead studio will provide assistance with distance learning, as well as artistic classes

Former Victoria busker returns home with first album

Jeff Bryant performed as a human statue

Maclure house on tap in Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s virtual tour

Inaugural virtual House Tour features an online tour of a beautiful 1916 Samuel Maclure

Island author launches literary podcast with Canada Council for the Arts grant

Shelley Leedhal will air 10 episodes of “Something Like Love” over 10 weeks

Nanaimo’s Cinefest film festival to be held online this year due to COVID-19

CineCentral Filmmakers Society’s annual festival to feature films made in 48 hours

Indigenous artists showcase extreme sport-themed art at Nanaimo Art Gallery

Touring exhibition ‘Boarder X’ features work inspired by skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing

Indigenous artist restores 20-year-old sculpture in downtown Victoria

Four Winds sculpture located near Tug Eatery encourages climate action

Gabriola theatre group live-streaming two new pandemic-themed plays

Gabriola Players to broadcast ‘All and Nothing’ and ‘Syd’s Cosmic Slump’ using Zoom

Kingcome artist wins contest at Museum of Anthropology

Coral Shaughnessy-Moon’s design will be sold on t-shirts at the museum and online

Most Read